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Temporal jurisdiction (papacy)


Temporal jurisdiction (papacy)

Temporal jurisdiction refers to past claims by the Pope to rule or have power over territory in the temporal realm of Earth in addition to his spiritual authority as vicar of Christ.

For over a thousand years popes ruled as sovereign over an amalgam of territories on the Italian peninsula known as the Papal States, from the capital, Rome. The pope's alternative claims to reign in religion and to reign in a state were reflected in the possession of two official papal residences: the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican, which served as their official religious residence, and the Quirinal Palace, which was their official residence as sovereign of the Papal States. In 1870 papal rule in the Papal States was deposed; the territories were included in the territory of the Kingdom of Italy with Kings of Italy using the Quirinale as their official state palace.

Popes continued to assert that their deposition from temporal jurisdiction in the Papal States was illegal until 1929. Catholics were prohibited from voting in Italian elections and Italian state and royal institutions were boycotted as part of their campaign for a return of the papal states. In 1929, with the Lateran Treaty the Italian state and the papacy agreed to recognise each other, with the state paying the Church compensation for the loss of the territories. The pope was recognised as sovereign of a new state: the Vatican City.

The Papal Coronation and the papal crown (the Papal Tiara) were both interpreted as reflecting a continuing claim to temporal jurisdiction by the papacy. However, in his homily at his October 1978 Papal Inauguration, Pope John Paul II dismissed that claim and asserted that the papacy had long had no wish to possess any temporal jusdiction outside the Vatican.

See also

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