CARD. BERTONE: "THE SPIRITUAL MEANING OF TERRITORIAL SOVEREIGNTY"

"With great exactness, Pious XI recalled that the Holy See does not acquire its sovereignty through the Lateran Treaty; the Holy See is actually a party in the agreement with the Kingdom of Italy of the time": Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone specified that during his speech on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the "Lateran Pacts". "The sovereignty of the Apostolic See is an unquestioned fact, and was a fact in the years after the unification of Italy, from 1870 to 1929, – he pointed out – as one can see from the continuous exercising of the active and passive ius legationis and the ius tractandi, as well as from its presence and action on international level, for instance, through pontifical mediations in case of conflicts between States". Then Bertone stated: "We can say that the establishment of the State of Vatican City ‘adds’ territorial sovereignty to that sovereignty". On talking about the very small dimensions of the State, Cardinal Bertone mentioned the words by Pious XI, who said: "It is clear for everyone, we hope so, that the Supreme Pontiff will only have the material territory which is actually necessary (…) We like to see the earthly territory reduced to such small dimensions, so that the territory itself, too, may (and shall) be regarded as spiritualized by the immense, sublime and really divine spiritualism which that territory is bound to uphold and serve".

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