President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State

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The President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State is the leader of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, the legislative body of Vatican City. As a senior member of the Roman Curia, the president is normally a cardinal of the Catholic Church.


He is appointed to a five-year term by the Pope.[1] The holder of the office has since 2000 concurrently held the office of President of the Governorate of Vatican City State, which is distinct from the former title of Governor of Vatican City.[2]

In addition to his legislative role, the President of the Governorate of Vatican City State is delegated executive authority for Vatican City by the Pope.[1][3] Administrations and departments of Vatican City's government, including the Corpo della Gendarmeria, the Vatican Observatory, the Vatican Museums, and the Department of Pontifical Villas (which administers Castel Gandolfo) report to the Governorate.[4]

The functions of the Governorate consists of:

  • Legal office
  • Office for Personnel
  • Office for Civil Records
  • Archives
  • Accounting Office
  • Numismatic and Philatelic office
  • Post and Telegraph office
  • Shipping office
  • Police Department
  • Tourist Information Office
  • Department of Museums and Galleries
  • Department of Economic Services
  • Department of Technical Services
  • Vatican Observatory
  • Castel Gandolfo
  • Office for Archeological Research

During a sede vacante, the term of the president ends, as do most other offices in the Curia. However, the holder of the office prior to the death or resignation of the pope becomes a member of a Commission, with the former Cardinal Secretary of State and the Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church, that handles some of the functions of the head of state until a new pope can be chosen.[5]

Prior to the death of Pope John Paul II, the President was Cardinal Edmund Szoka, the Archbishop of Detroit Emeritus. Pope Benedict XVI reappointed Cardinal Szoka to the position on 21 April 2005. On 22 June 2006, it was announced that Cardinal Szoka had resigned his position and would be replaced by Archbishop (later Cardinal) Giovanni Lajolo, effective 15 September 2006.

List of Presidents

Name Birth–Death Term start Term end
1 Nicola Canali 1874–1961 20 March 1939 3 August 1961
2 Amleto Giovanni Cicognani 1883–1973 12 August 1961 30 April 1969
3 Jean-Marie Villot 1905–1979 2 May 1969 9 March 1979
4 Agostino Casaroli 1914–1998 28 April 1979 8 April 1984
5 Sebastiano Baggio 1913–1993 8 April 1984 31 October 1990
6 Rosalio José Castillo Lara 1922–2007 31 October 1990 14 October 1997
7 Edmund Szoka 1927–2014 14 October 1997 15 September 2006
8 Giovanni Lajolo 1935– 15 September 2006 1 October 2011
9 Giuseppe Bertello 1942– 1 October 2011 Incumbent

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Pope John Paul II (26 November 2000). "Fundamental Law of Vatican City State" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-10-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Legislative and Executive Bodies". Office of the President of Vatican City State. 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Administrations and Central Offices". Office of the President of Vatican City State. Retrieved 2007-10-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Pope John Paul II (22 February 1996). "Universi Dominici Gregis". Retrieved 2007-10-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>