The Vatican is a city-state in Italy on the territory of Rome. It is the residence of the Pope, the head of the Catholic Church, and is famous for its architecture and world-famous works of art. Within the Vatican City are religious and cultural sites such as St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums. They feature some of the world's most famous paintings and sculptures. The unique economy of Vatican City is supported financially by the sale of postage stamps and souvenirs, fees for admission to museums, and sales of publications. In the Vatican museums you can see ancient Roman statues, including the sculpture group "Laocoon and his sons". Raphael's dances and the Sistine chapel, the ceiling of which was painted by Michelangelo, famous for its frescoes.
In the Vatican, the role of religion in politics is crucial. In addition to economic and political interests, within the structure of the Vatican elites there is a division on ideological grounds. The division into groups and the phenomenon of polyidentities inevitably arise in a situation when the dogmatic base, formed thousands of years, over a hundred years subject to revision. Catholic hierarchs are fully aware of this problem and are trying to solve it. Thus, Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) called the main problem of modernity "the dictatorship of relativism" — doubt of the objectivity of faith. As the boundaries of the Church expand, the number of groups often with polar views on the fundamental issues of doctrine increases. Priests and laity form associations to protect their interests. Catholic factions are turning into communities with their media and political positions.
Among these groups, the following are particularly influential:
Jesuits. The founder of the society of Jesus — Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) set out to create a monastic order to spread Catholicism, fight heresies and protect the interests of the papacy. Initially, the idea of creating the order was taken by Pope Paul III skeptically, but a few decades after the creation of the order gained great influence in the Roman Curia, not least due to a very strict personnel policy. The order was carried out active expansion in the epoch of Great geographical discoveries, and eventually became a threat to secular authorities. In 1773, he was disbanded, and members of the society were expelled from France, Portugal, and Spain. The restoration of the order took place in 1814 to fight the revolutionary movements and later — with socialism.
The structure of society combines a strictly hierarchical principle of unity of command with a flexible approach to management. Geographically, the society of Jesus is divided into"provinces". The order is headed by a General. The election takes place in Rome, where representatives of the Jesuits from 112 countries of the world, where society operates, gather.
In all ages of its existence, the order of used methods, common among the special services of modern States. Moral relativism, a rigid system of indoctrination of neophytes and the desire to penetrate into all spheres of life in different countries have led to the fact that the name of the Jesuits has acquired a negative meaning in many languages.
Opus Dei is a personal prelature of the Catholic Church, founded in 1928.
Since its Foundation, the members of the prelature have been workers and students, that is, lay people trying to acquire religious experience in the Affairs of everyday life. Opus Dei operates in 87 countries and has 1,654 parishes and pastoral care centres, 1,734 priests, 46 full — time priests, 344 seminarians and 81,954 secular persons.
The organization has a developed system of propaganda, sponsors educational institutions, trains personnel to work abroad. Among the members of the prelature are many influential people in Spain, Portugal and Latin America.
Legal regulation is carried out in accordance with the provisions of the 1983 code of Canon law on prelatures. The structure of "Opus Dei"includes separate principles of collegial management, but all important issues are solved by priests-" numeraries " who take monastic vows. Along with numerarii the structure of the organization includes supernumerary members (supranumerary), which also take on certain obligations. Thus, among the members of the organization is a popular practice of transferring a significant part of their income to the needs of "business»; supranumerary collect information, attract new members and behind the scenes represent the organization in secular institutions.
The prelatura managed to gain enormous weight and influence in the official and unofficial power structure of the Vatican over several decades of its existence: for example, John Paul II often supported it in various endeavors.
Since December 2007 the representation of prelature is open and in Russia.
Order of Malta (Sovereign military order of Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem, Rhodes And Malta). The order of St. John was founded in 1050 in the Holy land for the treatment of these arriving pilgrims and to protect them from Muslim attacks. In the future, under the influence of the military-political situation the seat of the order moved to Cyprus, then to Rhodes and finally to Malta.
Hospitallers served as a deterrent force, preventing the penetration of the Turkish threat to Europe. The military glory of the order of Malta reached its peak during the reign of the Grand master La Valletta (1557-1568), when the knights managed to withstand a months-long siege of the Ottoman Empire. In 1779, the code of laws of the order of Malta (Codice del sacro militare ordine Gierosolimitano) was adopted. The order of Malta lost many possessions in Europe after the French revolution of 1789 and found a patron in the person of the Russian Emperor Paul I. Currently members of of the order of the are hereditary nobles and faces, hold high posts in many States Europe (with 1961).
The order of Malta is a state-like entity and has an active international policy in the field of diplomacy, philanthropy and the protection of human rights. Currently residence of the order of the is in Rome.
The order has observer status with the UN and maintains diplomatic relations with 81 States.
Other monastic and military spiritual and knightly orders. Monastic orders (Benedictines, Augustinians, Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites, etc.) occupy a prominent place in the structure of the Catholic Church. Representatives of the orders for a long time carried out the function of Confessors in large feudal lords, but were later ousted by the order of the Jesuits, which gained strength. The reformation dealt a strong blow to the monastic orders. Currently, the monastic orders are mainly engaged in missionary work and charity, exerting an indirect influence on political processes.
Military orders, such as the order of the Temple, the Teutonic order and the Livonian order, were created in the Middle ages to spread Catholicism in the new territories.
The fate of the orders was different. Some were defeated because of the conflict with the monarchs and the Catholic Church, some managed to survive to the present time. For example, the Teutonic order exists in today's Germany as a purely priestly. Individual spiritual and knight orders in the countries of Romanesque Europe were created to solve specific political problems in a certain historical period and ceased to exist after the prescribed mission.
Nichols, Fiona Rome and the Vatican. London: New Holland. (2006). pp. 85–96.