Taking into account the process of political and social change that
has occurred in Italy over the last decades and the developments which
have taken place in the Church since the Second Vatican Council;
Bearing in mind, on the part of the Italian Republic, the principles
proclaimed in its Constitution and, on the part of the Holy See, the Second
Vatican Ecumenical Council’s declarations on religious freedom and on the
relations between the Church and the polity, as well as the new codification
of canon law;
Considering further that, in accordance with Article 7, paragraph (2)
of the Constitution of the Italian Republic, the relations between the
State and the Catholic Church are governed by the Lateran Pacts, which,
however, can be modified by common agreement of the two Parties without
requiring any procedure of Constitutional revision;
Have recognized the opportunity of entering into the following mutually
agreed amendments to the Lateran Concordat:
The Italian Republic and the Holy See reaffirm that the State and the
Catholic Church are, each in its own order, independent and sovereign and
commit themselves to the full respect of this principle in their mutual
relations and to reciprocal collaboration for the promotion of man and
the common good of the Country.
1. The Italian Republic shall recognize the
full freedom of the Church to develop its pastoral, educational, and charitable
mission, of evangelization and sanctification. In particular, the Church
shall be assured the freedom of organization, of public exercise of worship,
of exercise of its magisterium and spiritual ministry as well as of exercise
of jurisdiction in ecclesiastical matters.
2. It shall be equally assured the reciprocal
freedom of communication and correspondence between the Holy See, the Italian
Bishops Conference, the Regional Bishops Conferences, the bishops, the
clergy and the faithful, as well as the freedom of printing and circulating
acts and documents concerning the mission of the Church.
3. Catholics and their associations and organizations
shall be granted the full freedom of assembly and of expression of their
thoughts by oral, written, or any other means of publication.
4. The Italian Republic acknowledges the particular
significance that Rome, the Episcopal See of the Supreme Pontiff, has to
1. The boundaries of the dioceses and of the
parishes shall be freely determined by the ecclesiastical authority. The
Holy See commits itself not to include any part of the Italian territory
into a diocese whose Episcopal See is in the territory of another State.
2. Appointments to ecclesiastical offices shall
be freely made by the ecclesiastical authority. The ecclesiastical authority
shall communicate to the competent civil authorities the appointments of
the Archbishops and diocesan bishops, of the coadjutors, the abbots and
prelates with territorial jurisdiction as well as of the parish priests
and the appointments to the other ecclesiastical offices relevant for the
State legal order.
3. Except for the diocese of Rome and for the
suburban ones, ecclesiastics who are not Italian citizens shall not be
appointed to the offices hereof.
1. The priests, the deacons, and the members
of the religious orders who have taken vows shall have the right to obtain,
at their own request, an exemption from the military service or to be assigned
to the substitutive Civil Service.
2. In the event of general mobilization, the
ecclesiastics who have not been assigned to the care of souls shall be
called to exercise their religious office among the troops or, subordinately,
they shall be assigned to the medical service.
3. Students of theology, those in the last
two years of their theological preparation for ordination and novices of
religious institutes and societies for apostolic life may take advantage
of the same postponements of military service which are granted to the
students of Italian Universities.
4. Ecclesiastics shall not be required to provide
to magistrates or other authorities any information regarding persons or
matters known to them by reason of their ministry.
1. Buildings open to worship shall not be requisitioned,
occupied, expropriated or demolished except for grave reasons and pursuant
to a previous agreement with the competent ecclesiastical authority.
2. Except in cases of urgent necessity, the
police force shall not enter buildings open to worship for the purpose
of carrying out its duties without first advising the ecclesiastical authority
3. The civil authority shall take into account
the religious needs of the people, as presented to it by the competent
ecclesiastical authority, in connection with the construction of new buildings
for Catholic worship and of the pertinent parish structures.
The Italian Republic shall recognize as public holidays every Sunday
and all the other religious feasts determined by agreement between the
1. The Italian Republic, in accordance with
the principle enunciated in Article 20 of its Constitution, reaffirms that
the ecclesiastical character and the religious or worship purpose of an
association or institution shall not be the motive of special legislative
limitations or of special tax exemptions with regard to its constitution,
legal capacity, or any other form of activity.
