Today marks the 80th anniversary of the signing of the Lateran Accords.
Under the terms of the accords, the state of Italy formally recognized the founding of the independent city-state of the Vatican. The accords also specified the nature of the relationship between Italy and the Vatican City State, and compensated the Holy See for the loss of the papal states.
The Vatican City State is holding a number of celebrations to mark the anniversary of the signing of the accords.
The territorial extent of the city-state, Pope Pius XI declared, was the minimum amount necessary in order to provide the sovereign structure the Church requires in order to conduct its affairs properly.
Stated Pius XI, “At least that piece of territory which is sufficient to sustain sovereignty; that piece of territory without which sovereignty could not exist, because it would have no place to rest …The Supreme Pontiff possesses no more than that piece of material territory indispensable for the exercise of a spiritual power assigned to men for the benefit of mankind.”