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a small city-state entirely enclaved within the city of Rome, which is an entity distinct from the Holy See.It is as head of the Holy See, not as head of Vatican City State, that the pope receives ambassadors of states and sends them his own diplomatic representatives.The Holy See also confers orders, decorations and medals, such as the orders of chivalry in the Middle Ages."I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on Earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on Earth shall be loosed in heaven." Jesus to Peter in the Gospel of Matthew, The crossed gold and silver keys of the Holy See symbolise the keys of Simon Peter, representing the power of the papal office to loose and bind.The triple crown papal tiara symbolises the triple power of the Pope as "father of kings", "governor of the world" and "Vicar of Christ".

Catholics live all over the world through missions, diaspora, and conversions.Since the 20th century the majority reside in the southern hemisphere due to secularisation in Europe, and increased persecution in the Middle East.From the late 20th century, the Catholic Church has been criticised for its doctrines on sexuality, its refusal to ordain women and its handling of sexual abuse cases.The "Catholic" notion was further stressed in the edict De fide Catolica issued 380 by Theodosius I, the last emperor to rule over both the eastern and the western halves of the Roman Empire, when establishing the state church of the Roman Empire.) and the Western Church in communion with the Holy See has similarly taken "Catholic", keeping that description also after the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, when those who ceased to be in communion became known as "Protestants".