Located in the city of Rome, Italy, Vatican City is an ecclesiastical state—a type of theocracy ruled by the Holy See. The Holy See is a sovereign entity composed of the bishop of Rome, who is the supreme pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church (the pope), and the Roman Curia, which is composed of cardinals who serve as an administrative arm for the Holy See. It acts in the pope’s name and with his authority in a variety of offices to minister to over 1 billion Catholics worldwide. Vatican City came into existence in 1929 as a part of the Lateran Treaty between the Holy See and Italy. The treaty granted the Holy See sovereign jurisdiction over the city-state and its operations.

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