Vatican City 2002

Vatican City in 2002 was a sovereign state with Pope John Paul II as its Head of State. It was located within the city of Rome and the population of Vatican City at that time was approximately 1,000 people and its official language was Italian. The country had a monarchical-sacerdotal system of government with a Pope as its head since 1929. The economy of Vatican City relied mostly on donations from Roman Catholic organizations and individuals around the world, but it also had a small services sector. Education was free for all citizens up to secondary school level and the literacy rate was estimated to be around 100%. Healthcare services were provided by the government at no cost for all citizens but many suffered from diseases such as malaria due to poor sanitation practices and lack of access to clean water sources. According to computerannals, Vatican City had made some progress in terms of economic development but still had high levels of poverty compared to other countries in Europe. The country also had a very open foreign policy, which saw it joining many international organizations such as the European Union and United Nations, while maintaining strong relations with both Western and non-Western countries.

Yearbook 2002

Vatican City. During the year, the Vatican State tried in various ways to relate to the anger that a number of pedophile scandals within the Catholic Church, especially in the United States, have caused among the public.

At the beginning of the year, the Vatican State decided that any new cases of pedophilia charges against the church’s men would be tried in secret courts within the church’s framework. According to Countryaah website, national day of Vatican City is every February 11. The hearings would determine whether the accused could retain his office. However, the rules received harsh criticism from those who believed that the Church was trying to protect its priests rather than the victims of the abuses.

In March, therefore, Pope John Paul II condemned pedophilia within the Church as evil. However, the Vatican denied that it had done enough of the problem. During a trip in North America, the pope then made his first direct condemnation of the pedophile scandals in a speech before hundreds of thousands of spectators in Toronto, Canada.

The American bishops later proposed a kind of zero tolerance, which meant that reasonable suspicions of pedophilia would be enough to remove the churchgoer from his office. This idea was not immediately heard in the Vatican City. In the pedophile scandal within the Catholic Church in the United States, four bishops had resigned and nearly 250 priests were dismissed or resigned. At least 300 cases of pedophilia had been reported, two priests had committed suicide after allegations of pedophilia and another priest was injured when a victim shot him.

At the end of the year, the Vatican announced that documents about its relations with Nazi Germany during World War II would be opened to researchers. Accusations have been made against the Catholic Church for not renouncing the Holocaust.

Vatican City Border Countries Map


The Vatican City arose following the Treaty of 11 February. 1929 between Italy and the Holy See – Treaty which, together with the contemporary Concordat and the Financial Convention, forms part of the Lateran Pacts – through the transfer of a territory into sovereignty to the latter and the recognition by the Italian of the new State under the sovereign power of the Holy See. The Vatican City was set up to ensure the Holy See, in its capacity as the supreme institution of the Catholic Church, “absolute and visible independence and guarantee it indisputable sovereignty even in the international field”, as indicated in the preamble of the aforementioned Treaty. With the Lateran Treaty the so-called Roman question, which arose on 20 Sept. 1870, when the the Italian army had entered Rome putting an end to the Papal State and the temporal power of the popes. From that moment and up to the Lateran Pacts the successive popes did not recognize the Italian state and considered themselves prisoners in the Vatican palaces. With the signing of the Lateran Pacts, giving the sovereignty of this small territory to the Holy See, Italy guaranteed the new state the most complete freedom from any interference and the pope absolute independence as the spiritual head of Catholicism. For his part, the pontiff recognized the Kingdom of Italy with Rome as its capital. In 1984, then, the Prime Minister B. Craxi signed a new concordat with the Holy See which canceled some concordat rules established in 1929 which were considered anachronistic.