IN the name of the Most Holy Trinity
It is given that from the beginning of the negotiations between the Holy See and Italy for the resolution of “the Roman Question”, the Holy See itself has proposed that the Treaty relating to the said question should be accompanied, as its necessary complement, by a Concordat to regulate the position of religion and the Church in Italy.
It is given that this very day a Treaty has been concluded and signed for the solution to “the Roman Question”.
His Holiness the Supreme Pontiff Pius XI and His Majesty Vittorio Emanuele III, King of Italy, have resolved to agree to a Concordat and to that end have appointed the same Plenipotentaries delegated for the signing of the Treaty: on behalf of His Holiness, His Eminence the Most Reverend Lord Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, his Secretary of State; and on behalf of His Majesty, His Excellency Cav. Benito Mussolini, Prime Minister and Head of the Government, who having exchanged their full powers and found them to be in good and due order, have agreed upon the following articles:
Art. 1. Italy, in the sense of Art. 1 of the Treaty, assures the Catholic Church of the free exercise of her spiritual power, the free and public exercise of worship, and of jurisdiction in ecclesiastical matters in conformity with the provisions of the present Concordat, and where necessary, confers on the clergy the protection which flows from her authority for the carrying out of their spiritual ministry.
In consideration of the sacred character of the Eternal City, Episcopal Seat of the Supreme Pontiff, centre of the Catholic world and place of pilgrimage, the Italian Government will take care to impede whatsoever in Rome may conflict with the said character.
Art. 2. The Holy See shall communicate and correspond freely with the Bishops and clergy of the whole Catholic world without any interference on the part of the Italian Government.
Equally, in everything that concerns their pastoral ministry, the Bishops shall communicate and correspond freely with their clergy and all the faithful. The Holy See and the Bishops alike can freely publish and affix within and to the external doors of buildings destined for worship or for the offices of their ministry, instructions, ordinances, pastoral letters, diocesan bulletins and other notices concerning the spiritual guidance of the faithful which they see fit to issue in their sphere of competence.
Such publications and bulletins and in general any acts and documents relative to the spiritual guidance of the faithful shall not be subject to any taxation.
Any aforementioned publications which concern the Holy See may be made in any language, but those of the Bishops shall be in Italian or Latin; the Ecclesiastical Authority can adjoin translations into other languages alongside the Italian text.
The Ecclesiastical Authorities can, without any interference on the part of the Civil Authorities, make collections within and at the doors of the churches and buildings belonging to them.
Art. 3. Students of Theology in the last two years of the preparatory theological course for entry to the priesthood and novices of religious institutions can, at their request, put off fulfilling their obligation to military service year by year until they reach twenty-six years of age.
Clerics ordained in sacris and members of religious orders who have made their vows are exempt from military service, except in the case of a general mobilisation. In that case the priests pass into the State’s armed forces, but keep their ecclesiastical habits in order that they may exercise their sacred ministry amongst the troops under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Bishop-Commander in the sense of Art. 14. Other clerics and members of religious orders shall preferably be assigned to medical duties.
Nevertheless, even in the case of a general mobilisation, those priests who have care of souls are exempted from presenting themselves for the call-up and in this category are: the ordained, parish priests, curates and coadjutors, vicars and priests permanently appointed to rectories and churches open for worship.
Art. 4. Clergymen and members of religious orders are exempt from jury duty.
Art. 5. No clergyman may be employed by or remain in the employ or office of the Italian State or any public entity controlled by the same without a Nihil obstat from the bishop of the diocese.
The revocation of a nihil obstat deprives a clergyman of the capacity to continue to exercise the employment or office which he has assumed.
In any case, apostate priests, or those subject to censure, cannot be appointed or retained as teachers, or hold office or be employed where they may be in direct contact with the public.
Art. 6. The stipends and other allowances which clergymen enjoy by reason of their office are exempt from distrainability to the same extent as are the stipends and allowances of employees of the State.
Art. 7. Clergymen cannot be required by magistrates or other authorities to give information concerning persons or matters which may have come to their knowledge by reason of their sacred ministry.
Art. 8. In the case of a clergyman or member of a religious order being brought before a magistrate on a charge, the King’s Procurator must immediately inform the bishop of the diocese in the territory over which he exercises jurisdiction, and must promptly transmit to the office of the same the result of the preliminary hearing or, where applicable, the final sentence of the judgement either of first instance or on appeal.
