Various extraterritorial premises in Rome, Italy
|Episcopal see of the Pope as the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church
The Holy See (Italian: Santa Sede; Latin: Sancta Sedes; Ecclesiastical Latin: [ˈsaŋkta ˈsɛdes]) is the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, the episcopal see of the Pope, and an independent sovereign entity. It serves as the central point of reference for the Catholic Church everywhere and the focal point of communion due to its position as the pre-eminent episcopal see of the universal church. It traces its origin to the 1st century during the apostolic era, when Saint Peter arrived in Rome to evangelise and formed a significant early Christian community of believers there. Today, it is responsible for the governance of all Catholics, organised in their Particular Churches, Patriarchates and religious institutes.
As an independent sovereign entity, holding the Vatican City enclave in Rome as sovereign territory, it maintains diplomatic relations with other states. It is viewed as analogous to a state while administered by the Roman Curia (Latin for Roman Court), similar to a centralised government with the Cardinal Secretary of State as its chief administrator, and various dicasteries, comparable to ministries and executive departments.