Benito Mussolini signing Lateran Pact
Black and white photograph showing Benito Mussolini signing the Lateran pact.
The caption that accompanies the photograph reads as follows: "VATICAN CITY: Benito Mussolini (R) signs the Lateran Pact while Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, secretary of state to Pope Pius XI, waits his turn in this 1929 file photo. Man in background is unidentified. Forty years ago 2/11 the Roman Catholic Church and the Fascist state of Italy signed a "peace treaty" ending more than a half century of civil strife in the country."
The Lateran Accords were three agreements between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See that were ratified on June 7, 1929. The Accords led to the Vatican becoming an independent state, affirmed Catholicism as the state religion of Italy, and began the settlement of claims by the Holy See for loss of property and territory.