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Papal Secretary of State
(165 words)

[German Version]

is the title of the head of the highest authority in the Roman Curia. The roots of this office as the pope’s political adviser go back to the 14th century. Since the 17th century, the holder has always been a cardinal (and is often referred to as Cardinal Secretary of State). The anachronistic name of the office is connected with its former predominant responsibility for church politics, and for internal and external affairs of the papal states. The Secretariat of State is divided into two sections in current law (Apostolic constitutions Pastor bonus: AAS 80, 1988, 841–93…

Cite this page
Aymans, Winfried, “Papal Secretary of State”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 26 October 2020 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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