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Holy See (Vatican City) Facts
• Introduction
• People
• Government
• Communications
• Transportation
• Military
• Transnational Issues

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Introduction Holy See (Vatican City)
Background:
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, international development, the Middle East, terrorism, interreligious dialogue and reconciliation, and the application of church doctrine in an era of rapid change and globalization. About 1 billion people worldwide profess the Catholic faith.
People Holy See (Vatican City)
Population:
821 (July 2007 est.)
Population growth rate:
0% (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA
Nationality:
noun: none
adjective: none
Ethnic groups:
Italians, Swiss, other
Religions:
Roman Catholic
Languages:
Italian, Latin, French, various other languages
Literacy:
definition: NA
total population: 100%
male: 100%
female: 100%
Government Holy See (Vatican City)
Country name:
conventional long form: The Holy See (State of the Vatican City)
conventional short form: Holy See (Vatican City)
local long form: Santa Sede (Stato della Citta del Vaticano)
local short form: Santa Sede (Citta del Vaticano)
Government type:
ecclesiastical
Capital:
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
Administrative divisions:
none
Independence:
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 Vatican and established its territorial extent; however, the origin of the Papal States, which over the years have varied considerably in extent, may be traced back to the 8th century
National holiday:
Coronation Day of Pope BENEDICT XVI, 24 April (2005)
Constitution:
new Fundamental Law promulgated by Pope JOHN PAUL II on 26 November 2000, effective 22 February 2001 (replaces the first Fundamental Law of 1929)
Legal system:
based on Code of Canon Law and revisions to it
Suffrage:
limited to cardinals less than 80 years old
Executive branch:
chief of state: Pope BENEDICT XVI (since 19 April 2005)
head of government: Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio BERTONE (since 15 September 2006)
cabinet: Pontifical Commission appointed by the pope
elections: pope elected for life by the College of Cardinals; election last held 19 April 2005 (next to be held after the death of the current pope); secretary of state appointed by the pope
election results: Joseph RATZINGER elected Pope BENEDICT XVI
Legislative branch:
unicameral Pontifical Commission
Judicial branch:
there are three tribunals responsible for civil and criminal matters within Vatican City; three other tribunals rule on issues pertaining to the Holy See
note: judicial duties were established by the Motu Proprio of Pope PIUS XII on 1 May 1946
Political parties and leaders:
none
Political pressure groups and leaders:
none (exclusive of influence exercised by church officers)
International organization participation:
CE (observer), IAEA, IOM (observer), ITU, ITUC, NAM (guest), OAS (observer), OPCW, OSCE, UN (observer), UNCTAD, UNHCR, UNWTO (observer), UPU, WIPO, WTO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Pietro SAMBI
chancery: 3339 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 333-7121
FAX: [1] (202) 337-4036
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Francis ROONEY
embassy: Villa Domiziana, Via delle Terme Deciane 26, 00153 Rome
mailing address: PSC 59, Box 66, APO AE 09624
telephone: [39] (06) 4674-3428
FAX: [39] (06) 575-8346
Flag description:
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
Communications Holy See (Vatican City)
Telephones - main lines in use:
5,120 (2005)
Telephone system:
general assessment: automatic digital exchange
domestic: connected via fiber optic cable to Telecom Italia network
international: country code - 39; uses Italian system
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 4, FM 3, shortwave 2 (2004)
Radios:
NA
Television broadcast stations:
1 (2005)
Televisions:
NA
Internet country code:
.va
Internet hosts:
45 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
NA
Internet users:
93 (2000)

Military Holy See (Vatican City)
Military branches:
Pontifical Swiss Guard (Corpo della Guardia Svizzera Pontificia)
Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of Italy; ceremonial and limited security duties performed by Pontifical Swiss Guard
Transnational Issues Holy See (Vatican City)
Disputes - international:
none

This page was last updated on 17 April, 2007


 

Source: CIA World Factbook










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