In the case of the arrest of a clergyman or member of a religious order he shall be treated with the proper regard due to his status and rank.
In the case of the conviction of a clergyman or member of a religious order the punishment shall be served, if possible, in a place separate from that used for lay people, unless the competent bishop shall have reduced the condemned person to the status of lay person.
Art. 9. As a rule, buildings open for worship shall be exempt from requisition or occupation.
If, as a result of grave public necessity, it is necessary to occupy a building open for worship, the authority which proceeds to occupy should seek prior agreement with the bishop, unless reasons of absolute emergency may prevent it.
In that case, the authority concerned must immediately inform the bishop.
Except in cases of urgent necessity, the police shall not enter any building open for worship in the exercise of their functions, without giving prior notice to the Ecclesiastical Authority.
Art. 10. It shall not be possible, for any reason whatsoever, to proceed to demolish a building open for worship without prior agreement from the constituent Ecclesiastical Authority.
Art. 11. The State recognises the holidays established by the Church, which are as follows:
New Year’s Day.
Epiphany (6th January).
The Feast of St. Joseph (19th March).
The Feast of Corpus Domini.
The Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul (29th June).
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (15th August).
All Saints' Day (1st November).
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception (8th December).
Christmas Day (25th December).
Art. 12. On Sundays and holidays, in churches served by a Chapter, the celebrant of the Conventual Mass shall sing a prayer for the prosperity of the King of Italy and for the Italian State according to the conventions of the Sacred Liturgy.
Art. 13. The Italian Government shall give the Holy See a hierarchical table of the clergymen assigned to the work of spiritual assistance to the State’s Armed Forces as soon as it is approved in the legal manner.
The nomination of clergymen to whom the leadership of the Military Chaplaincy (Bishop-Commander, Vicar-General and Inspectors) is committed shall be made in secret by the Holy See to the Italian Government. In case the Italian Government should have reason to oppose any such nomination, it shall communicate the fact to the Holy See, which shall proceed to make another nomination.
The Bishop-Commander shall be reinvested with the rank of Archbishop.
The appointment of military chaplains shall be made by the competent authority of the Italian State upon nomination by the Bishop-Commander.
Art. 14. Italian army, navy and airborne troops shall enjoy the privileges and exemptions sanctioned by Canon Law with regard to their religious duties.
Military chaplains have parochial authority with regard to the said troops. They shall exercise their sacred ministry under the jurisdiction of the Bishop-Commander assisted by his own See.
The Bishop-Commander also has jurisdiction over the members of religious orders, both male and female, who may be attached to military hospitals.
Art. 15. The military Archbishop is Provost of the Chapter of the Church of the Pantheon in Rome, and they together constitute its clergy, to whom is entrusted the religious duties of the said Basilica. Such clergy are authorised to provide all the religious functions, as well as outside Rome, which may be required by the State or by the Royal House according to Canon Law.
The Holy See agrees to confer on all the Canons composing the Chapter of the Pantheon the title of Protonotary ad instar durante munere [as if for the term of his office]. The appointment of each of them shall be made by the Cardinal Vicar of Rome following presentation on behalf of the King of Italy, subject to a confidential signal being given prior to presentation.
The Holy See reserves unto itself the right to transfer the Diaconate to another church.
Art. 16. The Noble Contracting Parties shall proceed by agreement via a joint commission for the revision of diocesan boundaries for the purpose of bringing them more into line with those of the provinces of the State.
The Holy See shall moreover create the diocese of Zara [Zadar], and no part of sovereign territory of the Kingdom of Italy shall be subject to a bishop whose seat is found in the sovereign territory of another State, and no diocese of the Kingdom shall include territory subject to the sovereignty of another State.
The same principle shall be observed equally for all existing parishes as for those to be created in the aforementioned reorganisation of the State’s border territories.
If, after the aforementioned revision, any modifications should be made to diocesan boundaries, they shall be enacted by the Holy See with prior agreement from the Italian Government, and in conformity with the above directives, except where small adjustments to territory are required for the good of souls.
Art. 17. Any reduction of dioceses that may result from the application of the preceding Article, shall be applied as and when the said dioceses become vacant.
The said reduction shall not bring about the suppression of the dioceses’ titles or Chapters, which shall be retained, reorganising the dioceses in such a way that their administrative centres may correspond with the provincial capitals.
