Talk to us

CathNews, the most frequently visited Catholic website in Australia, is your daily news service featuring Catholics and Catholicism from home and around the world, Mass on Demand and on line, prayer, meditation, reflections, opinion, and reviews. And, what's more - it's free!

Pope Francis arrives at the Paul VI Hall for his weekly general audience (CNA/Daniel Ibanez)

Pope Francis has issued a new constitution of the Vatican City State that further emphasises the power of the Pope over the sovereign state. Source: CNA.

The new constitution, called “the Fundamental Law of Vatican City State,” is the third in history, and replaces a law promulgated by St Pope John Paul II in 2000.

The first constitution was issued in 1929 following the signing of the Lateran Pacts, which founded the city state of the Vatican and guaranteed its sovereignty.

The new law will go into effect on June 7.

In an interview with Vatican News published on Saturday, Vincenzo Buonomo, a jurist and rector of the Pontifical Lateran University, noted that the new law now uses the words “power” and “powers” to refer only to the Pope, while other bodies of the state exercise “legislative, executive, and judicial functions”.

Pope Francis said he issued the new fundamental law “to meet the needs of our day”.

The law, he added, which is “the foundation and reference of all other legislation and regulations in the State, confirms the singular peculiarity and autonomy of the Vatican legal system.”

The Governorate of Vatican City State oversees the administration and government of Vatican City. Pope Francis said this body, “with its own organisational structure, contributes to the proper mission of the State and is at the service of the Successor of Peter, to whom it is directly accountable.”


Pope Francis issues new constitution for Vatican City State (By Hannah Brockhaus, CNA)


Pope Francis reforms Vatican City State’s ‘Constitution’ (Vatican News)