Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone and the 3 Leaders Who Will Run the Church While There is No Pope


Following Benedict XVI's resignation, and subsequent last helicopter ride, the Vatican awoke Friday leaderless — reported The Miami Herald. The period, known as "vacant see" is the time during which the transition from one pope to another will take place. In the meantime, the Church's business will be conducted and executed by a small and selected group of religious leaders. Here's four of them:

1. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (Carmelengo):  


The camerlengo takes over the day-to-day running of the Holy See. He places the seal on the pope's study and bedroom and takes over the Apostolic Palace, "safeguarding and administering the goods and temporal rights of the Holy See." 

2. Cardinal Angelo Sodano (Dean of the College of Cardinals):


The dean is the senior member of the College of Cardinals. He officially summons cardinals to participate in the conclave, and oversees the pre-conclave meetings of the College. 

3. Monsignor Guido Marini (Master of Liturgical Ceremonies): 

The master of liturgical ceremonies runs the religious side of the conclave and the "Installation Mass" for the new pope. He is by the side of the dean when the newly elected pope is asked if he accepts the election. And, as the main witness and notary, he draws up the formal document certifying that the new pope's name and that he has accepted the job.

4. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran (The Proto-Deacon): 

The proto-deacon's main task is to announce to the world that a pope has been elected. He shouts "Habemus Papam!" ("We have a pope!") from the balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square after the white smoke has been released from the Sistine Chapel chimney.