The above reductions shall leave all current diocesan economic resources and those of the ecclesiastical entities within them unchanged, including the allowances currently paid by the Italian State.
Art. 18. If, by order of the Ecclesiastical Authority, two or more parishes shall be provisionally or definitively joined, be they entrusted to one parish priest assisted by one or more curates or bringing together several priests into one presbytery, the State shall maintain the financial support of the said parishes unaltered.
Art. 19. The right to select Archbishops and Bishops belongs to the Holy See.
Before proceeding to the appointment of an Archbishop, a Diocesan Bishop or a Coadjutor cum jure successionis [with right of succession], the Holy See shall communicate the name of the person chosen to the Italian government so as to be assured by the latter that it can offer no reason of a political nature to oppose the appointment.
The appropriate steps shall be taken with the greatest possible speed and with every discretion such that the name of the person chosen remains secret until the appointment is made.
Art. 20. Before taking possession of their dioceses, bishops shall take an oath of allegiance to the Head of State according to the following formula:
Before God and his Holy Gospels I swear and promise allegiance to the Italian State on becoming a bishop. I swear and promise to respect and ensure my clergy respect the King and the Government established according to the State’s constitutional laws. I swear and promise moreover that I shall not participate in any agreement or sit on any council that may damage the Italian State and public order, nor shall I allow my clergy any such activity. I shall concern myself with the well-being and interests of the Italian State and endeavour to avert any danger that may possibly threaten it.
Art. 21. The provision of ecclesiastical benefices is the responsibility of the Ecclesiastical Authority.
The appointment of those invested with parochial benefices shall be secretly communicated by the competent Ecclesiastical Authority to the Italian Government, and cannot take effect until thirty days from the date of the communication.
Where the Italian Government is opposed, for grave reasons, to the appointment it shall, within this period, manifest them secretly to the Ecclesiastical Authority, which if the dissent continues, shall bring the case before the Holy See.
When serious reasons arise which render injurious the continuation of a clergyman in an agreed parochial benefice, the Italian Government shall communicate such reasons to the bishop of the diocese who in agreement with the Government, shall take the appropriate measures within three months thereof.
In case of disagreements between the bishop of the diocese and the Government, the Holy See shall entrust the resolution of the question to two clergymen chosen by it, who in concert with two delegates of the Italian Government shall make a final decision.
Art. 22. Clergy who are not Italian citizens cannot be invested with existing benefices in Italy. Those in charge of dioceses or parishes must speak Italian.
Where necessary they shall have helpers assigned to them who, besides Italian, understand and speak the language of local usage, for the purpose of giving religious assistance to the faithful in that language according to the rules of the Church.
Art. 23. The dispositions of Articles 16, 17, 19, 20, 21 and 22 do not apply to Rome and its suburban dioceses.
It remains understood that, if the Holy See should move to reorganise the said dioceses, the current allowances being made today by the Italian State, be they toward their revenues or toward other ecclesiastical institutions, shall remain unchanged.
Art. 24. The exequatur and the Royal placet are abolished, as are any Cæsarean or Royal appointments in the matter of the provision of any ecclesiastical benefice or office throughout Italy, except where stipulated in Art. 29, Sub. (g).
Art. 25. The Italian State renounces the sovereign prerogative of Royal patronage of both major and minor benefices.
Likewise the regalia1 over major or minor benefices and the terzo pensionabile2 in the provinces of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies are abolished.
1 Regalia. The right on the part of the Crown to appropriate for itself the income of ecclesiastical benefices during the period in which they remain vacant.
2 Terzo pensionabile. The right of the State to apply a third of the income of a benefice in favour of persons designated by itself. Such rights were in force in the provinces of the former Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
The related charges cease to be levied on the State and its administrative departments.
Art. 26. The appointment of those who are to receive major or minor benefices and of the temporary representative of a vacant See or benefice takes effect from the date of the ecclesiastical provision, and which will be officially communicated to the Government.
The administration and use of the revenues during the vacancy shall be arranged according to the principles of Canon Law.
In the case of bad management, the Italian State in accord with the Ecclesiastical Authority can move to sequestrate the temporalities [worldly goods] of the benefice, transferring the net revenues from them in favour of the possessor, or in his absence to the advantage of the benefice.
