To the surprise of no one, Benedict XVI has
appointed Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone of Genoa, who worked alongside
then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger from 1995 to 2003 as the secretary of the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to be his new Secretary of
The move makes Bertone, 71, the most powerful
figure in the Vatican after Benedict XVI himself. Since the era of Paul
VI, the Secretariat of State has played the role of a "super-dicastery,"
to some extent coordinating the work of all the other departments of the
Vatican. It is also responsible for the Vatican's relations with states,
hence its "foreign policy."