Vatican City. Of the Pope’s travels in 2010, it attracted the greatest attention to Britain. The trip was made in mid-September and was the first papal visit ever in the United Kingdoms. According to COUNTRYAAH, Vatican City has a population of 825. The Pope visited Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Birmingham – the Archbishopric seat of the Catholic Church in the otherwise predominantly Anglican Britain. During his visit, the Pope met church leaders and among politicians, he had lunch with British Foreign Minister William Hague. In October, Pope visited Santiago de Compostela in Spain, one of the Catholic Church’s most important pilgrimage sites alongside Rome. Once in Spain, the pope also visited Barcelona where he led his first mass in Antoni Gaudí’s still unfinished church La Sagrada Familia. A salvation of Gaudí was said to be imminent in connection with the Pope’s visit.
During the year Australia received its first female saint. It is Mary MacKillop (1842-1909) who founded the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart where they devoted themselves to helping the poor and the sick. At MacKillop’s death, there was a network of 750 nuns operating as “Josephites”. During the year, Pope Pius XII (1876–1958) was placed on the list of possible future saints. It caused various Jewish groups to react negatively because they had long held the view that Pius XII, who was a pope during World War II, did not do what was in his power to prevent the extent of the Holocaust.
The scandal within the Catholic Church with sex offenses against children that became public in the United States in 2002 continued in 2010 with seemingly unabated strength. At the end of December, the pope said that the scandal during the year “reached an extent we cannot imagine”. During the year, countless cases of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests in countries such as Ireland, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands emerged. It prompted the pope to say: “We must ask ourselves what we can do to repair as much as possible of the injustice that has been inflicted on the victims.”
The issue within the Catholic Church that attracted the most attention during the year concerned the use of condoms. In an interview book – “Licht der Welt” – with the German journalist Peter Seewald, the Pope said that condoms could be allowed in individual cases. “For example, when a prostitute uses a condom to avoid spreading diseases”, but that this should not be seen as “any real or moral solution”. However, the pope did not in any way approve of condoms being used for child-restraining purposes.
- Abbreviation Finder: Check to see how the two letter abbreviation of VT stands for the country of Vatican in geography.
HUMAN AND ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY
State located within the city of Rome. A 2005 estimate estimated the population to be just over 900, of which about half possess Vatican citizenship. The State of the City of Vatican has no tax system and does not publish any statistics relating to its economic and financial activities. The main sources of income are represented by the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), voluntary contributions from the faithful and institutions and the issue of postage stamps. The Holy See’s Asset Administration manages the investments. Monetary union with Italy led to joining the euro area.
Since February 2001, a new Basic Law has been in force in the State of the City of Vatican to replace the previous one enacted in 1929, ie at the time of the foundation of the State following the Lateran treaties. The reform was conceived, as stated in the introduction of the text, to “give systematic and organic form to the changes introduced in successive phases in the legal system” in order to “make it better and better suited to institutional purposes”. Among the novelties, the elimination of the figure of the governor of the state (a position vacant since 1952), the redefinition of the relations between the Secretariat of State and the other executive bodies, the indication of a procedure for the resolution of labor disputes between state employees and the administration.
As regards the management of cultural heritage, the Jubilee of 2000 was the occasion for an extraordinary commitment to the conservation of all the monuments and masterpieces belonging to the Vatican City State. The great Roman basilicas have all been subject to careful restoration: the architectural complex of St. Peter (facade of the basilica, colonnade), the basilica of St. Paul (ciborium by Arnolfo di Cambio, arrangement of the surrounding space) and the basilica of S Maria Maggiore (cleaning of the tribune, of the eighteenth-century façade, of the relative mosaics by I. Torriti and of the Arnolfo Nativity scene).
The restoration work on the Lateran complex was also completed, already started immediately after the terrorist attack of 1993. Other significant interventions involved the installations of the Vatican Museums: in addition to the new monumental entrance, inaugurated in 2000, new sections were created and various works were also purchased. In 2000, moreover, they were paid Vatican Secret Archives documents of Vatican Council II, allowing consultation to scholars. Since February 2003, the papers on relations between the Holy See and Germany between 1922 and 1939 have also been made available, kept in the archives of the Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State and in those of the Apostolic Nunciature in Munich and Berlin.