(Italian: Patti Lateranensi; Latin: Pacta
Lateranensia) was one of the Lateran Pacts of 1929 or Lateran Accords,
agreements made in 1929 between the
Kingdom of Italy
Kingdom of Italy
and the Holy See,
settling the "Roman Question". They are named after the Lateran
Palace, where they were signed on 11 February 1929. The Italian
parliament ratified them on 7 June 1929. It recognized
an independent state, with the Italian government, at the time led by
Prime Minister Benito Mussolini, agreeing to give the Roman Catholic
Church financial compensation for the loss of the Papal States. In
was recognized in the Constitution of
Italy as regulating the relations between the State and the
4 See also
6 External links
The Lateran Pacts are often presented as three treaties: a 27-article
treaty of conciliation, a 3-article financial convention, and a
45-article concordat. However, the website of the
Holy See presents the pacts as two, making the financial convention an
annex of the treaty of conciliation. In this presentation, the pacts
consisted of two documents, the first of which had four annexes:
A political treaty recognising the full sovereignty of the
Holy See in
the State of Vatican City, which was thereby established, a document
accompanied by the annexes:
A plan of the territory of the Vatican City-State
A list and plans of the buildings with extraterritorial privilege and
exemption from expropriation and taxes
A financial convention agreed on as a definitive settlement of the
claims of the
Holy See following the loss in 1870 of its territories
and property. (The Italian state agreed to pay 750,000,000 lire
immediately plus consolidated bearer bonds with a coupon rate of 5%
and a nominal value of 1,000,000,000 lire. It thus paid less than it
would have paid 3.25 million liras annually under the 1871 Law of
Guarantees, which the
Holy See had not
A concordat regulating relations between the
Catholic Church and the
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Francesco Pacelli was the right-hand man to
Pietro Gasparri during the
Lateran Treaty negotiations
Vatican City State, established by the Lateran Accords
2013 map of Vatican City
During the unification of Italy in the mid-19th century, the Papal
States resisted incorporation into the new nation, even as all the
other Italian countries, except for San Marino, joined it; Camillo
Cavour's dream of proclaiming the
Kingdom of Italy
Kingdom of Italy from the steps of
St. Peter's Basilica
St. Peter's Basilica did not come to pass. The nascent Kingdom of
Italy invaded and occupied
Romagna (the eastern portion of the Papal
States) in 1860, leaving only Latium in the Pope's domains. Latium,
Rome itself, was occupied and annexed in 1870. For the
following sixty years, relations between the Papacy and the Italian
government were hostile, and the status of the
Pope became known as
the "Roman Question".
Negotiations for the settlement of the
Roman Question began in 1926
between the government of Italy and the Holy See, and culminated in
the agreements of the Lateran Pacts, signed—the Treaty says—for
Victor Emmanuel III of Italy
Victor Emmanuel III of Italy by Benito Mussolini, Prime Minister
and Head of Government, and for
Pope Pius XI by Pietro Gasparri,
Cardinal Secretary of State, on 11 February 1929. The agreements were
signed in the Lateran Palace, hence the name by which they are known.
The agreements included a political treaty which created the state of
Vatican City and guaranteed full and independent sovereignty to
the Holy See. The
Pope was pledged to perpetual neutrality in
international relations and to abstention from mediation in a
controversy unless specifically requested by all parties. In the first
article of the treaty, Italy reaffirmed the principle established in
the 4 March 1848 Statute of the Kingdom of Italy, that "the Catholic,
Apostolic and Roman Religion is the only religion of the State".
The attached financial agreement was accepted as settlement of all the
claims of the
Holy See against Italy arising from the loss of temporal
power of the
Papal States in 1870.
The sum thereby given to the
Holy See was actually less than Italy
declared it would pay under the terms of the
Law of Guarantees
Law of Guarantees of
1871, by which the Italian government guaranteed to
Pope Pius IX and
his successors the use of, but not sovereignty over, the Vatican and
Lateran Palaces and a yearly income of 3,250,000 lire as indemnity for
the loss of sovereignty and territory. The Holy See, on the grounds of
the need for clearly manifested independence from any political power
in its exercise of spiritual jurisdiction, had refused to accept the
settlement offered in 1871, and the Popes thereafter until the signing
Lateran Treaty considered themselves prisoners in the Vatican,
a small, limited area inside Rome.
To commemorate the successful conclusion of the negotiations,
Mussolini commissioned the
Via della Conciliazione
Via della Conciliazione (Road of the
Conciliation), which would symbolically link the
Vatican City to the
heart of Rome.
The Constitution of the Italian Republic, adopted in 1947, states that
relations between the State and the
Catholic Church "are regulated by
the Lateran Treaties".
In 1984, an agreement was signed, revising the concordat. Among other
things, both sides declared: "The principle of the Catholic religion
as the sole religion of the Italian State, originally referred to by
the Lateran Pacts, shall be considered to be no longer in force".
