Pope renames Cardinal Sodano as secretary of state
By Benedicta Cipolla
Catholic News Service
Pope Benedict XVI blesses a child as he leaves a prayer service in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls in Rome.
(CNS photo from Catholic Press Photo)
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI made his first appointment to the Roman Curia by nominating Italian Cardinal Angelo Sodano to remain as secretary of state.
An April 21 Vatican statement said the pope also confirmed for the time being all heads of curial departments and the president of the office governing Vatican City State, U.S. Cardinal Edmund C. Szoka.
Pope John Paul II first named Cardinal Sodano to his post at the Secretariat of State in 1991. Curial appointments generally last for five years, with the possibility of renewal.
Regarding the other curial heads, the statement used the Latin term "donec aliter provideatur" -- meaning "until otherwise provided" -- signifying that the new pope might make changes once he has settled in.
Pope Benedict also confirmed Argentine Archbishop Leonardo Sandri as assistant secretary of state and Italian Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo as foreign minister, though he did not specify whether he was renaming them for the usual five-year tenure or only until he had time to make a more informed decision.
Departmental secretaries will finish out their five-year terms already under way, the statement said.
When elected in 1978, Pope John Paul I made few curial changes, reappointing all officials. His successor, Pope John Paul II, carefully reviewed each of his choices. In his first two weeks as pope, he only renamed Cardinal Jean Villot as secretary of state.

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