2. The legal personality previously granted
to ecclesiastical bodies shall be retained and the Italian Republic, upon
request of the ecclesiastical authority or with its consent, shall continue
to recognize the legal personality of the ecclesiastical bodies whose See
is in Italy, who are constituted or approved according to the norms of
canon law and have a religious or worship purpose. A similar procedure
shall be followed in order to recognize civil effects to any substantial
change of the same bodies.
3. With respect to taxation, ecclesiastical
bodies having a religious or devotional purpose, as well as activities
directed to that same scope shall be treated in the same manner as those
having a beneficent or educational purpose.
The activities carried out by ecclesiastical bodies that are not for
religious or devotional purposes shall be subject, in accordance with the
structure and purpose of such bodies, to the laws of the State concerning
such activities and to the tax burden provided for the same.
4. The buildings open to worship, the publications
of acts, the posting of notices in the interior or at the outside doors
of the worship or ecclesiastical buildings, and the collections made in
the aforesaid buildings shall continue to be subject to the regulations
presently in force.
5. The administration of the property owned
by ecclesiastical bodies shall be subject to the controls provided by canon
law. The acquisitions made by these bodies shall also be subject, however,
to the controls provided for in the Italian laws on acquisition by legal
6. On the occasion of the signing of the present
agreement, the Parties shall appoint a joint Commission to formulate norms,
that will be subsequently submitted for their approval, for the regulation
of the whole matter of ecclesiastical bodies and properties and for the
revision of the financial obligations of the Italian State and of its intervention
into the patrimonial management of ecclesiastical bodies.
Upon a temporary basis and until the entry into force of the new regulation,
Articles 17, paragraph (3), 18, 27, 29 and 30 of the previous text of the
Concordat shall remain applicable.
1. Civil effects shall be recognized for marriages
contracted according to the norms of canon law, provided that the act of
marriage be entered in the registers of the vital statistics, and the notices
of marriage have been previously published at the communal offices. Immediately
after the ceremony, the parish priest or his delegate shall explain the
civil effects of the marriage to the parties, by reading the Articles of
the Civil Code concerning the rights and duties of married people and he
shall thereafter draw up, in original duplicate, the certificate of marriage,
in which the spouses’ declarations permitted by civil law may be inserted.
The Holy See acknowledges that the registration shall not take place:
(A) When the spouses do
not meet the requirements of age determined by civil law for celebration;
(B) When an impediment from
which, according to civil law, no derogation is permitted, exists between
However, registration is permitted when, according to civil law, an
action for nullity or annulment can no longer be maintained.
The request for registration shall be made, in writing and within five
days from the celebration, by the parish priest of the place where the
marriage has been celebrated. If the conditions for registration are satisfied,
the vital statistics officer shall record it within 24 hours from the receipt
of the act and shall give notice thereof to the parish priest.
The marriage shall have civil effects from the moment of the celebration,
even if the vital statistics officer has, for any reason, made the registration
after the prescribed term.
The registration can also be made subsequently upon request of the
two spouses, or of one of them with the knowledge and without the opposition
of the other, provided that both have retained single status without interruption
from the moment of the celebration to the request for registration and
the rights legally acquired by third parties are not prejudiced.
2. The judgments of nullity of marriage pronounced
by ecclesiastical tribunals, together with the decree of execution issued
by the superior controlling ecclesiastical authority, shall be declared,
at the request of the parties or of one of them, effective within the Italian
Republic by judgment of the competent Court of Appeal, upon verifying:
(A) that the ecclesiastical
judge was the competent judge to adjudicate the action, the marriage having
been celebrated in accordance with the present Article;
(B) that in the proceedings
before the ecclesiastical tribunals the right to sue and to defend in Court
has been assured to the parties in a way not dissimilar from what is required
by the fundamental principles of the Italian legal system;
(C) that the other conditions
required by the Italian legislation for the declaration of efficacy of
foreign judgments are present.
The Court of Appeal may, with the judgment that recognizes a canonical
judgment, take temporary economical measures in favor of one of the two
spouses whose marriage has been declared null, referring the parties to
the competent judge for a final decision on the matter.
