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Human RightsThe mission of the Holy See is to advance religious freedom and guarantee sanctity of life from conception to natural death and all the aspects of life in between.1
GovernmentThe Holy See is the universal government of the Catholic church and operates from the Vatican City State. The jurisdiction of the Holy See applies to all Catholic churches across the world and is not just confined to the borders of the Vatican City.1 The Holy See has been recognized as a sovereign state since the Lateran Treaty of 1929, which created the Vatican City and gave the Holy See status as a sovereign state separate from Italy. The treaty offered the Vatican and Holy See full autonomy as long as its bishops were Italian citizens and gave Rome status as the center of the Catholic world.2 The treaty also gave the Holy See a palace so it could possess the territory required for official Read More statehood. While the Vatican and the Holy See are often referred to interchangeably, they are distinct. The Holy See goes beyond the geographical borders of the Vatican City to govern the worldwide Catholic church and be involved in diplomatic affairs.3 The Holy See is not a full member of the United Nations—it observes international diplomatic councils and supports human rights efforts.1 Show Less
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