Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/452

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THE CURIA

fold relationships between Church and State must be entrusted to the skill of these hands. Though the appointment is reserved to the Pope himself, the nominations are made by the Secretary of State, who thus comes to have more influence upon the appointments of cardinals and bishops than is officially accorded to him.

When knots appear in the smooth yarn of diplomatic intercourse or when tasks of far-reaching importance transcend the' ordinary routine e. g., a Concordat is to be signed and put in force the second division of the Secretariate of State, the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, steps in. It may also be appealed to for an opinion concerning the change of a diocese as was the case some years ago in Germany. If the matter under discussion is within the official jurisdiction of another Congregation, or if it is adjudged that such a Congregation could throw light on the problem, mixed sessions are resorted to i. e., the cardinals of the other Congrega- tion who are familiar with the situation are invited to the discussion. It is always the Secretary of State himself who determines how the advisory Council is to be composed, and who then also summarizes the findings and reports on them to the Pope. The Pope then renders a decision but of course cannot help being guided by the material which has been placed before him. Nevertheless one has less reason here than elsewhere to speak of a ruler who i? ruled, for at this point the mystical element enters the faith of the Church and the suc* cessors of Peter in the direct illumination and guidance of God, which transcends the limits to which critical and reflective investigation can go. The Pope feels that the keys of Heaven are in his hands; and he knows that the shield of his divine Master is held over him to ward off all assaults of the enemy. This is the mystery of his calling, and in its presence one can only be silent.

The third division of the Secretariate of State is a bureau, ^ mem- bers of which are chiefly laymen and which is employed for the most part in drawing up the briefs. These are short Papal letters, scaled or rather stamped with the Fisherman's ring, which are the usual form in which important decisions of the Congregation arc made known. Thus every utterance of importance passes finally through the hands of this all powerful central office. It means the closest possible com- bination of information and control.


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