Art. 27. The Basilicas of the Santa Casa in Loreto, of San Francesco in Assisi and of Sant’Antonio in Padua, along with the associated buildings and works, except those of a purely secular character, shall be ceded to the Holy See and their administration shall freely belong to the same. They shall be equally free from any interference by the State and from conversion by other entities of whatever nature under the management of the Holy See, including the Missionary Colleges. In any case Italian law concerning the acquisition of nonprofit organisations remains applicable.
With regard to the property now belonging to the said shrines, a joint commission shall proceed to deal with their distribution, having regard to the rights of third parties and to the necessary endowment of the said works of a secular character. For the other shrines with a secular administration, this shall be wholly moved under the management of the Ecclesiastical Authority, except in the case of the distribution of property according to the provisions of the preceding paragraph.
Art. 28. To provide peace of mind, the Holy See accords full condonation to all those who are found to be in possession of ecclesiastical property as a result of ecclesiastical patrimony being subverted by Italian laws.
To this end, the Holy See shall give Diocesan bishops the appropriate instructions.
Art. 29. The Italian State shall review its legislation where it concerns ecclesiastical matters, reforming and supplementing it in order to bring it into line with the directives on which the Treaty with the Holy See and the present Concordat are based.
It remains now for the two Noble Contracting Parties to agree the following:
(a) The legal character of the ecclesiastical entities already recognised by Italian law (the Holy See, Dioceses, Chapters, Seminaries, Parishes, etc.) shall remain unchanged. Such legal character shall be also conferred upon churches open to worship which at present may not already enjoy it, including those that already belonged to now-suppressed ecclesiastical entities, with the allocation in regard to the latter of the revenue actually destined to each one from the Public Worship Fund. Except what is set out in the previous Art. 27, Boards of Governors wherever they exist, and whatever their title, and even if wholly or largely composed of lay persons, must not interfere in religious services, and the appointment of their members shall be made in agreement with the Ecclesiastical Authority.
(b) The legal character shall be recognised of those religious congregations, with or without votes, approved by the Holy See, which have their principal base within the Kingdom, and are there represented legally and de facto by persons who hold Italian citizenship and are domiciled in Italy.
The legal character of the Religious Provinces situated within the limits of the Italian State and its colonies but of associations whose principal base is abroad shall also be recognised, moreover, when the same conditions apply.
The legal character of houses, when the particular rules of each order attribute to them the right of acquisition and possession, shall likewise be recognised.
Finally shall be recognised the legal character of Generals’ houses, and those of the Procurators of religious congregations, including those abroad. The religious houses and congregations which at present enjoy legal recognition shall retain it.
The proceedings relating to the transfer of property of which the congregations are already in possession from the present owners to the congregation shall be exempt from any taxation.
(c) The confraternities exclusively or principally devoted to worship are not subject to further changes to their purpose, and report to the Ecclesiastical Authority for matters concerning their running and administration.
(d) The foundation of religious groups of any kind is permitted provided it is understood that they respond to the needs of the people, and do not create any financial burden on the State. These arrangements apply to such as are actually already in existence.
(e) Where there is civil management of ecclesiastical property resulting from the subversive laws, half of the Board of Governors shall be composed of members selected by the Ecclesiastical Authority, and likewise for the Religion Funds of the new Provinces.
(f) The proceedings completed thus far by ecclesiastical or religious entities, without compliance with civil law, shall be recognised and regularised by the Italian State upon request of the bishop of the diocese if presented within three years from this Concordat coming into force.
(g) The Italian State renounces the exemption from Ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Palatine clergy in all Italy (except for those attached to the Church of the Santa Sindone of Turin di Superga, and of the Sudario of Rome and the chapels annexed to palaces occupied by the Sovereign and Royal Princes) reinstating all the appointments and allocations of benefices and offices under the provisions of the preceding Articles. A competent Commission shall provide for the assignment of an endowment to each Basilica or Palatine Church in accordance with the ordinances for shrine property set out in Art. 27.
(h) The tax relief mechanisms already enshrined in Italian law in favour of ecclesiastical entities and thus far in force, shall remain in force; the purpose of worship and religion is for all taxation purposes made equal to the purpose of beneficence and education.
