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    144376

    Church or state? The Holy See at the United Nations.

    Rahman A

    CONSCIENCE. 1999 Summer; 20(2):2-5.

    This article provides an information on the role and position of the Roman Catholic Church in the UN. The Roman Catholic Church was elected to participate in the UN as the "Holy See". The "Holy See" is the supreme organ of government of the Catholic Church with the pope designated as its head under the Code of Canon Law, with the Vatican City regarded as its "vassal" territory. Unlike any other modern nation, the Vatican City does not support its citizen; rather it provides a base for the central administration of the Roman Catholic Church. The "Holy See" was regarded as a "nonmember state" in the UN. Pope Paul VI established the first Holy See "permanent observer mission" on March 21, 1964. When the Holy See was admitted as a nonmember state permanent observer, it maintained delegates at specialized agencies such as the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Council for Cultural Cooperation of the Council of Europe. The status of the Holy See as a state under the International Law was uncertain because it has not satisfied the modern definition of a nation, which has: 1) a permanent population; 2) a defined territory; 3) a government; and 4) the capacity to enter into relations with the other states.
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