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The Vatican

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The Vatican is the geographical head of the Catholic Church. Its is 109 acres in the middle of Rome that is its own sovereign nation that is home to the Pope. The estimated population is 813 that live within the wall of the city state. And, the government is an ecclesiastical government with the Pope at the head of it. The Vatican was giving its sovereignty in 1929 and reaffirmed in 1984.

The history of the Vatican and it being the primary residence of the pope dates back to the 5th century. It was in the 5th century when Constantine had St Peter’s Basilica built.  Prior to this the pope lived in the Lateran Palace until the 14th century at the time of the Babylonian captivity in france. At that point the Papacy to Rome and the Vatican became home of the Pope. This is usually dated to 1377.

The Vatican is the keeper of the traditions of the Catholic Church as well. They set the liturgical policy for the church. This covers how the mass is celebrated; the words that are spoken. It has put for the missal for the readings of the church for the given day. It makes changes to improve the way things are done or clarify the existing ones. An example of this was the change Rome made in how extra ordinary ministers arrive at the altar during the distribution of communion. It was previously that they would approach and help the presiding priest and deacon pour the Precious Blood into the challises. Rome, as it is colloquially known changed the process to extra ordinary minister not approaching the altar until the priest had already readied the chalices and the patents. This is just one example of the changes that the Vatican can make.

The method of how a saint is selected was another process that was modified by Rome in more recent times. Pope John Paul canonized more Saints in recent history adding to the rich tapestry that makes up the Catholic Church.

The Vatican has one of the largest art collections in the world. And has the Sistine Chapel which was painted by Michelangelo in 1508-1512,  which is one of the largest paintings in the history of man. The popes that ruled in the Renaissance time worked to amass one of the greatest collections. They built fine galleries for this art.  Additionally Pope Gregory XIII and Sixtus V dedicated to building the Vatican and built the Quirinal, which was a place for the pope. The popes lived there from 1870 to 1946. Presently its is now the royal palace of Italy and where the president of Italy now resides. 

The Vatican also have their own news agency and most all major events are cleared though the Vatican.  The Vatican also has huge library including the transcripts that date back to the Spanish Inquisition. It is believed that this library is one of the largest collections of ancient and medieval writings in may languages.  It has much history and tradition that it maintains within its walls.


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