The daily newspaper of Rome, La Repubblica citing the Osservatore Romano (the Vatican daily) is reporting today that the Vatican, as of January 1, 2009, will no longer automatically assume into its own civil law the laws of the State of Italy. The Holy See, which is a sovereign nation, finds Italian laws too numerous, changeable, contradictory, and at times contrary to Christian morals.
Prior to this, the Vatican City State as a rule would take Italian civil law and enforce them within its boundaries. Only by rare exception would it not do so, such as when a law was radically incompatable with fundamental canon law or in violation of bilateral agreements with other nations. Now, Italian laws will need to be formally accepted by a competent Vatican authority.
If you have been following some of the back and forth between the Vatican and the government of Italy in recent years, you know that the Church has been vigorously speaking out against proposed law regarding euthanasia, abortion, and other issues of great moral significance.