Vatican State Political System

According to, with capital city of Vatican City, Holy See is a country located in Southern Europe with total population of 812.

The Vatican City is an ecclesiastical state, with the Pope as the supreme leader. Geographically, it covers only 44 hectares in Rome, and does not have full jurisdiction in this area either: Italian police are responsible for law and order in the area. Until 1859–60 and 1870, the pope included a larger territory in central Italy, and within this the pope ruled. The relationship between the pope and the Italian state was normalized through agreements in 1929, agreements confirmed in Italy’s Republican Constitution of 1947. The Vatican’s Basic Law (Constitution) of 1929 was renewed in 2001.

The agreements have secured the Church’s sovereignty in the area of ​​Vatican and Catholicism a privileged position in Italy. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how VT can stand for Vatican. But even though the Vatican has little territorial significance (it is the world’s smallest state), it, as a papal chair, has great significance as a kind of governing body for the worldwide Catholic Church: Catholics can be viewed as members of both territorial states and a spiritual community, and in many respects, the loyalty of Catholics can be as much to the Church and the Pope as to the State and Government.

The Pope, elected by the Holy Cardinal College of Lifetime, in principle exercises all authority within the Vatican City and in the administration of the Church more generally. However, the administration of the Vatican City takes little of the Pope’s time. Most of this task is delegated to a papal commission of seven cardinals, which in turn leads a staff of laymen, led by a special delegate. Most of the pope’s time is leading the papal chair, that is, the church. In this work, he is assisted by a college of cardinals and the ecclesiastical bureaucracy, the Roman Curie, with over 3000 clergy and non-clergy staff.

The curie has both legislative, executive and judicial functions. The first are practiced by nine holy churches, each led by a prefect. Here, there has been some democratization since 1967, as bishops have partly been allowed to attend. The executive functions are added to various secretariats and commissions. Most important of these is the State Secretariat, which acts as a kind of prime minister’s office. It is led by a cardinal. The judicial functions, related to questions of conscience, questions of dissolution of marriage and questions of the formulation of petitions, are exercised by various tribunals, all led by cardinals. Promotions and appointments in the Curie are strongly influenced by networks and connections; it is completely dominated by Italians. The curia plays a very strong role, and the pope must pay considerable attention to it.

Vatican City Defense

Vatican City defense is taken care of by Italy. The Pope has a life guard consisting of 100 hired Swiss soldiers, the so-called Swiss Guard. The guard force was established by Pope Julius 2 in 1506.

Vatican City flag and weapons

The flag

The flag of the Vatican is square and vertically divided into two equally wide fields in yellow and white (counted from the bar). The white field is covered with the papal insignia, dating from the 13th century: two crucifixed keys (one in gold, one in silver) under the papal tiara. The keys – St. Peter’s sky keys – symbolize the church’s key power (loose and binding power). The flag was originally the Pope’s, but after the Vatican State became a sovereign state after the 1929 Lateran Agreement, the flag has been a flag of state.

The weapon

Is a red shield with the papal insignia, tiara and crossed keys, in gold and silver. Each pope also carries a personal weapon, which is often used with the Vatican in official contexts.