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The Vicariate

Written and read by Pietro Zander

Near the offices of the Fabric of Saint Peter is the seat of the Vatican Vicariate. Its origin dates back to 1929 when, after the constitution of Vatican City State, Pope Pius XI wished to distinguish Vatican territory from the jurisdiction of the Vicariate of Rome, and ordered the faithful resident in the new State to be entrusted to the pastoral care of one of his Vicars (Constitution “Ex Lateranensi pacto” of 30 May 1929). Vatican City State therefore had rules regulating the constitution and functioning of its Vicariate.

In 1991, Pope John Paul II, to harmonize the 1929 provisions with the new Code of Canon Law and with the Apostolic Constitution “Pastor Bonus” regarding the Roman Curia, ordered the following, among other things: “… spiritual care in Vatican City State shall henceforth be entrusted to the Archpriest pro tempore of the Vatican Basilica, who thereby also becomes Vicar General for Vatican City and for the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo. Jurisdiction over the Pontifical Lateran Palace is instead transferred to the Cardinal Vicar for the diocese of Rome” (Chirograph of 14 January 1991). On 20 February 2021, the Holy Father Francis appointed Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, O.F.M. Conv., as Vicar General of His Holiness for Vatican City State.

© Fabric of Saint Peter