The extraordinary tax of 30 per cent imposed by Art. 18 of the law of 15th August, 1867, No. 2848, its contribution quota by Art. 31 of the law of 7th July, 1866, No. 3036, and Article 20 of the law of 15th August, 1867, No. 3848, are abolished; also the tax on the passage of interest of property constituting the endowment of benefices and other ecclesiastical entities established by Art. 1 of the Royal Decree of 30th December, 1923, No. 3270, and also in the future the creation of any special taxes whatsoever to be levied on Church property continue to be ruled out. The professional tax and licence fee instituted by Royal Decree, 18th November, 1923, No. 2538, shall not be applied to ministers of worship for the exercise of their sacerdotal ministry in place of the suppressed trade and resale tax, nor any other tax of that nature.
(i) The use of the ecclesiastical or monastic habit on the part of lay persons is forbidden, as it is for clergymen or members of religious orders who have been forbidden to wear it by a definitive provision of the competent Ecclesiastical Authority, the details of which should be officially communicated to the Italian Government, and shall be punished with same sanctions and punishments with which the unlawful use of the military uniform is forbidden and punished.
Art. 30. The ordinary and extraordinary administration of property belonging to any ecclesiastical institute or religious association shall be under the direction and control of the competent Church authority; any interference on the part of the Italian State being ruled out, and without obligation to submit to the conversion of real estate.
The Italian State recognises ecclesiastical institutes and religious associations’ capacity to acquire property, except under the provisions of civil law concerning the acquisition of nonprofit organisations.
Unless established otherwise by new agreements, the Italian State shall continue to make up for any shortfall in the income of ecclesiastical benefices with allowances that shall correspond to an amount not inferior to the real value of the amount established by the laws currently in force: in consideration of which, any proceedings and contracts for the management of the property of the said benefices which exceed simple administration shall take place with the involvement of the Italian State, and in the case of a vacancy the property allocation shall be made in the presence of a representative of the Government with accompanying verbatim report.
The income of the bishops of the suburban dioceses, and the chapter and parish properties of Rome and the said dioceses, is not subject to the aforementioned involvement.
In respect of an income supplement, the amount paid to the incumbents on top of the said income and property shall result from a declaration made annually under the direct responsibility of the bishop of the suburban dioceses and of the Cardinal Vicar for the City of Rome.
Art. 31. The creation of new ecclesiastical entities or religious associations shall be made by the Ecclesiastical Authority according to the principles of Canon Law; their recognition as regards civil consequences shall be made by the civil authorities.
Art. 32. The recognition and authorisations provided by the provisions of the present Concordat and Treaty shall be enacted according to the rules established in civil law, and these shall be harmonised with the provisions of the said Concordat and Treaty.
Art. 33. The usage of the existing Catacombs under Rome and other parts of the territory of the Kingdom are reserved for the Holy See, with the consequent onus of keeping, maintaining and conserving them. The Holy See can, in compliance with the law of the State and protecting the potential rights of third parties, carry out any necessary excavation and transfer of sacred remains.
Art. 34. The Italian State, wishing to restore to the institution of marriage, which is the foundation of the family, that dignity which is consistent with the Catholic traditions of its people, recognises the civil consequences of the Sacrament of marriage as regulated by Canon Law.
The announcement of marriages as described above shall be carried out not just in the parish church, but also in the Town Hall.
Immediately after the marriage ceremony, the parish priest shall explain to the newlyweds the civil consequences of marriage, reading to them the Articles of the Civil Code concerning the rights and responsibilities of married persons, and draw up the marriage certificate, of which he shall send a full copy to the Town Hall within five days, in order that it may be transcribed into the State’s civil register.
The reasons concerning the annulment of a marriage and the dispensation from a marriage ratified but not consummated are limited to the competence of the Ecclesiastical Tribunals and their departments.
The provisions and the relative sentences, when they have become definitive, shall be carried to the Supreme Tribunal of the Segnatura [highest Papal court], which shall check that the principles of Canon Law relating to the competence of the judge, the citation, the legitimate representation or contumacy of the parties have been respected.
The said provisions and definitive sentences with the relative Supreme Tribunal of the Segnatura’s decree shall be transmitted to the competent State Court of Appeal for the territory, which shall, by an order issued in chambers, render the civil consequences effective and order the same to be annotated in the margin of the particular entry in the State’s civil Marriage Register.
As to the reasons for personal separation, the Holy See agrees that these shall be dealt with by the civil judicial authority.
Art. 35. The effective parity of conditions for the State examination for Government secondary school candidates and candidates of secondary schools run by ecclesiastical or religious organisations shall remain in force.
