Section for Relations with States (Roman Curia)

Last updated
Coat of arms of the Vatican City.svg
This article is part of a series on
Vatican City

The Section for Relations with States or Second Section of the Secretariat of State is the body within the Roman Curia charged with dealing with matters that involve relations with civil governments. It has been part of the Vatican Secretariat of State since 1909.

Contents

It is analogous to the foreign ministry of a state.

History

The origin of this body is found in the Congregatio super negotiis ecclesiasticis extraordinariis Regni Galliarum (Congregation on the Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs of the Kingdom of France) that Pope Pius VI set up on 28 May 1793 to deal with problems arising for the Church as a result of the French Revolution. After the fall of Napoleon, Pope Pius VII gave it competence for negotiations with all governments about ecclesiastical matters and renamed it the Congregatio extraordinaria praeposita negotiis ecclesiasticis orbis catholici (Extraordinary Congregation in Charge of Ecclesiastical Affairs of the Catholic World). Under Pope Leo XIII, its name was shortened to Congregatio pro negotiis ecclesiasticis extraordinariis (the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs), which remained its title even after Pope Pius X in 1909 made it part of the Secretariat of State. [1]

This arrangement was incorporated into the 1917 Code of Canon Law, which described the Secretariat of State as composed of three sections, of which this congregation was the first:

The Office of the Secretariat of State, presided over by the Cardinal Secretary of State, consists of three sections, in the following order:
1. The First Section, headed by the Secretary of the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, deals with the matters that must be submitted to it in accordance with canon 255, leaving other matters to specific Congregations in accordance with their different nature;
2. The Second Section, headed by the Substitute [i.e., Alternate Secretary of State), deals with ordinary matters;
3. The Third Section, headed by the Chancellor of Apostolic Briefs, deals with the despatch of Briefs. [2]

In its canon 255, that Code defined the congregation's field of competence as erecting or dividing dioceses and appointing bishops where negotiations with civil governments were involved, and other matters that the Pope might choose to entrust to it, especially those in some linked to civil law and the Holy See's agreements and concordats with states. [3] The Cardinal Secretary of State was concurrently prefect of the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs with the secretary equalivant to the current secretary for Relations with States.

With the apostolic constitution Regimini Ecclesiae Universae of 15 August 1967, Pope Paul VI, following the recommendations of the Second Vatican Council, reorganized the Secretariat of State, suppressing the Chancery of Apostolic Briefs. He established what had been the First Section as a body distinct from the Secretariat of State, though closely related, and called it the Council for the Public Affairs of the Church. On 28 June 1988, Pope John Paul II issued the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus , making that same body, under the name "Section for Relations with States", the second of two sections of the Secretariat of State, the first being the Section for General Affairs. [1]

Present competence

Articles 45–47 of Pastor Bonus indicate dealing with heads of government as the special task of the Section for Relations with States. Its field of competence includes fostering diplomatic and other relations with states and other subjects of public international law such as the United Nations and the European Union, dealing with matters of common interest to them and to the Holy See by means such as concordats and similar agreements, while respecting the views of interested episcopal conferences. It represents the Holy See at international organizations and conferences. Where agreements have been made with governments about appointments of bishops and the definition of dioceses, it makes the necessary arrangements in consultation with the congregation that has general competence for such matters in the country in question (generally the Congregation for Bishops). [4]

Composition

From the start, this body has been placed under the presidency of the Cardinal Secretary of State. Under him, it is headed by the Secretary for Relations with States, who is aided by a staff that includes the Undersecretary for Relations with States.

The current Secretary for Relations with States is Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, and the current Undersecretary is Monsignor Miroslav Stanislav Wachowski.

List of Secretaries of Council for the Public Affairs of the Church and Secretaries for Relations with States

TenureIncumbentNotes
7 February 1953 – 26 June 1967 Antonio Samorè appointed prefect of Sacred Congregation for Sacramental Discipline
15 August 1967 – 28 April 1979 Agostino Casaroli appointed Pro-Secretary of State
4 May 1979 – 1 March 1988 Achille Silvestrini appointed Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura
1 March 1986 – 1 December 1990 Angelo Sodano appointed Pro-Secretary of State to His Holiness, later became Dean of the College of Cardinals
1 December 1990 – 6 October 2003 Jean-Louis Tauran appointed Archivist of the Holy Roman Church, later became President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church
7 October 2003 – 15 September 2006 Giovanni Lajolo appointed President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State
15 September 2006 – 8 November 2014 Dominique Mamberti appointed Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura
8 November 2014- present Paul Richard Gallagher

List of Undersecretaries for Relations with States

TenureIncumbentNotes
1989 – 1 December 1990 Jean-Louis Tauran appointed Secretary of Relations with States
1992 – 16 December 1995 Claudio Maria Celli appointed Secretary the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See
16 December 1995 – 30 October 2002 Celestino Migliore appointed Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations
30 October 2002 – 17 August 2009 Pietro Parolin appointed nuncio to Venezuela, later became Cardinal Secretary of State
17 August 2009 – 22 February 2013 Ettore Balestrero appointed nuncio to Colombia
22 February 2013 – 3 September 2019 Antoine Camilleri appointed nuncio to Ethiopia
24 October 2019 - present Mirosław Stanisław Wachowski incumbent

Related Research Articles

Antonio Agliardi cardinal

Antonio Agliardi was an Italian Roman Catholic Cardinal, archbishop, and papal diplomat.

