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Vatican City

Vatican City is the smallest city and state in the world and the pope is the only monarch in Europe

The smallest state and city in that world measured by area and population is Vatican City.  The official name is Vatican City State. Surrounded by Rome, Italy, the Vatican is an independent city and state established with the Lateran Treaty, dated 1929.  It is 110 acres sovereign state that is under the exclusive control of the pope whom is the bishop of Rome in addition to the head of the catholic Church.

The Vatican City has a unusual government system/structure.  The sovereign of the state is the pope. The legislative authority is trusted with the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, which is a group of cardinals, appointed by the pope for a five year period.  Executive power is in the hands of the President of that commission and assisted by the general secretary and deputy general secretary.  Vatican State’s foreign relations are entrusted to the Holy See’s Secretariat of State and diplomatic service.  However, the pope, has complete and total power in the executive, legislative and judicial branches making him the only monarch in Europe.

The Vatican City is a neutral state and has no military or defense.  It’s military defense is provided by the Italian armed forces, however, no formal defense treaty exist with Italy.  The Swiss Guard is a military is a military corp responsible for protecting the pope.  Soldiers of the Swiss Guard can hold Vatican City State passports and nationality.  The Swiss Guard dates back to January 22, 1506.

The current Pope is Pope Francis.  He was born December 17, 1936.  His Ordination was December 13, 1969 and his Papacy began March 13, 2013.

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