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Vatican observing holiday February 11

Catholic World News - February 11, 2011

The Vatican is celebrating a holiday on Friday, February 11: the 82nd anniversary of the Lateran Accords.

The Lateran Accords settled a series of hotly contested issues that had pitted the Holy See against the Italian government, dating back to 1870, when the newly formed Italian government occupied the territory of the papal states. The Lateran Accords-- so-called because they were signed in the Lateran Palace-- provided compensation for the Italian seizure of papal lands, guaranteed the independence of the Vatican and established Catholicism as the official religion of Italy. The concordat was revised in 1984, at which time Catholicism was disestablished as Italy's official religion.

The Lateran pacts were signed by two notable historical figures. For the Holy See, the documents were signed by Cardinal Pietro Gasbarri, the Secretary of State under Pope Pius XI. The representative of the Italian kingdom was Benito Mussolini.

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