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THE CURIA

munion in two forms, but the marriage of priests. Until the present Rome has compromised in cases of acute difficulty, but the compromises have all been in favour of the other side.

Another Congregation, essentially different in character from the others, is the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, which is political in scope and is very intimately associated with the Secretariate of State as the organ of Papal policy. It does not legislate, administer or adjudge; it is "only an advisory body which places its decisions and reports at the disposal of the Pope." Its Prefect is the Secretary of State, and its members are the highest officials of his office. It is composed of the most able statesmen of the Curia, and in all ques- tions that come under its jurisdiction it is the Pope's right hand and probably more. It is true that there is no legal definition of its powers. As need arises the Pope refers problems to it through the Secretary of State who also has no absolute right to do anything, being merely a Secretary, though of course a very powerful, very dominating secre- tary, who is the alter ego of the Pope, He is an ex-officio member o every other Congregation, so that he may be informed of everything that happens and may by reason of the fact that he surveys the whole scene assist each separate Congregation when matters of importance arise. He is a foreign minister and almost a premier. After nepo- tism had declined, this position was created as a substitute boon for the Cardinal's nephew; but since Consalvi's time and that of his energetic successors in office it has gradually come to exercise an influence of a far-reaching kind. The Cardinal-Secretary of State is chosen by the Pope himself, since no intimate co-operation would be possible unless there were personal agreement and boundless confidence on both sides. Every day the Secretary of State appears in the morning as the first to talk to the Pope and discuss matters with him. He may deliver important despatches throughout the day and even at night. There- fore he lives as close as possible to the Papal apartment, now residing in the first story of the same wing just below the Pope's chambers. The Vatican carriage is at his disposal. He is the Papal representative in so far as current relationships of a diplomatic kind are concerned, and he also gives the official dinners, which etiquette will not allow the Sovereign Pontiff to attend. The visits of princes, which arc


PAPAL