Vatican and Catholic
Saint Peter to Pope Benedict XVI
Saint Peter's Basilica Webcam
A beautiful coffee table book showing
everyday life in the Vatican
According to the Catholic catechism, the pope is Saint Peter's successor and the Bishop of
Rome. To quote from the catechism, the pope:
Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ,
and as pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal
power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise
"...is the perpetual and visible source and
foundation of the unity both of the bishops and of the whole company
of the faithful. For the
A pope is elected by a two-thirds
vote of a conclave of cardinals under the age of 80. If after 13
days a pope has not been elected, the cardinals pause for a day of
prayer and reflection, and the two cardinals with the greatest number
of votes in the lastest balloting will be in a runoff election, but
these two cardinals cannot vote. The new pope must garner
two-thirds of the vote in the runoff election. Voting is held in
the Sistene Chapel, and the two runoff cardinals may remain in the
Sistene Chapel during the runoff vote. Pope Benedict XVI became
pope on the second day of the conclave after three ballots.
The Vatican Gardens are closed
to the public every afternoon to allow the pope to enjoy the gardens in
peaceful solitude if he so wishes.
One third of Vatican City is gardens.
Yellow and white are the colors of the Vatican's flag.
license plate number is SCV 1
(SCV is the Italian abbreviation for Vatican City State - Stato della Citta
Lateran Treaty - The Vatican
became a city-state on February 11, 1929
As Bishop of Rome, the pope has possession of
Saint John Lateran Basilica
Vatican has added a "rapid
intervention group" and an "anti-sabotage department" to
its police force, Domenico Giani, and will work closely with
Interpol, the international police force, to prevent a terrorist
attack. The Vatican has received threats.
Under Pope Benedict XVI the Vatican has
become carbon neutral. Pope Benedict XVI restored 37 acres of
Hungarian forest destroyed during the Middle Ages. The restoration
gives off enough oxygen to compensate for the carbon dioxide the Vatican
puts into the air.
The 2008 Euro Solar Prize was awarded
to the Vatican for the solar powered roof atop Pope Paul VI Audience
The Vatican has signed the Convention
on Cluster Munitions banning production and use of cluster bombs.
The Vatican states that cluster bombs are an "inhumane type of
In celebrating Vatican City's 80th
birthday, Pope Benedict XVI said Vatican City is important because it
"unceasingly announces a message of true social progress, hope,
reconciliation and peace. Everyone from every part of the world
pays attention to this tiny strip of land." Vatican City was
established on February 11, 1929, and is the smallest country followed
by Monaco, the second smallest in territory.
As of December, 2007, the Vatican City State reported that it had
diplomatic relationships with 176 nations and added: "To these
176 states are added the European communities and the Sovereign
Military Order of Malta as well as two missions of a special
character, the mission of the Russian Federation governed by an
ambassador, and the office of the Organization for the Liberation of
Palestine (OLP) governed by a director."
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, on
visiting the U. S.: "I have to speak of the vitality, the
alive spirit of the people" and "a huge identification
with being Catholic and with the Catholic Church."
Vatican City State Webcam
Vatican City plans to erect a
statue of Galileo near the apartment where he was under house arrest
in 1633 awaiting trial, 400 years after Galileo's Inquisition trial
for heresy in proclaiming the Copernican doctrine that the earth
revolved around the sun. In 1979 Pope John Paul II expressed
regret at the way Galileo was treated and invited the Church to take
another look at Galileo's trial.
investments, Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, Prefecture for the Economic
Affairs of the Holy See, stated: "We are very prudent, and we
invest mostly in bonds. We act with the logic of a good father
of the family."
Vatican Museums entrance
fee is €14 - Free on the last Sunday of the month. Closed all other
Vatican City has the world's highest
standard of living.
Administration of the Patrimony of
the Apostolic See on new employee regulations:
The principal and most
innovative measure concerns the new parameters for the payment of
staff who are employed in a system of 10 functional levels and
above all the introduction of classes of merit within each
individual level. This novelty brings an element of incentive and
remuneration into the Vatican salary system taking into account
within each individual functional level of factors such as
dedication, professionalism, productivity and correctitude. Other
measures relate to management categories and to regulations
concerning lay management personnel. All these measures will come
into effect on January 1, 2008, though the classes of merit will
be gradually applied over time. It should be recalled that from
January 1, new measures for overtime payments will also come into
effect completing those introduced over the last few months. All
these measures involve advantages for staff and, naturally, a
greater outlay for the administrative offices which are invited to
follow wise management practices in order to be able to meet these
new expenses which are aimed at improving the treatment of staff.
On December 6, 2007, the Knights of Columbus presented Pope
Benedict XVI with a check for $1.6MM.
announced a €2,405,315 budget surplus in 2006 stating that the
weak U. S. dollar hurt revenues
reported 2006 staffing at 2,704 of whom 773 are ecclesiastics, 331
are religious, and 1,600 are lay.