Art. 36. Italy considers the teaching of Christian doctrine as it is received by Catholic tradition as the foundation and the crowning glory of public education, and agrees that religious instruction imparted in public primary schools shall have a further development in secondary schools according to a programme to be established by agreement between the Holy See and the State.
Such teaching shall be given by means of masters and professors, priests and members of religious orders approved by the Ecclesiastical Authority, and additionally by means of lay masters and professors, who for this purpose shall be furnished with a certificate of qualification issued by the bishop of the diocese.
Revocation of a certificate on the part of the bishop immediately deprives a teacher of the capacity to teach.
For the said religious teaching in public schools, only the text-books approved by the Ecclesiastical Authority shall be accepted.
Art. 37. In order to render possible the religious instruction of the youth entrusted to them, the directors of State associations for physical education, infants’ school education, [Fascist Youth] Avanguardisti and Balilla shall organise their timetables in such a way as not to impede the fulfilment of their religious duties on Sundays and holidays.
The same applies to the directors of public schools for potential pupil assemblies on the said holidays.
Art. 38. The appointment of professors to the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart and its subsidiary the Mary Immaculate Institute of Education are subject to the nihil obstat on the part of the Holy See designed to ensure that there shall be no objections from a moral and religious point of view.
Art. 39. The universities, greater and lesser seminaries, be they diocesan, inter-diocesan or regional, academies, colleges and other Catholic institutes for ecclesiastical training and culture shall continue to be controlled solely from the Holy See without any interference from the educational authority of the Kingdom.
Art. 40. The Degrees in Sacred Theology awarded by University faculties approved by the Holy See shall be recognised by the Italian State; likewise the Diplomas awarded by the Schools of Palæography, Archive Management and Documentary Diplomacy established by the Vatican City Library and Archives shall equally be recognised.
Art. 41. Italy authorises the use of the Pontifical honours of knighthood in the Kingdom and its colonies through registration of the appointment brief, to be made upon presentation of the said brief along with a written request by the person concerned.
Art. 42. Italy shall allow the recognition by Royal decree of aristocratic titles conferred by the Supreme Pontiff, even after 1870, and of those that shall be conferred in the future. Circumstances in which the said recognition shall not be subject to taxation in Italy shall also be established.
Art. 43. The Italian State recognises that, as ordered by the Holy See, the organisations controlled by Italian Catholic Action carry out their activity outside any political party and under the immediate control of Church hierarchy for the spreading and accomplishment of Catholic principles.
The Holy See takes the occasion of the signing of the present Concordat to renew the prohibition for all Italian clergymen and members of religious orders to belong to and campaign for any political party whatsoever.
Art. 44. If any difficulty shall arise in the future concerning the interpretation of the present Concordat, the Holy See and Italy shall proceed by common agreement to an amicable solution.
Art. 45. The present Concordat shall come into force on exchange of ratifications at the same time as the Treaty agreed between the two Noble Parties which eliminates “the Roman Question”.
With the entry into force of the present Concordat, the provisions of the cancelled Concordats with the former Italian States shall cease to apply. Austrian laws and the laws, regulations, ordinances and decrees of the Italian State currently in force where they may conflict with the provisions of the present Concordat, are understood to be abrogated by the entry into force of the present Concordat.
To prepare for the implementation of the present Concordat, a Commission comprised of persons chosen by both Noble Parties shall be appointed immediately after the signing thereof.
Rome, the eleventh day of February, one thousand nine hundred and twenty-nine.
Signed: PIETRO CARDINAL GASPARRI.
Signed: BENITO MUSSOLINI
At the conclusion of the signing, the following official communiqué [including the "Conciliation Treaty" and the "Financial Convention", not given above] was released:
The Holy See considers that with the Agreements signed today it possesses the guarantees necessary to provide due liberty and independence to the spiritual government of the dioceses of Rome and of the Catholic Church in Italy and the whole world. It declares the Roman question definitely and irrevocably settled, and therefore eliminated, and recognises the Kingdom of Italy under the dynasty of the House of Savoy, with Rome as the capital of the Italian State. Italy, on its side, recognises the State of the Vatican City under the sovereignty of the Supreme Pontiff.
The Law of Guarantees and any other Law or Act contrary to the present Treaty is abrogated.
