Last updated on: 10/25/2007 | Author:

Vatican City Biography

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“The expression Holy See refers to the supreme Authority of the Church, and thus the Pope as Bishop of Rome and head of the College of Bishops. Defines therefore the Central Government of the Catholic Church….

The State of Vatican City and the Holy See, both sovereign subjects of international public law, universally recognized, are indissolubly united in the person of the Supreme Pontiff, as Head of State , who possesses full legislative, judicial and executive powers. In periods of ‘Sede Vacante (Vacancy of the Apostolic See), these powers belong to the College of Cardinals. The Supreme Pontiff governs the State through the Pontifical Commission for the State of Vatican City (legislative power; composed of cardinals, nominated by him for a 5 year period) and the Governatorate of the State of Vatican City (executive power). The legislative regulations are published in a special supplement of the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.

The judicial power is exercised, in the name of the Supreme Pontiff, by the constituted organs according to the juridical structure of the State: a Magistrate, a Court of First Instance, a Court of Appeal and a Court of Cassation.

The Supreme Pontiff represents, through the Secretariat of State, the State of Vatican City in relations with foreign States, for the conclusion of Treaties and for diplomatic relations.”


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