· Vatican City ·

Apostolic Letter issued Motu Proprio

‘Fratello Sole’

 ‘Fratello Sole’  ING-026
28 June 2024

With the Apostolic Letter “Fratello Sole” [Brother Sun], issued Motu Proprio, Pope Francis provides for the construction of an agrivoltaic plant in the extraterritorial zone of Santa Maria in Galeria. The following is a translation.

Apostolic Letter
issued Motu Proprio “Fratello Sole”
by the Supreme Pontiff Francis

With the Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ on Care for Our Common Home of 24 May 2015, I invited all of humanity to become aware of the need to make changes to lifestyles, production and consumption, in order to counteract global warming, which has a pervasive use of fossil fuels as one of its main causes.

On 6 July 2022, the Permanent Observer to the UN deposited before the UN Secretary-General the Instrument by which the Holy See, in the name and on behalf of Vatican City State, accedes to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. With this Instrument, I intended to contribute to the efforts of all States to offer, in accordance with their respective responsibilities and capacities, an adequate response to the challenges posed by climate change to humanity and to our common home.

There is a need to make a transition to a sustainable development model that reduces greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, setting the goal of climate neutrality. Mankind has the technological means to deal with this environmental transformation and its pernicious ethical, social, economic and political consequences, and, among these, solar energy plays a key role.

Therefore, I entrust to you, dear Confrères, in your respective capacities as President of the Governorate of Vatican City State and President of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, the task of constructing an agrivoltaic plant located within the extraterritorial zone of Santa Maria di Galeria that will guarantee, not only the power supply of the radio station there, but also the complete energy sustenance of Vatican City State.

In order to carry out this task, notwithstanding the current regulations, and without requiring any authorization, I appoint you as Extraordinary Commissioners with full capacity to carry out the necessary acts of ordinary and extraordinary administration.

For the purposes of maintaining the privileges of extraterritoriality guaranteed pursuant to Articles 15 and 16 of the Lateran Treaty — from which the area in question benefits by virtue of the Agreement between the Holy See and Italy for the Vatican Radio Installations in Santa Maria di Galeria and in Castel Romano of 8 October 1951 — I establish that the Extraordinary Commissioners may communicate to the Italian Authority — pursuant to Article 15, paragraph 1, of the Lateran Treaty — the placement in said area of structures and offices of entities belonging to the Holy See and the Governorate of Vatican City.

I decree, lastly, that the Secretariat of State facilitate every request of the Extraordinary Commissioners and work to ensure that in that territory nothing is lost of what has been available to the Apostolic See thus far.

From the Vatican, 21 June 2024,
12th of my Pontificate