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Europe :: Holy See (Vatican City)
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Holy See (Vatican City)
  • Introduction :: HOLY SEE (VATICAN CITY)

  • Popes in their secular role ruled portions of the Italian peninsula for more than a thousand years until the mid-19th century, when many of the Papal States were seized by the newly united Kingdom of Italy. In 1870, the pope's holdings were further circumscribed when Rome itself was annexed. Disputes between a series of "prisoner" popes and Italy were resolved in 1929 by three Lateran Treaties, which established the independent state of Vatican City and granted Roman Catholicism special status in Italy. In 1984, a concordat between the Holy See and Italy modified certain of the earlier treaty provisions, including the primacy of Roman Catholicism as the Italian state religion. Present concerns of the Holy See include religious freedom, threats against minority Christian communities in Africa and the Middle East, sexual misconduct by clergy, international development, interreligious dialogue and reconciliation, and the application of church doctrine in an era of rapid change and globalization. About 1.2 billion people worldwide profess Catholicism - the world's largest Christian faith.
  • Geography :: HOLY SEE (VATICAN CITY)

  • Southern Europe, an enclave of Rome (Italy)
    41 54 N, 12 27 E
    Europe
    total: 0.44 sq km
    land: 0.44 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 257
    about 0.7 times the size of The National Mall in Washington, DC
    total: 3.4 km
    border countries (1): Italy 3.4 km
    0 km (landlocked)
    none (landlocked)
    temperate; mild, rainy winters (September to May) with hot, dry summers (May to September)
    urban; low hill
    lowest point: unnamed location 19 m
    highest point: unnamed elevation 75 m
    none
    arable land:
    permanent crops: 0%
    other: 100% (urban area) (2011)
    0 sq km (2011)
    NA
    NA
    party to: Ozone Layer Protection
    signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution, Environmental Modification
    landlocked; enclave in Rome, Italy; world's smallest state; beyond the territorial boundary of Vatican City, the Lateran Treaty of 1929 grants the Holy See extraterritorial authority over 23 sites in Rome and five outside of Rome, including the Pontifical Palace at Castel Gandolfo (the Pope's summer residence)
  • People and Society :: HOLY SEE (VATICAN CITY)

  • noun: none
    adjective: none
    Italians, Swiss, other
    Italian, Latin, French, various other languages
    Roman Catholic
    842 (July 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 236
    0% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 195
    urban population: 100% of total population (2014)
    rate of urbanization: 0.03% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    VATICAN CITY (capital) 1,000 (2014)
    NA
    NA
    NA
    NA
  • Government :: HOLY SEE (VATICAN CITY)

  • conventional long form: The Holy See (Vatican City State)
    conventional short form: Holy See (Vatican City)
    local long form: La Santa Sede (Stato della Citta del Vaticano)
    local short form: Santa Sede (Citta del Vaticano)
    ecclesiastical
    name: Vatican City
    geographic coordinates: 41 54 N, 12 27 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
    none
    11 February 1929 (from Italy); note - the three treaties signed with Italy on 11 February 1929 acknowledged, among other things, the full sovereignty of the Holy See and established its territorial extent; however, the origin of the Papal States, which over centuries varied considerably in extent, may be traced back to 754
    Election Day of Pope FRANCIS, 13 March (2013)
    previous 1929, 1963; latest adopted 26 November 2000, effective 22 February 2001 (Fundamental Law by Pope JOHN PAUL II); note - Pope Francis in October 2013 appointed a group of cardinals to revise the constitution (2013)
    religious legal system based on canon (religious) law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    election of the pope is limited to cardinals less than 80 years old
    chief of state: Pope FRANCIS (since 13 March 2013)
    head of government: Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro PAROLIN (since 15 October 2013)
    cabinet: Pontifical Commission for the State of Vatican City appointed by the pope
    elections: pope elected for life, or until voluntary resignation, by the College of Cardinals; election last held on 13 March 2013 (next to be held after the death or resignation of the current pope); Secretary of State appointed by the pope
    election results: Jorge Mario BERGOGLIO elected Pope FRANCIS
    description: unicameral Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State or Pontificia Commissione per lo Stato della Citta del Vaticano (7 seats; members appointed by the pope to serve 5-year terms)
    highest court(s): Supreme Court or Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura (consists of the cardinal prefect, who serves as ex-officio president of the court, and 2 other cardinals of the Prefect Signatura); note - judicial duties were established by the Motu Proprio, papal directive, of Pope PIUS XII on 1 May 1946; note 2: most Vatican City criminal matters are handled by the Republic of Italy courts
    judge selection and term of office: cardinal prefect appointed by the Pope; the other 2 cardinals of the court appointed by the cardinal prefect on a yearly basis
    subordinate courts: Appellate Court of Vatican City; Tribunal of Vatican City
    none
    none (exclusive of influence exercised by church officers)
    CE (observer), IAEA, Interpol, IOM, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), OAS (observer), OPCW, OSCE, Schengen Convention (de facto member), SICA (observer), UN (observer), UNCTAD, UNHCR, Union Latina (observer), UNWTO (observer), UPU, WIPO, WTO (observer)
    chief of mission: Apostolic Nuncio Carlo Maria VIGANO (since 16 November 2011)
    chancery: 3339 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 333-7121
    FAX: [1] (202) 337-4036
    chief of mission: Ambassador Kenneth Francis HACKETT (since 21 October 2013)
    embassy: Villa Domiziana, Via delle Terme Deciane 26, 00153 Rome
    mailing address: Unit 5660, Box 66, DPO AE 09624-0066
    telephone: [39] (06) 4674-3428
    FAX: [39] (06) 575-8346
    two vertical bands of yellow (hoist side) and white with the arms of the Holy See, consisting of the crossed keys of Saint Peter surmounted by the three-tiered papal tiara, centered in the white band; the yellow color represents the pope's spiritual power, the white his worldly power
    crossed keys beneath a papal tiara; national colors: yellow, white
    name: "Inno e Marcia Pontificale" (Hymn and Pontifical March); often called The Pontifical Hymn
    lyrics/music: Raffaello LAVAGNA/Charles-Francois GOUNOD
    note: adopted 1950
  • Economy :: HOLY SEE (VATICAN CITY)

