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Vatican City & The Holy See – Explained

Vatican City & The Holy See – Explained –

Vatican City or officially The Vatican City State is a walled enclave within the city of Rome. It is the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world by both area and population.

It is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchica state ruled by the Bishop of Rome—the Pope. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergy of various national origins. Since the return of the Popes from Avignon in 1377, they have generally resided at the Apostolic Palace within what is now Vatican City.

Vatican City is distinct from the Holy See, which dates back to early Christianity and is the main episcopal see of 1.2 billion Latin and Eastern Catholic adherents around the globe. The independent city-state, on the other hand, came into existence in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty between the Holy See and Italy, which spoke of it as a new creation, not as a vestige of the much larger Papal States (756–1870), which had previously encompassed much of central Italy. According to the terms of the treaty, the Holy See has “full ownership over the city-state.

Within Vatican City are cultural sites such as St. Peter’s Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. They feature some of the world’s most famous paintings and sculptures. The unique economy of Vatican City is supported financially by the sale of postage stamps and tourist mementos, fees for admission to museums, and the sale of publications.

Even before the arrival of Christianity, it is supposed that this originally uninhabited part of Rome had long been considered sacred.

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