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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 Roman Catholic Church. He is appointed to a five-year term by the Pope.[1]

In addition to his legislative role, the President is delegated executive authority for Vatican City by the Pope,[1] under the title President of the Governorate of Vatican City State.[2] This title is distinct from the former title of Governor of Vatican City. 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.[3]

The structure 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 Econimic 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.[4]

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




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