The Secretariat of State closely assists the Supreme Pontiff in the exercise of his supreme function. The Cardinal Secretary of State presides over it. It includes two sections, namely the section for general affairs under the immediate direction of the Substitute, assisted by an Assessor, and the section for Relations with States under the direction of its own Secretary. Attached to this latter section is the Historical Archive.
Assessor: Msgr. Luigi Roberto Cona
The first section handles anything entrusted to it by the Holy Father, as well as matters of daily business which do not fall within the competence of other dicasteries. It fosters relations with these departments, with the bishops, and with the diplomatic missions of the Holy See.
Delegate for Pontifical Representations: Archbishop Jan Romero Pawlowski
The second section of the Secretariat of State handles all matters pertaining to civil governments, fostering diplomatic relations with nations, and maintaining contact with all the diplomatic missions of the Holy See. It takes care also of what concerns the presence and activity of the Holy See in international institutes.
The Section for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State allows access to scholars from institutions of higher studies for the purpose of studying its archival material. Requests are made to the Secretary of the Section, and granted according to the terms and conditions established by the applicable regulations of the Holy See.