Secretariat of State gains power over Roman Curia
December 12, 2011
The Vatican Secretariat of State has been given new powers to control the other offices of the Roman Curia, notes Sandro Magister of L'Espresso.
Under a new policy approved by Pope Benedict XVI, the heads of other Roman dicasteries who wish to apply to the Pontiff for "special faculties" to handle problems outside the normal processes of canon law must apply through the Secretary of State, rather than appealing directly to the Pope.
The new process expands the authority of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the current Secretary of State. At the Vatican, the Secretary of State not merely responsible for foreign affairs (like the Secretary of State in the US), but exercises sweeping powers over all the activities of the Holy See and the Roman Curia.