Catholic World News

Vatican breaks from routine adoption of Italian laws

December 31, 2008

In a surprise December 31 announcement, the Holy See has said that it will end a policy that dates back to the 1929 Lateran Treaty, under which the Vatican automatically adopted Italian laws. Effective January 1, all new Italian legislation will be studied by Church officials to determine the new laws are appropriate for the Vatican. José Maria Serrano Ruiz, who heads a Vatican commission on legislative reform, explained that the policy change was made because of the extraordinary number of changes in Italian legislation and the "instability" of government regulations. Another important factor, however, is the proliferation of new laws that are at odds with Church teachings and policies, particularly on matters involving family life. The 1929 agreement allowed the Vatican to reject legislation that was deemed incompatible with Church law, but the presumption was that all Italian law would apply within the Vatican city-state. That presumption will now be eliminated.

 


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