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San Pietro Cathedral
Vatican headquarters
The Cathedral of Saint Peter

Location

Vatican City, Rome[1]

Constructed

Post-Armageddon[1]

Affiliation

"You are Peter, and on this rock I will found my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it."
Caterina Sforza, quoting the Lord Jesus Christ[src]

The San Pietro Cathedral is the seat of power for the Pope, the leader of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of the Vatican Papal State. Prior to the Armageddon and the subsequent rise of the modern Vatican state, the Cathedral—located in the center of Vatican City, directly above the tomb of the Apostle Saint Peter—was preceded by the first and second basilicas named in Saint Peter's honor.

After the apocalyptic war, the area was occupied by a new and enormous church, also named for Saint Peter, but upgraded to the rank of Cathedra. As a result, the Pope's official seat as Bishop of Rome was transferred from the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran to the San Pietro Cathedral.

DescriptionEdit

"The San Pietro Cathedral, built on the gravesite of Saint Peter, who was Christ's first disciple and the very first Pope, resembled a huge gravestone."
Caterina Sforza[src]
Vatican 7

The San Pietro Cathedral, located in the heart of Vatican City.

A massive structure standing tall above the surrounding rooftops,[1] the San Pietro Cathedral is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Rome and the ecclesiastical seat of the Pope (Bishop of Rome)—the leader of the Roman Catholic Church and Sovereign of the Vatican Papal State. As the Pope's official Cathedra, the Cathedral houses the Papal throne room.[1]

Furnished with beautiful cupolas,[2] the entrance to the Cathedral is adorned by four towering pillars with a giant Latin cross in the center.[1] San Pietro Plaza, a massive plaza dating back to the ancient Vatican City, is located directly in front of the Cathedral.[2]

Strategically located in the center of Vatican City, a fortified complex protected on all sides by an artificial moat, the San Pietro Cathedral is the center of political and religious activities in Rome—the capital city of the Vatican Papal State.[1] Like its precursors, the first[3] and second St. Peter's Basilica,[4] the Cathedral is located above the tomb of Saint Peter. As such, the appearance of the Cathedral resembles a huge gravestone dedicated in honor of Saint Peter, who was the first disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ and the first Pope of the Catholic Church.[5]

Beneath the Cathedral, hundreds of deceased Popes have been laid to rest over the course of three millenniums. Together with the gravesite of Saint Peter, the papal leaders' final resting places compose the Vatican Necropolis—an underground church furnished with a ceiling nearly ninety feet high, and large enough to rival any cathedral on Earth. Each Pope's grave-site contains a sarcophagus and a tombstone. Most of the successive Papal generations have been laid to rest in the Necropolis, including Innocentius XVI, Sylvester XIX and Gregorio XXX. It also houses the tombs of Pre-Armageddon Popes such as Saint[6] Johannes Paulo II, who was remembered for his staunch opposition to Communism.[5]

HistoryEdit

OriginsEdit

Main article: Wikipedia: St. Peter's Basilica
Vatican 3

The San Pietro Cathedral, during the day (above) and night (below).

The origins of the San Pietro Cathedral dated back to antiquity, beginning in the mid-1st century AD with the crucifixion of Saint Peter, who was the Prince of the Apostles of Christ and the first Pope of the Catholic Church. By the early 4th century AD, roughly two and a half centuries after the martyrdom of Saint Peter, Constantine the Great—the first Roman Emperor who converted to Christianity—authorized the construction of a large basilica on the Vatican Hill, the site of a necropolis in Rome where Saint Peter was laid to rest. Consecrated by the Church and named in honor of the first Pope, the first St. Peter's Basilica stood for over a millennia until it was replaced in the 16th century AD by the second St. Peter's Basilica.[3]

