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World > Europe > Holy See (Vatican City) > Government (Facts)

Holy See (Vatican City) - Government (Facts)
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 ove
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), CPLP (associate), IAEA, IOM (observer), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, NAM (guest), OAS (observer), OPCW, OSCE, UN (observer), UNCTAD, UNHCR, Union Latina (observer), 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


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