Holy See Signs Agreement With Andorra

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VATICAN CITY, MARCH 17, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See signed an agreement with Andorra, further consolidating its collaboration with the tiny European nation.



The Holy See and Andorra signed today the note that "further consolidates the traditional ties of collaboration that exist between the two parties," according to a Vatican communiqué released today.

The note recalls that Andorra "has always maintained a special relationship with the Catholic Church" and that "in 1993 the principality adopted a Constitution that maintains the system of co-principality dating back to 1278. [...] The co-princes -- who are the bishop of Urgell and the president of the French Republic -- together and indivisibly perform the functions of head of state."

The agreement is made up of a preamble and 16 articles divided into six parts that cover the following subjects: the bishop of Urgell, the juridical status of the Catholic Church in Andorra, canonical marriage, the teaching of religions in schools, the economic system of the Catholic Church in Andorra.

For the Holy See, the document was signed by Benedict XVI's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, and for Andorra by Albert Pintat, head of government. The agreement will come into force following the exchange of instruments of ratification.