Does Italy still gives money to the Vatican for the loss of the Papal States?

If it does, how much is it currently?

According to Wikipedia (font of all knowledge) the Lateran Treaty provided:

A political treaty recognising the full sovereignty of the Holy See in the State of Vatican City, which was thereby established, a document accompanied by the annexes:
*]A plan of the territory of the Vatican City State
*]A list and plans of the buildings with extraterritorial privilege and exemption from expropriation and taxes
*]A list and plans of the buildings with exemption from expropriation and taxes
*]A financial convention agreed on as a definitive settlement of the claims of the Holy See following the loss in 1870 of its territories and property. (The Italian state agreed to pay 750,000,000 lire immediately plus consolidated bearer bonds with a coupon rate of 5% and a nominal value of 1,000,000,000 lire. It thus paid less than it would have paid under the 1871 Law of Guarantees, which the Holy See had not accepted.)[9][10][11][12][13][14]

A concordat regulating relations between the Catholic Church and the Italian state

I have no idea what 750 million lire were worth in 1929 but the bonds became worthless when Mussolini crashed and burned.

I love pointing out stuff like this to people who claimed that Vatican City State is illegitimate because it was created out of whole cloth in 1929 with the Concordat. Before the Italian Wars of Unification, the Pope was also a temporal ruler, the king of the Papal States. When the Papal States were conquered and annexed by Unified Italy, the new government demanded that Pope Pius IX renounce his temporal crown – IOW, abdicate. The Pope refused, and thus became what we would call “a government in exile”. If he HAD abdicated, then the Pope would have become just another citizen of Italy, subject to the temporal power of the Italian government. We can see the possible result in how the Ottoman Empire (and later, the modern Turkish State) treated and currently treat the Greek Orthodox Patriarch.

The Italian government made several other offers of repayment, but they all came with the stipulation that the Pope abdicate his temporal powers. Since none of the popes abdicated, they were still legally King of the Papal States. It was only in 1929 that the Italian Government under Mussolini made an offer that did not include abdication. Thus, the Vatican City State is the legal successor to the Papal States, and all popes since then have remained independent of other temporal powers.

I have to disagree with didymus that the bonds became worthless after Italy was conquered in WW2. Although I imagine their worth was greatly diminished, in order to establish legitimacy the new government would have had to pledge to honor agreements (including financial agreements) made by the previous governments. That question will take more research than I have time to do now, though.

I would have to do some research as well but I’m sure I read that although Italy honored the Lateran Treaty as far as the Vatican’s statehood the Holy See took a huge financial hit.

Byw, Vatican finances were completely wrecked by both world wars. Contributions from all countries were down of course and in WW I Pope Benedict XV’s peace efforts alienated everyone, not to mention the strain from the Church’s relief efforts after the war.

It was worth $84mil at the 1929 exchange rate or about $13.5bil today. The money was well invested by the Special Administration set up by Pius XI. It was headed by a layman, Bernadino Nogara, who took on the job with the proviso that he could invest the money free of any doctrinal considerations. From most accounts, he was a most astute man, one we would call a slick operator today. Many of his dealings is rather controversial (rumour has it that Vatican holdings at one point included a condom factory), including investment into the Axis war efforts, arms traffickng, etc. He succesfully shielded all investments from Allied powers, the legacy of non-transparency from which run up to today. By his retirement in 1958, this very shrewd if shadowy dealer has yielded the Holy See an annual income of $40mil from investments (from the initial seed less $30mil Pius XI held back).

We do not know what Nogara did with the Italian bonds but we can be quite sure that he dumped them well before they became worthless after the fall of Mussolini. He moved the investments around (not just the intiial seed but apparently he had influence over the other Vatican finance departments including the Peter Pence contributions) and having an insider seat at the Mussolini banking reforms, knew which industries to move into. It seems that he also ensured that those companies are removed from Allied blacklist in 1941.

Smart guy! Was he good or bad for the Church? Depends on which point of view I guess. We now wait to see what the C8 under Pope Francis will do to his legacy of opaque financial dealings.

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