Articles

The Vatican's representatives

With an area of 0.49 km² and a population of about 900 inhabitants, the Vatican represents the center of the Catholic Church, from which it is governed. But it is also a small nation, which in order to carry out its mission has a certain number of paid dependents.

Alejandro Vázquez-Dodero-September 12, 2022-Reading time: 4 minutes

Testo originale del articolo in inglese qui

What kind of work can we do in the Vatican?

In the Vatican all the work necessary to ensure the governance of the Church founded by Christ is carried out. It is called "Vatican City State" because it is also a nation that has diplomatic relations with almost all the countries of the world.
It is therefore possible to establish a fundamental distinction between the offices that serve exclusively for ecclesiastical governance and the work that serves to manage all the other infrastructures of a true and proper State.

On the one hand, those who work in the Vatican are the people who govern the Second Vatican Dicasteries - which are large ecclesiastical bodies - and those who administer them. On the other hand, those who deal with another great variety of those which are typical tasks of the Vatican City State must be considered.
Starting from the management and maintenance of the heritage, we move on to museums and everything related to culture, from the assistance and care of tourism, to security - the Swiss Guard is involved - and a number of other aspects that require attention, work and maintenance.
For example, we have the gardeners, the firemen, the additions to funeral wreaths and burials, as well as the additions to all the other materials common to all the advanced countries, which are used for supplies and management.

Who can work in the Vatican?

The Vatican deputies are at the very least, the youngest who work for the Holy See, Swiss guards and, finally, State officials. Many others, who are not necessarily laymen or civil servants, obviously people from all walks of life, go to work in the Vatican even if they live in Rome or outside the city, or even in the neighboring cities. Many are Italian citizens or citizens of nationalities other than the Vatican.

As we said before, the system of governance of the Church - called the Roman Curia - is mainly run by clerics. There are also some tasks that contribute to the work of the Curia, which are carried out by lay people. For example, administrative or managerial work that is not properly related to ecclesial governance.

The professional qualification required to perform all work that is not specific to the clerics who make up the Roman Curia is identical to that ordinarily required in the civil field.
In highly specialized fields, such as economics or communications, the need for qualified professionals and managers is increasing. Naturally, the relative criteria of employability and remuneration are defined on the basis of each particular working condition.

It is stipulated that the social benefits differ depending on whether it is a layman or a layman. And, since when St. John Paul II has provided for it, special attention is reserved to those who have to maintain a family. There are foreseen benefits of an economic type properly conceived for these people, that concern both the characteristics of the commitment and a retribution according to their condition.

Are other conditions required to work in the Vatican?

The Vatican regulations - and in particular the General Regulations of the Roman Curia - are very clear in requiring from all these dependents a series of requirements of alignment with the spiritual mission of the Roman Pontiff and the Church, which transcend the simple performance of work or the management technique of an office.

Certain requirements of suitability are necessary, the commitments expressed in the profession of the faith, in the governance of the faithful, and the observance of professional secrecy for those who are bound to pontifical secrecy; it is taken for granted that the worker always observes an exemplary moral conduct, including private and family life, according to the teaching of the Church; in general, the regulations prescribe the refusal to act in a way that is not appropriate for a worker of the Holy See.

As far as the work of the laity in particular is concerned, it is worth asking whether a system of public service is sustainable for many jobs, or whether a more frequent market supply would be preferable.
In any case, the Apostolic See has personnel policies that ensure a serious selection of employees, including the aforementioned requirements of personal, moral and religious integrity. In this way, a fiduciary dimension is privileged for these types of work.

As for the laity, as has been shown above, there is the possibility of taking on highly qualified workers who, in addition to possessing the ethical foundations and understanding of the ecclesial mission, can be attracted with a remuneration comparable to that found in the market for similar services.
In short, it is about counting on honest, well-adjusted, loyal and hard-working people.

Come fa un chierico per entrare a lavorare nella Curia romana?

The possibilities for a young man to arrive to work in the Holy See are diverse, for example the confidence with a superior for the fact that he was a member in the seminary or in the diocese of origin; or because it is distinguished in the studies carried out in the pontifical universities or in general in the formation courses offered by the Roman Curia; because it is recommended to the Apostolic See by an ecclesiastical or civil authority; or simply also when the cleric himself manifests the intention to occupy that position.

How many people work in the Holy See?

The Vatican has an office whose function is to contribute to the consolidation of the working community. This office deals with all those who work in the Roman Curia and in the government of the Vatican City as state officials, i.e. in the administrative bodies or entities concerned. In addition, professional training is facilitated, with the clear objective that all these employees are aware that they are rendering a service to the universal Church.

According to the data of this office, collected in the pontifical yearbook of recent years, about 2,000 people work in the Roman Curia, not counting part-time personnel. Of these, a little more than half are employed in the offices (tribunals, offices...), about a quarter work in other organizations, and the rest in the nunziature.

Some data that can enlighten us and give an idea of the labor dimension of which we are speaking. The Vatican museums employ about 700 employees, the State Secretariat employs another 200, of which a quarter are diplomatic staff; the Vatican Secret Archives and the Vatican Apostolic Library employ about 150 people.

However, the Roman Curia is a very modest administration compared to any ministry in any country. For example, in Spain the smallest of the ministries has about 2,000 employees, which exceeds the total number of employees of the Vatican.

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