The Secretary for Relations with States
is the foreign minister
A Minister of Foreign Affairs, or foreign minister, is a cabinet minister who helps form the foreign policy of a sovereign state. The foreign minister is often regarded as the most senior ministerial position below that of the head of government . It is often granted to the deputy prime minister in...
of the Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...
, an official serving within the Secretariat of State and presiding over its "Section for Relations with States." This ex officio archbishop deals with relations between the Holy See and other governments and international bodies and is assisted by a deputy called the Undersecretary for Relations with States.
History of the office
This Section began as the Congregation Super Negotiis Ecclesiasticis Regni Galliarum, set up by Pope Pius VI
Pope Pius VI , born Count Giovanni Angelo Braschi, was Pope from 1775 to 1799.-Early years:Braschi was born in Cesena...
with the Constitution Sollicitudo Omnium Ecclesiarum
of 28 May 1793, in order to deal with the problems which the French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...
posed for the Church. In 1814, Pope Pius VII
Pope Pius VII , born Barnaba Niccolò Maria Luigi Chiaramonti, was a monk, theologian and bishop, who reigned as Pope from 14 March 1800 to 20 August 1823.-Early life:...
gave this office responsibility for the entire world and named it Congregatio Extraordinaria Praeposita Negotiis Ecclesiasticis Orbis Catholici. Some years later, Pope Leo XII
Pope Leo XII , born Annibale Francesco Clemente Melchiore Girolamo Nicola Sermattei della Genga, was Pope from 1823 to 1829.-Life:...
changed its name to Congregatio Pro Negotiis Ecclesiasticis Extraordinariis, which remained its title until 1967 when Pope Paul VI
Paul VI , born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church from 21 June 1963 until his death on 6 August 1978. Succeeding Pope John XXIII, who had convened the Second Vatican Council, he decided to continue it...
separated this body from the Secretariat of State, calling it the Council for the Public Affairs of the Church. On 28 June 1988, Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...
promulgated the Apostolic Constitution
An apostolic constitution is the highest level of decree issued by the Pope. The use of the term constitution comes from Latin constitutio, which referred to any important law issued by the Roman emperor, and is retained in church documents because of the inheritance that the canon law of the...
Pastor Bonus is an Apostolic Constitution promulgated by Pope John Paul II on 28 June 1988. It instituted a number of reforms in the process of running the central government of the Roman Catholic Church, as article 1 states "The Roman Curia is the complex of dicasteries and institutes which help...
, which created the present incarnation of the Secretariat of State. It was divided into the Section for General Affairs and the Section for Relations with States, which was the direct successor of the Council for the Public Affairs of the Church.
On the basis of Articles 45–47 of Pastor Bonus
, the Section for Relations with States, sometimes known as the second section of the Secretariat, has the specific duty of attending to matters which involve civil governments. It has responsibility for the Holy See’s diplomatic relations with sovereign states including such matters as the establishment of Concordat
A concordat is an agreement between the Holy See of the Catholic Church and a sovereign state on religious matters. Legally, they are international treaties. They often includes both recognition and privileges for the Catholic Church in a particular country...
s or similar agreements; the Holy See’s presence in international organizations and conferences; the provision and modification, in special circumstances, of appointments to particular churches; and, in close collaboration with the Congregation for Bishops
The Congregation for Bishops is the congregation of the Roman Curia which oversees the selection of new bishops that are not in mission territories or those areas that come under the jurisdiction of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches who deal with the Eastern Catholics, pending papal...
, the appointment of Bishops in countries which have entered into treaties or agreements with the Holy See.
This section is headed by an Archbishop, the Secretary for Relations with States, who aided by a Prelate, the Undersecretary for Relations with States and various Cardinals and Bishops.
List of Secretaries for Relations with States
|1 March 1986 – 1 December 1990
Angelo Sodano is an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the current Dean of the College of Cardinals and former Vatican Secretary of State, having held that post from 1990 to 2006, under both popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI...
A promagistrate is a person who acts in and with the authority and capacity of a magistrate, but without holding a magisterial office. A legal innovation of the Roman Republic, the promagistracy was invented in order to provide Rome with governors of overseas territories instead of having to elect...
-Secretary of State to His Holiness
The Cardinal Secretary of State—officially Secretary of State of His Holiness The Pope—presides over the Holy See, usually known as the "Vatican", Secretariat of State, which is the oldest and most important dicastery of the Roman Curia...
|1 December 1990 – 6 October 2003
||appointed Archivist of the Holy Roman Church
The Vatican Secret Archives , located in Vatican City, is the central repository for all of the acts promulgated by the Holy See. The Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, having primal incumbency until death, owns the archives until the next appointed Papal successor...
|7 October 2003 – 15 September 2006
Giovanni Lajolo is the Cardinal emeritus President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and emeritus President of the Governorate of Vatican City State.-Early life and ordination:...
|appointed President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State
|15 September 2006 – present
Dominique François Joseph Mamberti is the current Secretary for Relations with States in the Roman Curia.-Education:Dominique Mamberti was born in Marrakesh, Morocco on 7 March 1952 and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Ajaccio, France on 20 September 1981. He has academic degrees in civil...
List of Undersecretaries for Relations with States
|1989 – 1 December 1990
|1992 – 16 December 1995
||Claudio Maria Celli
Claudio Maria Celli , Titular Archbishop of Cluentum, is an Italian prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He currently serves as President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.-Biography:...
|16 December 1995 – 30 October 2002
Celestino Migliore is an Italian Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church who currently serves as the Apostolic Nuncio to Poland. He had previously served as...
|30 October 2002 – 17 August 2009
Pietro Parolin, born 17 January 1955, is an Italian prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He currently serves as the Holy See's representative in Venezuela since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI on 17 August 2009...
|17 August 2009 – present
Ettore Balestrero is the current Undersecretary for Relations with States, the deputy to Archbishop Dominique Mamberti. Monsignor Ettore Balestrero will take his position as under-secretary in the section for relations with states...