Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Pope gradually reshuffles Vatican

Italy Magazine

By Web Editor. Filed under Current Affairs, News from Italy on June 20th, 2006

The most important move in Pope Benedict XVI’s reshaping of the Vatican administration after his election in 2005 will be announced soon, according to Vatican-watchers in Italy.

The current Vatican Secretary of State, the 79-year-old Cardinal Angelo Sodano, is widely expected to step down later this year and Benedict must choose a replacement. It is a crucial choice because the holder of the position, akin to that of a prime minister, is second only to the pope in the Vatican hierarchy. He is in charge of all the political and diplomatic activities of the Holy See and so wields enormous power.

According to persistent rumours, the job will go to one of Benedict’s closest collaborators over the last ten years, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the archbishop of Genoa. Bertone, 71, worked for eight years as the pope’s number 2 at the Vatican’s doctrinal department, before being sent to head the Genoa archdiocese in 2003. The two are said to be very close.


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