2006 Peter's Pence offering totaled
$101,900,192.71/€74.857.979 up from $59.4MM in 2005
Museums' revenue for 2006 was $65MM with $32.5MM in expenses,
providing the Vatican with its greatest single source of income.
investments earned $55MM in 2005 compared to $7.7MM in 2004.
spent $8.9MM on Pope John Paul II's funeral and the installation of
Pope Benedict XVI. Most of that expense was the extra paycheck
the Vatican staff is
traditionally paid upon the death of a pope and the extra paycheck
the Vatican staff is paid upon
the installation of a new pope.
announced a €9.7MM/$12.4MM budget surplus in 2005
€205.7 million/$246.3 million
announced a €3.1MM/$5MM budget surplus in 2004
Revenue: €203.6 million/$250 million
Expenditures: €213 million/$260
The papal ring
has a figure of Saint Peter casting his net from a fisherman's boat.
Conciliazione is the street leading to Saint Peter's Square.
summer residence is Castel Gandolfo.
Only the pope
can change a bishop's assignment.
Basilica. Honorary church of the pope.
Rescript. Written permission from the pope.
The shortest pontificate was Urban VII (No. 228), pope for 13 days.
The longest pontificates were Saint Peter (No. 1), pope for 37 years, followed
by Pius IX (No. 255), pope for 32 years and John Paul II (No. 264), pope
for 26 years.
Five popes abdicated.
Nine popes were deposed.
Pope Benedict IX was pope three times (Nos. 145, 147, 150); therefore, we could say there
were 262 popes.
Pope Benedict XVI was
elected on the second day after three ballots. Pope John Paul II
was elected in 2 days after 8 ballots, Pope John Paul I was elected
after 1 day and 4 ballots, Pope Paul VI was elected after 2 days and 6
ballots, Pope John XXIII was elected after 3 days and 11 ballots, and
Pope Pius XII was elected after 1 day and 3 ballots.
The papal villa, Castel
Gandolfo, has milking cows.
In 2003 the Vatican
used 32 million kilowatt hours of electricity.
Telephone used by Pope Pius XI to Pope
John XXIII. The current phone is white.
In 2003 the Vatican
made 9.2 million telephone calls.
In 2005 the Vatican
made 8.2 million telephone calls.
receives 2,000 telephone calls a day answered 24/7 by the Pious
Disciples of the Divine Master.
had 10 phones in 1886 and 5,000 phones in 2005.
telephone extension in 1930 was x112.
Vatican Call Center
Since 1688 the Oblate Sisters of the
Holy Child Jesus have cared for the pope's liturgical vestments and the linens used in papal Masses.
There are 90 miles of documents in the Vatican archives.
There are 63 popes buried in Saint Peter's Basilica.
The papal apartment in the Apostolic Palace has seven large rooms and a chapel as
well as a roof garden.
As of November 24, 2007, there
are 202 members of the College of Cardinals, 121 of whom are under age
80, and are, therefore, electors should there be a conclave. 81
cardinals are non-electors.
As of March 25, 2006, Europe
has 100 cardinals (60 electors), Latin America has 32 cardinals (20
electors), North America has 20 cardinals (16 electors), Africa has 17
cardinals (9 electors), Asia has 20 cardinals (13 electors), and Oceana
has 4 cardinals (2 electors). Italy has 40 cardinals (21
electors), United States has 15 cardinals (13 electors), Spain has 9
cardinals (6 electors), France has 9 cardinals (6 electors), Colombia
has 3 cardinals (3 electors), Philippines has 3 cardinals (2 electors)
Switzerland has 3 cardinals (1 elector), Australia has 3 cardinals (1
elector). Germany has 5 electors, Poland has 4 electors, and
Mexico has 4 electors. Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo
Sodano is the Dean of the College of Cardinals.
On May 6, raising three fingers in
honor of the Holy Trinity while grasping his standard, the Pontifical
Swiss Guard takes an oath: "I swear to faithfully, honestly, and
honorably serve the Supreme Pontiff and his legitimate successors and
to dedicae myself to them with all my strenth, ready to sacrifice,
should it become necessary, even my own life for them."
The Vatican has a security force of 100 supplied by Switzerland ( Swiss Guard ) whose official language is
German. The Vatican also has a helipad, train station, radio
station, postal service, hotel, 900 citizens and 3,000 employees.
Italy is responsible for the national defense of the Vatican.
Saint Peter's Square
painter Nikolai Anokhim said the Vatican is "the heart of
Archbishop Gianfranco Girotti of
the Apostolic Penitentiary reiterated the Vatican's position on
social sins. They are:
Polluting the environment
Causing social injustice
Causing economic injustice
Taking drugs that weaken the
mind and cloud intelligence
First 54 popes were previously named de facto
saints but the Church's new Universal Calendar has removed some
of the earlier popes from the
saints' list because there is no proof they meet conditions for official