Supplementary Protocol to the Accord modifying the Lateran
Signed 18 February 1984
Upon the signing of the Accord which modifies the Lateran Concordat, the Holy See and the Republic of Italy, desirous of ensuring with fitting precision the application of the Lateran treaties and the agreed modifications, and of avoiding any difficulties of interpretation, declare with mutual interest:
1. With Reference to Article 1
The principle, normally stated in Lateran treaties, that the Catholic religion is the sole religion of the Italian state is no longer in force.
2. With Reference to Article 4
a) With reference to Paragraph (2) the following persons are considered to be actively engaged in the care of souls – parish priests, parochial vicars, curates of churches holding religious services and priests permanently employed in assisting in services of pastoral care as referred to in Article 11.
b) The Italian Republic assures that the judicial authorities will give notice to the ecclesiastical authorities appropriate to the location of any criminal proceedings pending against clergymen.
c) The Holy See takes the opportunity of the modification of the Lateran Concordat to declare it is in accord, without prejudice to Canon Law, with the interpretation of the Italian State of Article 23, sub-section (2) of the Lateran Treaty, according to which, the civil effects of the judgments and legislative measures pronounced by ecclesiastical authorities and provided by this Article, shall be understood in accordance with the rights of Italian citizens as guaranteed in the constitution.
3. With Reference to Article 7
a) The Italian Republic will ensures that the duty of proceeding with the conversion of church buildings shall remain with the ecclesiastical bodies, unless agreements are drawn up periodically between the competent government and ecclesiastical authorities in the event of particular circumstances.
b) The Joint Committee, referred to in Paragraph (6), shall cease its work within and no later than six months from the signing of this present Accord.
4. With Reference to Article 8
a) With a view to applying Paragraph (1) (b), the following points are considered to be impediments not in derogation of civil law:
1) that one of the contracting parties is interdicted as mentally infirm;
2) the existence between spouses of another marriage contract valid for civil purposes
3) the impediments derived from an offence or from the direct consequences of an offence
b) with reference to Paragraph (2) with a view to applying Articles 796 and 797 of the Italian Civil Code, taking into account the explicit nature of Canon Law which governs the marital bond and in which it has its origin, the following shall have particular regard:
1) it shall be taken into account that the references in Italian law to the place where judicial proceedings take place shall be understood to relate to Canon Law;
2) a sentenced passed in judgement shall be enforced according to Canon Law;
3) it is understood that in each case the merits of the case shall not be re-examined;
(c) the legal provisions in Paragraph (2) shall be applied also to marriages celebrated prior to this present Accord coming into force, as laid down in the norms of Article 34 of the Lateran Concordat and the law of 27 May 1929, Paragraph (847), for which a proceeding prior to civil judicial authority, as provided by the same norms, has not been brought.
5. With Reference to Article 9
a) The teaching of the Catholic religion in schools indicated in
Paragraph (2) shall be imparted – in accordance with the doctrine of the
Church and with respect for the pupils’ freedom of conscience – by
teachers who are recognised as suitable by ecclesiastical authorities, and
appointed, with the agreement of those same authorities, by the school
In nursery and primary schools the said teaching may be imparted by a class teacher, subject to recognition by the same ecclesiastical authorities of the suitability and willingness of the teacher to carry out the task.
b) By means of a subsequent accord between the competent school authorities and the Italian Bishops’ Conference, the following shall be settled:
1) syllabuses for the teaching of the Catholic religion for the various types and levels of state schools;
2) the nature of the organization of this teaching and its position within the school curriculum and timetable;
3) the criteria for the selection of textbooks;
4) the CV and professional qualifications of the teachers;
5) the provisions of this Article shall not prejudice the regulations in force in specific regions in which these matters are subject to specific norms.
6. With Reference to Article 10
The Italian Republic, in interpreting Paragraph (3), which does not alter Article 38 of the Concordat of 11 February 1929, will abide by judgement 195 of 1972 of the Constitutional Court concerning the same Article.
7. With Reference to Article 13, Paragraph (1)
The Parties shall work towards consultations with regard to
implementing in their respective order the provisions of the present
The present Supplementary Protocol represents an integral part of the Agreement which modifies the Lateran Concordat, signed at the same time by the Holy See and the Italian Republic.
Rome, 18 February 1984
Cardinal Agostino Casaroli
Published in AAS [ Acta Apostolicae Sedis (Acts of the Holy See) ] 77 (1985), pp.521-546.
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