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.

Description of the office[edit]

The President 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]

The current President is Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, appointed to the position by Pope Benedict XVI on 1 October 2011.

List of Presidents[edit]

Portrait Name
Term of Office Appointing Pope
1 No image.png Nicola Canali
20 March 1939 3 August 1961 Pope Pius XII
2 CICOGNANI AMLETO GIOVANNI (+1973).jpg Amleto Giovanni Cicognani
12 August 1961 30 April 1969 Pope John XXIII
3 Jean-Marie Villot 1978.jpg Jean-Marie Villot
2 May 1969 9 March 1979 Pope Paul VI
4 Casaroli cropped.png Agostino Casaroli
28 April 1979 8 April 1984 Pope John Paul II
5 No image.png Sebastiano Baggio
8 April 1984 31 October 1990
6 No image.png Rosalio José Castillo Lara
31 October 1990 14 October 1997
7 No image.png Edmund Szoka
14 October 1997 15 September 2006
8 Giovanni Cardinal Lajolo.JPG Giovanni Lajolo
15 September 2006 1 October 2011 Pope Benedict XVI
9 No image.png Giuseppe Bertello
1 October 2011 Incumbent

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Pope John Paul II (26 November 2000). "Fundamental Law of Vatican City State" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Legislative and Executive Bodies". Office of the President of Vatican City State. 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  4. ^ "Administrations and Central Offices". Office of the President of Vatican City State. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  5. ^ Pope John Paul II (22 February 1996). "Universi Dominici Gregis". Retrieved 2007-10-12.