Skip to main content
  • 165 Accesses

The Vatican is a 108-acre territory and independent city-state located in the center of the Italian capital of Rome. It is headed by the Pope, as supreme governor, and administered through the Pontifical Commission. It has its own legal system, based upon the 2000 Fundamental Law of the Vatican City-State, which was promulgated by Pope John Paul II, as well as a penal system, two jails, a post office, electric plant, bank, and publishing house. Canon law also presides, and in the cases where canon law does not apply, the laws of the city of Rome are employed. Originally, the term “Vatican” referred to the area of Rome called “mons vaticanus,” which was a hill sloping away from the center of the ancient city near the Tiber, and a location that was sacred for early Christians, who believed it to be the burial place of St. Peter (Allen 2004).

In common usage, the terms Vatican, Holy See, and Roman Curiaare often interchanged imprecisely. Whereas the Vatican refers specifically to a...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Institutional subscriptions

Bibliography

  • Allen, J. L., Jr. (2004). All the Pope’s men: The inside story of how the Vatican really thinks. New York: Doubleday.

    Google Scholar 

  • Amati, U. (1996). Freud e Lacan a Roma: Dal Nome del Padre al Padre del Nome. Roma: Borla.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gillespie, S. J., & Kevin, C. (2001). Psychology and American catholicism: From confession to therapy? New York: The Crossroad Publishing Company.

    Google Scholar 

  • John Paul II. (1998, March 20). Child, your sins are forgiven, Message.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jones, E. (1955). The life and work of Sigmund Freud: Years of maturity, 1901–1919 (Vol. 2). New York: Basic Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pius XII. (1953, July). Psychotherapy and religion: An address to the Fifth International Congress of Psychotherapy and Clinical Psychology. Catholic Mind 435.

    Google Scholar 

  • Steinfels, P. (1993, January 3). Psychiatrists to meet with the Pope. New York Times (Health).

    Google Scholar 

  • TIME Magazine. (1952, April 21).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Anthony J. Elia .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2014 Springer Science+Business Media New York

About this entry

Cite this entry

Elia, A.J. (2014). Vatican. In: Leeming, D.A. (eds) Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_808

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_808

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Boston, MA

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4614-6085-5

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4614-6086-2

  • eBook Packages: Behavioral Science

Publish with us

Policies and ethics