(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Tuesday set up a new Section within the Vatican's Secretariat of State to manifest his "the attention and closeness" of the Holy See's diplomatic personnel.
This Third Section of the Vatican's State office is to be called the Section for Diplomatic Staff of the Holy See and will reinforce the current office of the Delegate for Pontifical Representations.
A communique from the Holy See Press Office says the Section will be chaired by the Delegate for Pontifical Representations, currently Archbishop Jan Romeo Pawlowski.
"The Third Section will deal exclusively with matters relating to the staff who work in the diplomatic service of the Holy See or who prepare to do so – such as, for example, selection, initial and continuing formation, conditions of life and service, promotions, permits, etc.," the statement reads.
The Third Section has been granted "the just autonomy", it says, and "seek to establish close collaboration with the Section for General Affairs (which will continue to handle general matters of the Pontifical Representations), and with the Section for Relations with States (which will continue to deal with the political aspects of the work of the Pontifical Representations)."
In spelling out the Section's tasks, the statement says the Delegate for the Pontifical Representations "will participate, along with His Excellency the Substitute for General Affairs and His Excellency the Secretary for Relations with States, in weekly coordination meetings chaired by the Secretary of State. Furthermore, he will convene and chair ad hoc meetings for the preparation of the appointments of Pontifical Representatives. Finally, he will be responsible, along with the President of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, for the selection and formation of candidates."
(Devin Sean Watkins)