The World : Vatican, Italy Cut Back Ties
The Vatican and the Italian government signed a treaty that eliminates Roman Catholicism as Italy’s state religion and declares Rome is no longer a sacred city. The agreement, known as a concordat, revises a pact that was signed in 1929 by Pope Pius XI and Benito Mussolini, the late Fascist dictator. The old agreement declared that marriages could not be dissolved, but Italy has since legalized divorce and has also allowed abortion, which is vigorously opposed by the church. The treaty does not change the Vatican’s status as an independent state run by the Pope.