CountryFacts.com > Holy See (Vatican City) > Government
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Holy See (Vatican City) Government
Capital:
Vatican City
Country name:
conventional long form: The Holy See (State of the Vatican City)
conventional short form: Holy See (Vatican City)
local short form: Santa Sede (Citta del Vaticano)
local long form: Santa Sede (Stato della Citta del Vaticano)
Government type:
ecclesiastical
Administrative divisions:
none
Independence:
11 February 1929 (from Italy)
note: on 11 February 1929, three treaties were signed with Italy which, among other things, acknowledged 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 JOHN PAUL II, 22 October (1978)
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 JOHN PAUL II (since 16 October 1978)
head of government: Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo SODANO (since 2 December 1990)
cabinet: Pontifical Commission appointed by the pope
elections: pope elected for life by the College of Cardinals; election last held 16 October 1978 (next to be held after the death of the current pope); secretary of state appointed by the pope
election results: Karol WOJTYLA elected pope
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 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, ICFTU, IOM (observer), ITU, NAM (guest), OAS (observer), OPCW, OSCE, UN (observer), UNCTAD, UNHCR, UPU, WHO (observer), WIPO, WToO (observer), WTrO (observer)
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Gabriel MONTALVO
FAX: [1] (202) 337-4036
telephone: [1] (202) 333-7121
chancery: 3339 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador R. James "Jim" NICHOLSON
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) 5758346
Flag description:
two vertical bands of yellow (hoist side) and white with the crossed keys of saint peter and the papal miter centered in the white band
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