Holy See

Terminology and History
– The term ‘Holy See’ refers to the jurisdiction of the Pope as the bishop of Rome and head of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church.
– The Holy See is also known as the See of Rome, the Petrine See, the Apostolic See, and the Government of Vatican City.
– It includes the Diocese of Rome, which has jurisdiction over the Catholic Church, and sovereignty over Vatican City.
– The Holy See is administered by the Roman Curia, the central government of the Catholic Church.
– Papal elections are carried out by part of the College of Cardinals.
– The apostolic see of the Diocese of Rome was established in the 1st century by Saints Peter and Paul.
– The Catholic Church’s legal status and property were recognized by the Edict of Milan in 313 and the Edict of Thessalonica in 380.
– The Holy See was granted territory in the Duchy of Rome by the Donation of Sutri in 728 and sovereignty by the Donation of Pepin in 756.
– The Papal States held extensive territory and armed forces from 756 to 1870.
– The Holy See’s temporal power peaked during the papal coronations of the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire and the Dictatus Papae in 1075.

Relationship with Other States
– The Holy See maintains bilateral diplomatic relations with 183 sovereign states.
– It signs concordats and treaties and performs multilateral diplomacy with international organizations such as the United Nations.
– Papal nuncios represent the Holy See, not Vatican City, in diplomatic matters.
– The Holy See is recognized as the central government of the Catholic Church.
– The Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world.

– The Holy See is governed by the Pope through the Roman Curia.
– The Curia consists of various dicasteries, similar to ministries and executive departments.
– The Cardinal Secretary of State is the chief administrator of the Roman Curia.
– The Secretariat of State directs and coordinates the Curia’s activities.
– The Holy See’s minister of foreign affairs is the Secretary of the Section for Relations with States.

International Recognition and Diplomacy
– The Holy See is recognized as a permanent subject of general customary international law.
– Despite the Capture of Rome in 1870, diplomatic relationships with the Holy See were maintained.
– The Holy See is one of the last remaining seven absolute monarchies in the world.
– The Pope governs the Catholic Church through the Roman Curia.
– Cardinal Pietro Parolin is the incumbent Cardinal Secretary of State.
– The Holy See maintains formal diplomatic relations with 183 sovereign states.
– It also has relations with the European Union and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
– The Holy See has 180 permanent diplomatic missions abroad.
– The diplomatic activities are directed by the Secretariat of State.
– The Holy See has diplomatic relations with the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) instead of the government of the People’s Republic of China.

Distinction between Holy See and Vatican City
– The Holy See is the universal government of the Catholic Church.
– The Holy See operates from the Vatican City State.
– The Holy See and the Vatican City State are two separate international identities.
– The Holy See has employees working in the Roman Curia and diplomatic missions abroad.
– The Vatican City State has its own employees separate from the Holy See.Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_See