Holy See Episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, Italy

The Holy See, also called the See of Rome, is the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope, which includes the apostolic episcopal see of the Diocese of Rome with universal ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the worldwide Catholic Church, as well as a sovereign entity of international law.

The Roman Curia comprises the administrative institutions of the Holy See and the central body through which the affairs of the Catholic Church are conducted. It acts in the Pope's name and with his authority for the good and for the service of the particular churches and provides the central organization for the church to advance its objectives.

Giovanni Lajolo Catholic cardinal

Giovanni Lajolo is a Cardinal and former President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and President of the Governatorate of Vatican City State.

Mariano Rampolla Catholic cardinal

Mariano Rampolla del Tindaro was an Italian Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church, and the last man to have his candidacy for papal election vetoed by a Catholic monarch.

Pietro Gasparri cardinal of the Catholic Church

Pietro Gasparri, GCTE was a Roman Catholic cardinal, diplomat and politician in the Roman Curia and the signatory of the Lateran Pacts. He served also as Cardinal Secretary of State under Popes Benedict XV and Pope Pius XI.

Rafael Merry del Val Spanish cardinal and diplomat.

Rafael Merry del Val y Zulueta, was a Spanish Roman Catholic cardinal.

The Secretariat of State is the oldest dicastery in the Roman Curia, the central papal governing bureaucracy of the Catholic Church. It is headed by the Cardinal Secretary of State and performs all the political and diplomatic functions of the Holy See. The Secretariat is divided into three sections, the Section for General Affairs, the Section for Relations with States, and, since 2017, the Section for Diplomatic Staff.

The Congregation for Catholic Education is the pontifical congregation of the Roman Curia responsible for: (1) universities, faculties, institutes and higher schools of study, either ecclesial or non-ecclesiastical dependent on ecclesial persons; and (2) schools and educational institutes depending on ecclesiastical authorities.

The Congregation for the Oriental Churches is a dicastery of the Roman Curia, and the curial congregation responsible for contact with the Eastern Catholic Churches for the sake of assisting their development and protecting their rights. It also maintains whole and entire in the one Catholic Church, alongside the liturgical, disciplinary, and spiritual patrimony of the Latin Rite, the heritage and Oriental canon law of the various Eastern Catholic traditions. It has exclusive authority over the following regions: Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula, Eritrea and northern Ethiopia, southern Albania and Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Jordan and Turkey, and also oversees jurisdictions based in Romania, Southern Italy, Hungary, India and Ukraine. It was founded by the Motu Proprio Dei Providentis of Pope Benedict XV as the "Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Church" on 1 May 1917 and "considers those matters, whether concerning persons or things, affecting the Catholic Oriental Churches."

In the Roman Curia, a congregation is a type of department of the Curia. They are second highest-ranking departments, ranking below the two Secretariats, and above the pontifical councils, pontifical commissions, tribunals and offices.

The Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura is the highest judicial authority in the Catholic Church. In addition, it oversees the administration of justice in the church.

Bartolomeo Pacca Catholic cardinal

Bartolomeo Pacca was an Italian cardinal, scholar, and statesman as Cardinal Secretary of State. Pacca served as apostolic nuncio to Cologne, and later to Lisbon.

Virgilio Noè Catholic cardinal

Virgilio Noè was an Italian Roman Catholic prelate and cardinal. He was elevated to the cardinalate in 1991.

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 the Roman Pontiff in the exercise of his supreme pastoral office for the good and service of the whole Church and of the particular Churches. It thus strengthens the unity of the faith and the communion of the people of God and promotes the mission proper to the Church in the world".

Pietro Ciriaci Catholic cardinal

Pietro Ciriaci was an Italian Cardinal of the Catholic Church who served as prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the Council in the Roman Curia from 1954 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1953 by Pope Pius XII.

Raffaele Scapinelli di Leguigno Catholic cardinal

Raffaele Scapinelli di Leguigno was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Prefect of the Congregation of the Affairs of Religious from 1918 to 1920, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1915.

History of the Roman Curia

The history of the Roman Curia, the administrative apparatus responsible for managing the affairs of the Holy See and the Catholic Church, can be traced to the 11th century when informal methods of administration began to take on a more organized structure and eventual a bureaucratic form. The Curia has undergone a series of renewals and reforms, including a major overhaul following the loss of the Papal States, which fundamentally altered the range and nature of the Curia's responsibilities, removing many of an entirely secular nature.

<i>Pontificalis Domus</i> apostolic letter issued by Pope Paul VI

Pontificalis Domus was a motu proprio document issued by Pope Paul VI on 28 March 1968, in the fifth year of his pontificate. It reorganized the Papal Household, which had been known until then as the Papal Court.

Oriental canon law is the law of the 23 Catholic sui juris (autonomous) particular churches of the Eastern Catholic tradition. Oriental canon law includes both the common tradition among all Eastern Catholic Churches, now chiefly contained in the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, as well as to the particular law proper to each individual sui juris particular Eastern Catholic Church. Oriental canon law is distinguished from Latin canon law, which developed along a separate line in the remnants of the Western Roman Empire, and is now chiefly codified in the 1983 Code of Canon Law.

References