Vatican City, Feb 9, 2004 / 22:00 pm
Tomorrow is a holiday in the Vatican as this tiny city-state celebrates the 75th anniversary of the signing of the Lateran Accords that allowed the Vatican to recover its sovereign status after more than 50 years of disputes with the Italian state.
The Lateran Accords, in fact, ended the so-called “Roman Question” concerning the relationship between the Roman Pontiffs and the state of Italy.
Popes for many centuries had temporal as well as spiritual power, exercising authority over the fairly extensive Papal States. When the Kingdom of Italy annexed these States in 1870, the Popes demanded compensation and this was achieved only in 1929 with the signing of the Lateran Accords.
Among other things, the Lateran Accords established the sovereign Vatican City State, made Catholicism the official religion of Italy and regulated Church-State relations. This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the revision of the Concordat in 1984 at which time it was declared that Catholicism would no longer be the official State religion.