3. In entering into the present regulation
of matrimonial matters the Holy See herein reaffirms the unchangeable validity
of the Catholic teaching on marriage and the concern of the Church for
the dignity and values of the family, foundation of the society.
1. The Italian Republic, in conformity with
the principle of freedom of schools and teaching and according to the terms
provided for in its Constitution, shall guarantee to the Catholic Church
the right to freely establish schools of every order and grade and educational
Full freedom shall be assured to private schools officially recognized
by the State and it shall also be assured to their pupils school treatment
equivalent to that applied to the pupils of schools run by the State or
by the other territorial entities, also with regards to the State exam.
2. The Italian Republic, recognizing the value
of the religious culture and considering that the principles of the Catholic
Church are part of the historical heritage of the Italian people, shall
continue to assure, within the framework of the scope of the schools, the
teaching of Catholic religion in the public schools of every order and
grade except for Universities.
With respect for the freedom of conscience and educational responsibility
of the parents, everyone shall be granted the right to choose whether or
not to receive religious instruction. When they enroll, the students or
their parents shall exercise this right at the request of the school authority
and their choice shall not give rise to any form of discrimination.
1. The Universities, seminaries, academies,
colleges, and other institutions for ecclesiastics and members of religious
orders or for the training in the ecclesiastical disciplines, established
according to canon law, shall continue to be subordinate to the ecclesiastical
2. The academic degrees in theology and in
the other ecclesiastical disciplines, determined by the agreement of the
contracting Parties and granted by the faculties approved by the Holy See,
shall be recognized by the State. The diplomas of Paleography, Diplomacy,
Custody of Historical Documents, and Library Sciences obtained at Vatican
schools shall likewise be recognized.
3. The appointment of professors to the Catholic
University of the Sacred Heart and the subordinate institutes shall be
subject to the approval of the candidates’ religious profile by the competent
1. The Italian Republic assures that service
in the army, in the police or in any other similar service, time spent
in hospitals, in sanatoria or in houses of public assistance and confinment
to the institutes for prevention and punishment shall not impede the exercise
of religious freedom and the fulfillment of the practices of Catholic worship.
2. The spiritual assistance to the same shall
be assured by ecclesiastics appointed by the competent Italian authorities
upon designation by the ecclesiastical authority and in accordance with
the legal status, the personnel and the formalities determined by common
agreement of these authorities.
1. The Holy See and the Italian Republic, each
in its proper order, shall collaborate for the protection of the historical
and artistic heritage.
In order to harmonize the application of Italian law with the religious
needs, the competent authorities of the two Parties shall agree upon appropriate
provisions for the protection, appraisal, and enjoyment of cultural property
of religious interest that belongs to ecclesiastical bodies or institutions.
The preservation and consultation of archives of historical interest
and of the libraries of the same bodies and institutions shall be favoured
and facilitated on the basis of understandings between the competent authorities
of the two Parties.
2. The Holy See shall retain the power to dispose
of the Christian catacombs that exist underground at Rome and other parts
of the Italian territory, bearing the consequent responsibility for their
custody, maintenance and preservation, but it shall waive the power to
dispose of the other catacombs.
Subject to the laws of the State and to any rights of third parties,
the Holy See shall be at liberty to proceed with any necessary excavation
and removal of sacred relics.
1. The preceding provisions shall be amendments
to the Lateran Concordat accepted by the two Parties and shall enter into
force on the exchange of the instruments of ratification. Except for what
is provided in Article 7, paragraph (6), the provisions of the Concordat
not reproduced in the present text are herein repealed.
2. Additional matters for which a need of collaboration
between the Catholic Church and the State might arise, shall be governed
by further agreements between the two Parties or by understandings between
the competent authorities of the State and of the Italian Bishops Conference.
If, in the future, any difficulties should arise with regard to the
interpretation or application of the preceding provisions, the Holy See
and the Italian Republic shall entrust the search for an amicable settlement
to a joint Commission appointed by them.
Rome, February 18, 1984
Signed on February 18, 1984
On the occasion of the signing of the Agreement that modifies the Lateran
Concordat, the Holy See and the Italian Republic, desiring to assure, by
means of appropriate specifications, the best application of the Lateran
Pacts and the agreed upon amendments, and willing to avoid any difficulties
of interpretation thereof, herein jointly declare:
1. In relation to Article 1
The principle of the Catholic religion as the sole religion of the Italian
State, originally referred to by the Lateran Pacts, shall be considered
to be no longer in force.
