SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Politics of Vatican City

The politics of Vatican City take place in a framework of a theocratic absolute elective monarchy, in which the Pope, religiously speaking, the leader of the Catholic Church and Bishop of Rome, exercises ex officio supreme legislative and judicial power over the Vatican City, a rare case of non-hereditary monarchy. The pope is elected in the Conclave, composed of all the cardinal electors, after the death or resignation of the previous Pope; the Conclave is held in the Sistine Chapel, where all the electors are locked in until the election for which a two-thirds majority is required. The faithful can follow the results of the polls by a chimney-top, visible from St. Peter's Square: in a stove attached to the chimney are burnt the voting papers, additives make the resulting smoke black in case of no election, white when the new pope is elected; the Dean of the Sacred College will ask the freshly elected pope to choose his pastoral name, as soon as the pope is dressed with the white cassock, the Senior Cardinal-Deacon appears on the major balcony of St. Peter's façade to introduce the new pope with the famous Latin sentence Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: habemus papam..

The term "Holy See" refers to the composite of the authority and sovereignty vested in the Pope and his advisers to direct the worldwide Catholic Church. It is therefore quite distinct from the Vatican City state, created in 1929, through the Lateran treaties between the Holy See and Italy; as the "central government" of the Catholic Church, the Holy See has a legal personality that allows it to enter into treaties as the juridical equal of a state and to send and receive diplomatic representatives. It has formal diplomatic relations with 179 nations; the State of Vatican City, for its part, is recognized under international law as a sovereign territory. Unlike the Holy See, it does not receive or send diplomatic representatives, the Holy See acts on its behalf in international affairs; as with all monarchies, the executive and judicial power of government reside in the crown, in this case in the office of the Bishop of Rome. However, as with many monarchies, the pope exercises this power through other organs which act on his behalf and in his name.

The pope delegates the internal administration of Vatican City to various bodies and officials. However, according to the Fundamental Law of Vatican City State, "The Supreme Pontiff, sovereign of Vatican City State, has the fullness of legislative and judicial powers" for Vatican City; the pope delegates legislative authority for the state to the unicameral Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State. This commission was established in 1939 by Pope Pius XII, it consists of seven Cardinals appointed by the pope for five-year terms. Laws passed by the Commission must be approved by the pope through the Secretariat of State prior to being published and taking effect; the President of the Pontifical Commission is the President of the Governorate of Vatican City, to whom the pope delegates executive authority for the state. The president is assisted by a Vice Secretary General; each of these officers is appointed by the pope for a five-year term. Actions of the President must be approved by the Commission.

Various departments and offices report to the Governorate, handling such issues as communications, internal security, fire protection, the Vatican Museums. The Corpo della Gendarmeria is the state's security and police force, not the Pontifical Swiss Guard, an organ of the Holy See, not Vatican City; the Pope is ex officio sovereign of the Vatican City State since 1929. He delegates executive authority to the President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, ex officio President of the Governorate and head of government of Vatican; the president is appointed by the Pope for a five-year term, but may be removed at any time by the pope. The president reports all important matters to the Secretariat of State, the Pope's chief everyday advisory body, consulted on all matters if they belong to the specific competence of the Commission for Vatican City State or, for instance, that of the Congregation for Catholic Education; the Secretariat of State is not thereby considered to hold responsibility for such matters, the Cardinal Secretary of State is not seen as heading the Vatican City State or the various departments of the Roman Curia, other than the Secretariat of State itself.

Vatican City is a member of CEPT, International Grains Council, Intelsat, ITU and UPU. Vatican City does not have direct diplomatic relations with other states, its foreign relations are managed by the Holy See. See Holy See – Relationship with the Vatican City and other territories. A unicameral Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, appointed by the Pope, operates as legislative branch, proposing law and policy to the Pope. Prior to taking effect and policies passed by the commission must be approved by the Supreme Pontiff, through the Secretariat of State, be published in the Italian-language supplement of the Acta Apostolicae Sedis that deals with Vatican City State matters; the "Councillors of the State" give their consultation in the drafting of legislation. They may be consulted either alone or collegially. Vatican City has a legal system distinct from that of Italy; the pope's judicial authority is exercised through the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, as he by la

Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement

The Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement is awarded each year by the Navy League of the United States. The award is named for an American naval historian and theorist, Rear Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan, United States Navy who, through his writing, provided stimulus and guidance to those who share in the defense of the nation. Presented since 1957, "this award for literary achievement is awarded to a U. S. Navy officer, U. S. Marine Corps officer, enlisted service member, or civilian who has made a notable literary contribution that has advanced the knowledge of the importance of sea power in the United States." The following is a complete list of award winners. List of history awards Navy League of the United States Navy League of the United States Award Program