7 June 1929

The Lateran Treaty is ratified, bringing Vatican City into existence.
The Lateran Treaty, also known as the Lateran Pacts, was an agreement between the Holy See (the authority of the Roman Catholic Church) and the Kingdom of Italy. It was signed on February 11, 1929, and marked the resolution of the “Roman Question” – a long-standing dispute between the Italian government and the Catholic Church over the status of the Papal States.

Under the terms of the Lateran Treaty, three separate agreements were reached:

The Treaty of Conciliation: This recognized the Vatican City as an independent sovereign entity, granting it full sovereignty and independence from the Kingdom of Italy. The Vatican City is the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world and serves as the spiritual and administrative headquarters of the Catholic Church.

The Financial Convention: This established financial compensation to the Holy See for the loss of the Papal States in 1870. Italy agreed to pay a sum of money as reparations, known as the “compensation for the loss of the Papal States.” This financial settlement aimed to reconcile the Church with the Italian state and provide the Vatican with financial stability.

The Concordat: This concordat, or agreement, defined the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Italian state. It acknowledged Catholicism as the state religion of Italy and granted the Church various privileges, including the recognition of religious marriages and the establishment of Catholic religious education in schools. It also outlined the Church’s role in social welfare and granted the Pope the authority to appoint bishops in Italy.

The Lateran Treaty effectively ended the long-standing tensions between the Holy See and the Kingdom of Italy, which had persisted since the capture of Rome in 1870. It restored diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Italy and established a framework for their mutual cooperation and coexistence. The treaty remains in effect to this day and has played a significant role in shaping the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Italian government.