The Holy See, also referred to as the See of Rome, is the central governing body of the Catholic Church and sovereign entity recognized by international law, consisting of the pope and the Roman Curia.  Although it is often informally referred to as "the Vatican", the "Holy See" is not the same entity as the "Vatican City State", which came into existence only in 1929 because of the Lateran Treaty; the Holy See dates back to antiquity[1].

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  1. Wikipedia: Holy See

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