The Church's position as the sole state-supported religion of Italy
was also ended, replacing the state financing with a personal income
tax called the otto per mille, to which other religious groups,
Christian and non-Christian, also have access. As of 2013[update],
there are ten other religious groups with access. The revised
concordat regulated the conditions under which civil effects are
accorded to church marriages and to ecclesiastical declarations of
nullity of marriages. Abolished articles included those concerning
state recognition of knighthoods and titles of nobility conferred by
the Holy See, the undertaking by the
Holy See to confer
ecclesiastical honours on those authorized to perform religious
functions at the request of the State or the Royal Household, and
the obligation of the
Holy See to enable the Italian government to
present political objections to the proposed appointment of diocesan
In 2008, it was announced that the Vatican would no longer immediately
adopt all Italian laws, citing conflict over right-to-life issues
following the trial and ruling of the Eluana Englaro case.
Italy's anti-Jewish laws of 1938 prohibited marriages between Jews and
non-Jews, including Catholics. The Vatican viewed this as a violation
of the Concordat, which gave the church the sole right to regulate
marriages involving Catholics. Article 34 of the
also specified that marriages performed by the
Catholic Church would
always be considered valid by civil authorities. The Holy See
understood this to apply to all
Catholic Church marriages in Italy
regardless of the faith of those being married.
Properties of the Holy See
List of Sovereigns of the
Vatican City State
Reichskonkordat, treaty between the
Holy See and Nazi Germany
Index of Vatican City-related articles
^ A History of Western Society (Tenth ed.). Bedford/St. Martin's.
^ Constitution of Italy, article 7.
^ "Text of the
Lateran Treaty of 1929". www.aloha.net.
^ James Brown Scott, "The Treaty between Italy and the Vatican" in
Proceedings of the American Society of International Law at Its Annual
Meeting (1921–1969), volume 23, (24-27 April 1929), p. 13.
Holy See (Vatican City) Government Profile 2017".
^ "CIA Factbook, "
Holy See (Vatican City)"" (PDF).
^ "La Chiesa cattolica e il fascismo" (PDF).
^ "Scopri StoriaLive". www.pbmstoria.it.
^ Pacts between the
Holy See and the Kingdom of Italy, 11 February
^ "index.html". lactualite.tripod.com.
^ John F. Pollard, The Vatican and Italian Fascism, 1929–32: A Study
in Conflict (Cambridge University Press 2005
ISBN 978-0-52102366-5), p. 43.
^ John Whittam, Fascist Italy (Manchester University Press 1995
ISBN 978-0-71904004-7), p. 77.
^ Gerhard Robbers, Encyclopedia of World Constitutions (Infobase
Publishing 2006 ISBN 978-0-81606078-8), p. 1007.
^ Law Library Journal, volume 99:3, p. 590.
^ "How the Vatican built a secret property empire using Mussolini's
millions", The Guardian, 21 January 2013.
^ "Patti lateranensi, 11 febbraio 1929 - Segreteria di Stato, card.
Pietro Gasparri". www.vatican.va.
^ "The Constitution of the Italian Republic, article 7".
^ [home.lu.lv/~rbalodis/Baznicu%20tiesibas/Akti/.../~WRL3538.tmp The
American Society of International Law, "Agreement between the Italian
Republic and the Holy See" (English translation)]
^ Article 8 of the revised concordat
^ Articles 41–42 of the 1929 concordat
^ Article 15 of the 1929 concordat
^ Article 19 of the 1929 concordat
^ Elgood, Giles (2008-12-31). "Vatican ends automatic adoption of
Italian law". Reuters. Retrieved 2009-01-09. The Vatican will no
longer automatically adopt new Italian laws as its own, a top Vatican
official said, citing the vast number of laws Italy churns out, many
of which are in odds with Catholic doctrine.
^ Zuccotti, 2000, p. 37.
^ a b Zuccotti, 2000, p. 48.
Latourette, Kenneth Scott. Christianity in a Revolutionary Age: A
History of Christianity in the 19th and 20th Century: Vol. 4 The 20th
Century in Europe (1961) pp. 32–35, 153, 156, 371
Riccards, Michael (1998). Vicars of Christ: Popes, Power, and Politics
in the Modern World. New York: Crossroad.
Zuccotti, Susan (2002). Under His Very Windows: The Vatican and the
Holocaust in Italy. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Pollard, John F. (2005). The Vatican and Italian Fascism, 1929–32: A
Study in Conflict. Cambridge University Press.
Pollard, Jonh F. (2014). The Papacy in the Age of Totalitarianism,
1914–1958. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199208562.
Kertzer, David I. (2014). The
Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History
of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe. Oxford University
Text of the Lateran Treaty
Text in the original language of the Lateran Pacts, including the
financial convention and the concordat
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