The new Basilica remained standing well into the 21st century AD.[4] In 2005 AD,[6] the body of Pope Johannes Paulo II[5] (Saint John Paul II) was interred in a crypt within the Basilica.[6] It was later moved to the underground church, a necropolis that housed the tombs of hundreds of Popes who now rest in peace beneath the modern San Pietro Cathedral.[5] In 2124 AD, a nuclear apocalypse—an event known as the Armageddon—resulted in the destruction of the ancient human civilization. The Catholic Church not only survived the apocalyptic war, however, but also emerged as the dominant form of human civilization in the Post-Armageddon world.[7] By then, the Vatican had undergone significant alteration. The plaza was preserved in its original form, but the surrounding buildings were replaced with new structures—including St. Peter's Basilica, which was ultimately replaced by the San Pietro Cathedral.[1] With the consecration of the new cathedral, the official seat of the Pope as Bishop of Rome was moved from the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran to the San Pietro Cathedral.[8]

Holy EraEdit

Vatican

The San Pietro Cathedral, illuminated at night.

By the mid-31st century AD, roughly six and half centuries into the Holy Era, the San Pietro Cathedral was one of the most prominent buildings in the capital—recognizable to every child in Rome. In 3055 AD, Pope Gregorio XXX was entombed in the underground necropolis of the Cathedral.[5] In January 3060 AD, five years after the Gregorio's death and the subsequent election of his successor, Pope Alessandro XVIII, the Cathedral became a target for a group of terrorists known as the Fleur du Mal. With the support of another terrorist organization, the Rosencreutz Orden, the Fleur du Mal hijacked the Albion airship Tristan and threatened to crash it into the Vatican, destroying the Cathedral in the process, unless the Church agreed to release its vampire prisoners. With an indecisive child on the Papal throne, the Vatican's response to the terrorist threat was debated between the Pope's elder half-siblings, the cardinals Caterina Sforza and Francesco di Medici. Sforza considered the possibility of acquiescing to the terrorists' demands while Medici argued that the Vatican should resort to a military counterattack, believing that appeasement would only encourage further acts of terrorism against Rome. The incident was ultimately resolved when the Tristan hijacker was confronted and defeated by Abel Nightroad, a Vatican traveling priest who was also employed as an AX agent of the Ministry of Holy Affairs.[7]

Another attempted terrorist attack took place in Rome by late May 3060 AD, several months after the Tristan incident. In the wake of the Barcelona incidents, the Vatican had reason to believe that the Rosencreutz Orden—the terrorists responsible for the destruction of Barcelona—were planning to initiate an attack against Rome, uusing the same technology that was utilized against Barcelona. The suspected plot coincided with Archbishop Alfonso d'Este's return to Rome. The Archbishop of Cologne had chosen to live in a state of self-imposed exile in the Kingdom of Germanicus, having grown bitter over his defeat in the last Papal election. Upon his return to the capital, d'Este presented the Vatican with two gifts as a sign of reconciliation between himself and his family. A bell was placed in the San Pietro Cathedral and an obelisk was erected in the center of the San Pietro Plaza.[5]

Episode 9 (Papal throne room)

The Papal throne room, located in the center of the San Pietro Cathedral.

At first the AX suspected that the bell contained the Silent Noise system, given the fact that it was the bells of the Sagrada Familia that triggered the destruction of Barcelona. After nothing happened when d'Este rang the bell, Sforza was placed under house arrest and the AX was threatened with disbandment. The AX's suspicions were justified, however, when they discovered that the Silent Noise weapon was the obelisk rather than the bell. D'Este had betrayed his allegiance to the Church and the Vatican by conspiring with the Rosencreutz Orden. He intended to destroy Rome, and by proxy the Vatican in order to create a "new" Vatican with himself as Pope.[5]

On the eve of the execution of Operation Silent Noise, Sforza was taken to the Vatican Necropolis where the Rosencreutz operative Isaak Fernand von Kämpfer attempted to seduce Sforza to his order's side. Sforza refused to betray the Vatican, however. At the same time, Nightroad arrived in the underground church where he fought to defend Sforza against Kämpfer. Meanwhile, the AX agent Leon Garcia de Asturias entered the San Pietro Plaza and ultimately disabled the Silent Noise weapon. With the prevention of Operation Silent Noise, the Rosencreutz plot to destroy Rome ended in failure.[5]

AppearancesEdit

NovelsEdit

AnimeEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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