  • The Holy See is supported financially by a variety of sources, including investments, real estate income, and donations from Catholic individuals, dioceses, and institutions; these help fund the Roman Curia (Vatican bureaucracy), diplomatic missions, and media outlets. Moreover, an annual collection taken up in dioceses and from direct donations go to a non-budgetary fund, known as Peter's Pence, which is used directly by the Pope for charity, disaster relief, and aid to churches in developing nations. Donations increased between 2010 and 2011. The separate Vatican City State budget includes the Vatican museums and post office and is supported financially by the sale of stamps, coins, medals, and tourist mementos; by fees for admission to museums; and by publication sales. Its revenues increased between 2010 and 2011 because of expanded opening hours and a growing number of visitors. However, the Holy See has not escaped the financial difficulties engulfing other European countries; in 2012 it started a spending review to determine where to cut costs to reverse its 2011 budget deficit of $20 million. The Holy See generated a modest surplus in 2012 before recording a $32 million deficit in 2013, driven primarily by the decreasing value of gold. Most public expenditures go to wages and other personnel costs; the incomes and living standards of lay workers are comparable to those of counterparts who work in the city of Rome. In February 2014, Pope FRANCIS created the Secretariat of the Economy to oversee financial and administrative operations of the Holy See, part of a broader campaign to reform the Holy See’s finances.
    $NA
    printing; production of coins, medals, postage stamps; mosaics, staff uniforms; worldwide banking and financial activities
    2,885 (December 2011)
    country comparison to the world: 226
    note: essentially services with a small amount of industry; nearly all dignitaries, priests, nuns, guards, and the approximately 3,000 lay workers live outside the Vatican
    NA%
    revenues: $308 million
    expenditures: $326.4 million (2011)
    NA%
    NA%
    calendar year
    euros (EUR) per US dollar -
    0.7489 (2014 est.)
    0.7634 (2013 est.)
    0.78 (2012 est.)
    0.7185 (2011 est.)
    0.755 (2010 est.)
  • Communications :: HOLY SEE (VATICAN CITY)

  • general assessment: automatic digital exchange
    domestic: connected via fiber optic cable to Telecom Italia network
    international: country code - 39; uses Italian system (2012)
    the Vatican Television Center (CTV) transmits live broadcasts of the Pope's Sunday and Wednesday audiences, as well as the Pope's public celebrations; CTV also produces documentaries; Vatican Radio is the Holy See's official broadcasting service broadcasting via shortwave, AM and FM frequencies, and via satellite and Internet connections (2008)
    AM 5, FM 3, shortwave 5 (2008)
    1 (2008)
    .va
    107 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 207
  • Military :: HOLY SEE (VATICAN CITY)

  • Pontifical Swiss Guard Corps (Corpo della Guardia Svizzera Pontificia) (2013)
    Pontifical Swiss Guard Corps (Corpo della Guardia Svizzera Pontificia): 19-30 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; must be Roman Catholic, a Swiss citizen, with a secondary education (2013)
    defense is the responsibility of Italy; ceremonial and limited security duties performed by Pontifical Swiss Guard
  • Transnational Issues :: HOLY SEE (VATICAN CITY)

  • none
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