Tuesday, March 5, 2013
The Mysterious Staff of the Cardinal Chamberlain
Rome (kath.net/un) The photographs and video recordings of the closing of the papal apartments show Cardinal Chamberlain Tarcisio Bertone with a golden staff with dark red velour coating. Upon his naming as Camerlengo of the Church, Cardinal Bertone was handed this staff with the following words: “Accipe baculum in signup jurisdictions et auctoritatis. In nominee Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen -- Take this staff as a sign of jurisdiction and authority. In the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen.”
He entrusted the Cardinal Chamberlain immediately after this ceremony as his representative, the Vicechamberlain of the Roman Church. During the lifetime of the Pope, the staff remains with the Vicecamerlego -- this stems from the time, when the worthies were in the office of the Governor of Rome and occupied a “bastone del governo” (Staff of Government). The Cardinal Chamberlain takes the staff to himself when the Pope is dead or resigned.
At all important functions of the Sedivacant, beginning with the sealing of the Apostolic Palace, are his own. So it can be said that he is entrusted with the worldly affairs of the Church during the time when there is no pope with a high decree of power.