ETYMOLOGY: The Vatican City is named after the plain Ager Vaticanus, where St. Peter’s Church was built, the derivation of Latin vates ‘fortune teller, oracle’.
OFFICIAL NAME: Vatican City State (Vatican City State)
POPULATION: 800 (Source: COUNTRYaah)
AREA: 0.44 km²
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): Italian, Latin (especially in off. documents)
RELIGION: Catholics 100%
CURRENCY CODE: EUR
ENGLISH NAME: Vatican City State (Holy See)
INTERNET DOMAIN NAME: .va
Vatican City, Stato della Città del Vaticano, is an independent state, established in 1929 in the middle of Rome. 44 ha of the Vatican City area is made up of the Vatican area on the west bank of the Tiber between the ridges of Monte Mario to the north and Gianicolo to the south.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Find two-letter abbreviation for each independent country and territory, such as VC which stands for Vatican City.
The Vatican City also includes St. Peter’s Basilica and St. Peter’s Square; the latter is patrolled by Italian police but is not subject to the Italian authorities.
A complex of buildings, gardens, etc. around the papal summer palace in the mountain town of Castel Gandolfo includes another 55 hectares. The largest area, 73 ha, however, is the sum of all the buildings etc. that are part of the Vatican City, even though they are scattered inside and outside Rome. These “islands” of Vatican City territory are made up primarily of churches, colleges and hospitals, in the middle of Rome such as the Lateran and the College of Propaganda.
In the Vatican area itself, there are e.g. Vatican City State Radio, Railway Station and Helicopter Landing Station. The Vatican City State also has its own bank.
The Vatican City State has revenue from international financial activities and from contributions from fellow believers around the world (peterspenge) as well as from the sale of entrance tickets and stamps, souvenirs and books. The currency has been the euro since 1999; since 2002, own coins have been issued.
approximately 1,000 people are citizens of the Vatican City State, and about half live in the Vatican. Vatican citizenship is granted by law to persons with certain functions and is valid only as long as they perform these functions; many therefore have dual citizenship. The Vatican City State has diplomatic missions in many countries. The papacy’s diplomatic connection with Denmark, which was interrupted by the Reformation in 1536, was resumed in 1982.
Vatican City State Administration
The Vatican City State is governed by a commission of cardinals, which has the legislative power, under a President who has the executive, and with responsibility to the Secretary of State. Since 1929, the state has issued its own coins and been in currency union with Italy; it also has its own postal service, which has issued stamps since the same year.
The Vatican is an unofficial but widespread term for the top leadership of the Roman Catholic Church; the official name of this leadership is the Holy See, La Santa Sede. At its inception in 1929, the Vatican City State was involved in the administration of the Holy See, and sovereignty over the Vatican City State ensured the recognition of the Holy See in international law. Its administration is officially called the Roman Curia, whose basic structure is from 1588. As bishop of Rome, the pope is elected for life over the Catholic Church and thus over the Vatican City (see also papal election).
The Cardinal Secretary of State has the diplomatic service under him (see Papal Foreign Service); furthermore, he, like the head of a civilian government, must coordinate the work of the various bodies of the Curia. In many contexts, he represents the pope, and he functions as long as the pope does. All other officials are appointed for five years with the possibility of reappointment.
The Roman Curia includes nine congregations, each with its own department, eg the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the oldest and most important, and the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, ie. the unearthly churches. The tasks that became important after the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) are solved by papal councils, such as the Papal Council for Christian Unity and the Council for Lay People. Furthermore, there are a number of commissions and committees, and the Vatican has three courts and an ecclesiastical law book, the Codex juris canonici (1983).
The Curia has undergone an extensive modernization process under Paul VI and especially under John Paul II. Since World War II, there has also been a marked internationalization, so that it is now possible to involve competent people from all countries of the world in the bodies of the Curia.
The Vatican has no army; The Swiss Guard has been the bodyguard for the pope since 1506 (see Swiss Guard).