2. In relation to Article 4
(a) With reference to Paragraph
(2), the ordinaries, parish priests, parish vicars, rectors of churches
open to worship and priests permanently assigned to the services of spiritual
assistance referred to in Article 11 shall be considered to be in cure
(b) The Italian Republic
assures that the judicial authority shall inform the ecclesiastical authority
with territorial competence of any criminal proceedings against ecclesiastics.
(c) The Holy See takes advantage
of the amendments to the Lateran Concordat to declare its agreement, without
prejudice to the canon legal system, with the interpretation given by the
Italian State to Article 23, paragraph (2) of the Lateran Treaty, according
to which the civil effects of the judgments and final orders pronounced
by ecclesiastical authorities and provided by this Article shall be understood
in accordance with the rights of Italian citizens which are constitutionally
3. In relation to Article 7
(a) The Italian Republic
assures that no obligation to proceed with the conversion of real property
shall exist upon ecclesiastical bodies, unless contrary agreements are
concluded from time to time between the competent governmental and ecclesiastical
authorities when special reasons are present.
(b) The joint Commission
referred to in Paragraph (6) shall terminate its work within and no later
than six months from the signing of the present agreement.
4. In relation to Article 8
(a) In view of the application
of Paragraph (1) (B), the following shall be understood to be impediments
from which, according to civil law, no derogation is permitted:
(1) the fact that one of the contracting parties is interdicted
for mental infirmity;
(b) With reference to Paragraph
(2), in view of the application of Articles 796 and 797 of the Italian
Code of Civil Procedure, the specificity of the canon legal system, that
governs the bond of matrimony which had its origin therein, shall be taken
into account. In particular:
(2) the existence, between the spouses, of a previous marriage which
is valid for civil purposes;
(3) the impediments which derive from crime of affinity in a direct
(1) it shall be taken into consideration that the references
made by Italian law to the law of the place where the judicial proceedings
have taken place shall be understood as relating to canon law;
(c) The provisions of Paragraph
(2) shall also be applied to marriages celebrated, before the entry into
force of the present agreement, in conformity with the norms of Article
34 of the Lateran Concordat and of the law No. 847 of May 27, 1929 and
for which a proceeding before the civil judicial authority, as provided
by the same norms, has not been initiated.
(2) final judgment shall be considered to be a judgment that is enforceable
according to canon law;
(3) it is understood that, in any case, the merits shall not be re-examined.
5. In relation to Article 9
(a) The teaching of Catholic
religion in the schools indicated at Paragraph (2) shall be given — in
conformity with the doctrine of the Church and with respect for the freedom
of conscience of the pupils — by the teachers who are recognized by the
ecclesiastical authority as being qualified thereto and who are appointed,
in agreement therewith, by the school authority.
In infant and elementary schools, this teaching may be given by the
class teacher, if recognized by the ecclesiastical authority as being qualified
thereto and if willing to do it.
(b) By means of a subsequent
understanding between the competent school authorities and the Italian
Bishops Conference, it shall be determined:
(1) the teaching prospectus of Catholic religion in public
schools of every order and grade;
(c) The provisions of this Article
shall not prejudice the regulations presently in force in the regions on
the borders of the Country, in which the matter is governed by special
(2) the organization of this teaching, also with respect to its position
in the school time table;
(3) the criteria for selecting the textbooks;
(4) the requirements of professional qualification for the teachers.
6. In relation to Article 10
The Italian Republic, in interpreting Paragraph (3) -- that does not
change Article 38 of the Concordat signed on February 11, 1929 -- shall
follow the judgment of the Constitutional Court, No. 195/1972, concerning
the same Article.
7. In relation to Article 13, Paragraph (1)
The Parties shall initiate appropriate consultations with a view of
the implement, each within its proper order, the provisions of the present
The present Additional Protocol is an integral part fo the Agreement
that modifies the Lateran Concordat and that was contextually signed by
the Holy See and the Italian Republic.
Rome, February 18, 1984