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26 Apr 2016 United Kingdom No comments

New auxiliary bishop of Southwark appointed

The Episcopal Ordination of Fr Paul Mason will take place at the end of May Pope Francis has appointed Fr Paul Mason as the new Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark…

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06 Jun 2015 Vatican Comments (1)

Australian bishops: ‘Don’t mess with marriage’

The bishops of Australia have released “Don’t Mess with Marriage,” a pastoral letter on the same-sex marriage debate. “It is unjust, gravely unjust, to legit…

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17 Oct 2015 News Vatican Comments (2)

Cardinal Arinze: not even Church authority can break the marriage bond

Cardinal Francis Arinze, the retired prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, took a firm stand against changing Church teaching regarding marriage and t…

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09 Oct 2014 Vatican No comments

Synod 14: Testimony of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Conwayonway

Here below is the testimony of Stephen and Sandra Conway, Regional Directors for Africa of the Reunions Movement (South Africa), with an introduction from the P…

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01 Sep 2015 News Vatican Comments (2)

Benedict XVI testifies for beatification of Pope John Paul I

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI has given testimony for the cause of beatification of Pope John Paul I, the Italian journal Famiglia Cristiana reports. Elected in…

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06 Oct 2016 News Comments (2)

Cardinal Sarah: Let’s end the ‘hateful divisions’ and ‘public humiliation’ over liturgy

The cardinal condemned the 'ideological clash of factions' over ad orientem worship Cardinal Robert Sarah has said the “hateful divisions” over liturgy must en…

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05 Sep 2015 News USA Comments (1)

The Catholic University of America anticipates Pope Francis' visit

The Catholic University of America is full of enthusiastic and hopeful spirits as the papal visit to Washington D.C. comes closer. In about three weeks, …

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03 May 2016 Articles Comments (2)

The Blessed Virgin's Guide to Catholic Modesty

You want to see a ruckus in Catholic cyberspace? All you have to do is link together the wordsCatholic andmodesty or, better,Blessed Virgin andpants. Simcha Fis…

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15 Aug 2016 News No comments

Faithful flock to Lourdes under heavy security

Pilgrims began arriving at the shrine before dawn to celebrate the feast of the Assumption Catholic pilgrims from around the world, many sick or disabled, floc…

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Is the Vatican really a country?

Full Question

Is the Vatican really a country?


Yes. The history of the Vatican City State is colorful, controversial, and complex. The world’s smallest country, at just 109 acres, it has a population of roughly one thousand, with citizenship being largely restricted to those employed by the Vatican. It operates, among other things, a mint, a post office, an astronomical observatory, and a world-class radio station, and it administers a legal system, although in criminal matters (such as the assassination attempt against the pope) Italian courts have jurisdiction. The Vatican uses the Italian liraas its currency. Certain other properties, such as the pope’s summer residence, Castle Gandolfo, located outside of Rome, have extraterritorial status similar to that enjoyed by embassies. The Vatican enters into diplomatic relations with other sovereign states, but remains strictly neutral in political matters. The Vatican’s territorial independence is guaranteed by Italy in accord with the Lateran Treaty signed in 1929 and revised in 1985. The famous white and yellow flag featuring the papal tiara and the crossed keys, commonly taken as the pope’s flag, is actually the flag of the Vatican City State.


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