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Zwitserse garde

2.6 Is the Vatican a real state?

The Church today

Even though Vatican City only covers a surface area equivalent to twenty football fields and has only about a thousand inhabitants, it is a real state! The head of state, the Pope, is assisted by various governing bodies.

The Vatican City’s institutions include a bank, an ambulance service, a car park, a supermarket, a pharmacy, an army and a prison. A cardinal is the “mayor”.

> Read more in the book

Vatican City is a real state with about 1,000 inhabitants, radio & TV stations, an army & a police force, a helicopter pad, a bank, etc.

The Wisdom of the Church

What is the content of the social doctrine of the Church?

The social doctrine of the Church is an organic development of the truth of the Gospel about the dignity of the human person and his social dimension offering principles for reflection, criteria for judgment, and norms and guidelines for action. [CCCC 509]

Why does the Catholic Church have her own social teaching?

Because all men, as children of God, possess a unique dignity, the Church with her social teaching is committed to defending and promoting this human dignity for all men in the social sphere. She is not trying to preempt the legitimate freedom of politics or of the economy. when human dignity is violated in politics or economic practices,  owever, the Church must intervene.

“The joy and hope, the grief and anguish of the men of our time, especially of those who are poor or afflicted in any way, are the joy and hope, the grief and anguish of the followers of Christ as well” (second Vatican Council, GS). In her social teaching, the Church makes this statement specific. And she asks: How can we take responsibility for the well-being and the just treatment of all, even of non-Christians? What is a just organization of human society, of political, economic, and social institutions supposed to look like? In her commitment to justice, the Church is guided by a love that emulates Christ’s love for mankind. [Youcat 438]

This is what the Popes say

The Secretary General of  the Governorate of  Vatican City State [is called] to perform all the administrative functions pertaining to that office, to coordinate and monitor the work of the various managerial departments of the aforesaid Governorate, and to supervise the work of collaborators and employees of the State of Vatican City... The specific nature of the Apostolic See, which has a spiritual and pastoral mission favouring the Church of Rome and the universal Church, carries with it a special responsibility for those who are linked to it through the bond of work and the duty of scrupulous faithfulness in all the tasks and duties assigned with diligence, professionalism and honesty in life. [Pope Francis, Letter, 7 Oct. 2013]