Cardinal Secretary of State

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Pietro Cardinal Parolin (February 22, 2014)
Coat of arms of Pietro Cardinal Parolin

The Cardinal Secretary of State , officially State Secretary of His Holiness , heads the State Secretariat of the Holy See , which is the most important dicastery of the Roman Curia and is therefore principally headed by a cardinal , which is why the term Cardinal Secretary of State has become established in German. If the post of cardinal secretary of state becomes vacant, a pro-state secretary (who is not yet a cardinal) is occasionally appointed by the Pope .

The Cardinal Secretary of State is largely responsible for the political and diplomatic activities of the Holy See, which is why he is informally referred to as number two in the Vatican.

The term of office ends either with the dismissal by the Pope, the acceptance of the resignation or automatically with the occurrence of a vacancy . After the end of this period, the newly elected Pope is free to reaffirm the former cardinal state secretary in his office. In three cases so far ( 1655 , 1667 and 1939 ) a cardinal secretary of state has been elected Pope.

The current incumbent is the Vatican diplomat Pietro Parolin .

List of Cardinal Secretaries of State

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Martin Klingst, Patrik Schwarz, Miguel Zamorano: The cardinal question. In: The time. No. 15/2010, April 8, 2010, p. 4.
  2. a b Pietro Parolin appointed as the new State Secretary. In: Vatican Radio. August 31, 2013, accessed August 31, 2013.
  3. a b c d e f Philippe Bountry: Secrétariats de Curie . In: Souverain et pontife. Recherches prosopographiques sur la Curie Romaine à l'âge de la Restoration (1814–1846) . Publications de l'École française de Rome, Rome 2002, ISBN 978-2-7283-0666-4 , V.1 - Secrétairerie d'État, p. 221–236 , doi : 10.4000 / books.efr.1860 (French).