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Pope Francis issues new constitution for Vatican City State

Pope Francis on Saturday issued a new constitution of the Vatican City State that further emphasizes the power of the pope over the sovereign state

The new constitution, called “the Fundamental Law of Vatican City State,” is the third in history and replaces a law promulgated by St. John Paul II in 2000.

The first constitution was issued in 1929 following the signing of the Lateran Pacts, which founded the city state of the Vatican and guaranteed its sovereignty.

The new law will go into effect June 7.

In an interview with Vatican News published Saturday, Vincenzo Buonomo, a jurist and rector of the Pontifical Lateran University, noted that the new law now uses the words “power” and “powers” to refer only to the pope, while other bodies of the state exercise “legislative, executive, and judicial functions.”

Pope Francis said he issued the new fundamental law “to meet the needs of our day”

The law, he added, which is “the foundation and reference of all other legislation and regulations in the State, confirms the singular peculiarity and autonomy of the Vatican legal system.”

The Governorate of Vatican City State oversees the administration and government of Vatican City.

Pope Francis said this body, “with its own organizational structure, contributes to the proper mission of the State and is at the service of the Successor of Peter, to whom it is directly accountable.”

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