How many women are citizens of Vatican City?
February 24, 2013 1:47 PM   Subscribe

I'm interested in the citizenship of Vatican City -- does it include any women? if yes, how many, and what are their roles? and what is the age range of citizens? Since citizenship is granted according to official status, I assume there are no children? How about residents, as opposed to citizens? Are there any spouses or children of citizens living there?

This summary from the Holy See press office almost tells me what I want to know:

As of December 31st 2011, there were 594, persons having the Vatican citizenship, of which 71 Cardinals, 307 of the Clergy having status as members of the Pontifical Representations, 51 other members of the Clergy, 1 Sister, 109 members of the Pontifical Swiss Guard and 55 other lay persons.

The persons authorized to reside in the Vatican City maintaining their original citizenship were 238, of the aforementioned numbers.

I'm looking for a little more detail: are any of those clergy or "other lay persons" women? Who is that one Sister, and what does she do? Are any of the male citizens married? It seems that only single men are allowed to join the Swiss Guard -- are they allowed to marry while serving at the Vatican? Who are the lay people who are Vatican City citizens (or residents)? Do they have families?
posted by Corvid to Society & Culture (11 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
It being the Catholic Church, I'd have to say none of those "other members of the Clergy" are female --- if any of them were nuns, they'd have been counted with that "1 Sister".

71 Cardinals + 307 Clergy + 51 'other' Clergy +109 Swiss Guards = 538 males. So that leaves 56 people, one of whom is that lone Sister...... My guess, and I stress that it's just a guess, is that at least some of those mystery 55 are indeed female: cleaners, cooks, laundresses, etc. Nobody's wives though.
posted by easily confused at 1:58 PM on February 24, 2013

Looks like this gives a little insight as to the role of women in the Vatican, without stating any facts.
posted by alon at 2:03 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

Would they give citizenship to cleaners? I can't imagine there is a shortage of people who can come in from Rome.

The Swiss Guards must be unmarried when they join but can marry after promotions, for example, the officer who was murdered a while back was married, so some wives may well be in the mystery layperson category.
posted by biffa at 2:17 PM on February 24, 2013

Note that there are two types of "citizens" of the Vatican, and they don't necessarily overlap.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:47 PM on February 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

I was recently wondering the same thing when I read that the Pope's (now former) butler Gabriele lived in an apartment in Vatican City with his wife and children:

"... the search of Gabriele's Vatican apartment ... De Santis said he suggested to Gabriele that it would be better for his wife and children, who were home at the time, to leave for a while because the potentially disturbing event "would be engraved in their memories."

Gabriele declined, and he, his wife and three children stayed in the apartment during the search.Two of the officers were called only later to help with the search. Even while other officers continued to go through Gabriele's home office, the two were asked to check the children's rooms for potential material and to do it quickly so the children could go to bed."
posted by saucysault at 2:57 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

It doesn't answer the question, but here is the CIA World Factbook entry on the Holy See. (Looks like there's about 300 people in Vatican City who don't have citizenship.)
posted by gingerest at 3:03 PM on February 24, 2013

32 as of 2011.
posted by jedicus at 3:18 PM on February 24, 2013 [4 favorites]

It seems that only single men are allowed to join the Swiss Guard -- are they allowed to marry while serving at the Vatican? Who are the lay people who are Vatican City citizens (or residents)? Do they have families?

With regard to this specifically: As mentioned, they join the Guard as bachelors, but can marry later. Their children, if any, can live in the Vatican until 25 (if male) and until married (if female). These are the only families in the Vatican, and the rules regarding children ensure that there is no permanent population. Source: Secrets of the Seven Smallest States of Europe: Andorra, Liechtenstein, Luxemborg, Malta, Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City.
posted by jedicus at 3:25 PM on February 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

The CIA World Factbook says the total population is 836. Usually they have a demographic break down but not in this case.

It has a bunch of other information about workers commuting in from Rome and such like.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:55 PM on February 24, 2013

How about residents, as opposed to citizens?

From jedicus's link: "Another 221 people live on Vatican territory as residents but are not citizens. They are mostly clergy, male and female religious and lay workers, according to the statistics."
posted by John Cohen at 6:09 PM on February 24, 2013

Weirdly, I happened upon this AskMe almost immediately after reading the Wikipedia article on Emanuela Orlandi.
posted by the latin mouse at 5:11 AM on February 26, 2013

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