Pope issues new ‘fundamental law’ for Vatican City State

By Catholic News Service
Wednesday, May 17, 2023

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis updated the “Fundamental Law of Vatican City State,” opening the possibility that laypeople can be members of its governing commission and emphasizing that the independence of the city-state is essential for the mission of the Holy See.

The previous version of the law was promulgated by St. John Paul II in 2000; his introduction to the text noted the independence of Vatican City State guaranteed “the freedom of the Apostolic See” and assured “the real and visible independence of the Roman Pontiff in the exercise of his mission in the world.”

Pope Francis’ revision of the law incorporates the mission into the text of the law itself. The first article states, “The Vatican City State ensures the absolute and visible independence of the Holy See for the fulfillment of its high mission in the world and guarantees its unquestionable sovereignty in the international arena as well.”