The Vatican State

Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership
The Vatican City State/ Stato della Cittą del Vadicano
. Government of the Catholic Church, the Holy See (No suffrage) The Papal State was incorporated in the United Kingdom of Italy 1870-1929 and has been a sovereign state since 1929

1644-55 Politically Influential Olimpia Maidalchini
At the age of 20 she married her second husband, Pamphilio Pamphilj. When her brother-in-law a few years later became Pope Innocent X, she exerted a strong influence upon him, and soon becoming the only person whose advice the pope fully relied on. For this reason ambassadors, artists, tradesmen, politicians, and any important person in Rome presented her with rich gifts, to gain her favour and be well introduced to the Pope. When he died, the new pope, Alexander VII, exiled her to San Martino al Cimino - a small village just north of Rome - and asked to give back the gold she had taken away. She refused ande died of plague four years later. She lived (1592-1657).

1501-02 In charge of the Administration Lucrezia Borgia
She was the daughter of Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia (Pope Alexander VI) and Vannozza de Cattanei. First married to Giovanni Sforza, Prince of Pesaro. After their divorce in 1497 she served as her father's hostess at diplomatic receptions. She was appointed governor of Spoleto by her father 1499-1502, an office usually reserved for cardinals, and she administered the city well. In 1500 Alfonso was murdered by her brother, Cesare. A year later her father left the administration of the Vatican and the Church in her hands. Finally Regent in Ferrara during the absence of her third husband. She lived (1480-1519).

1939-58 Politically Influential Sister Mary Pasqualina Lehnert
She served as Pope Pius XII's housekeeper and secretary from his period as Nuncio to Bavaria in 1917, and espeically in the pope's final years, as his health deteriorated she seems to have in effect controlled the pope, by deciding who could see him, when they could see him, what documents he could read and advised him on decisions he should take. Enemies of called her La Popessa (Papesse). Her intense dislike of him was credited by Curia members with causing Pope Pius XII to deny a cardinalate to Archbishop Giovanni Montini, the future Pope Paul VI, so excluding him from the 1958 papal conclave, where it was suspected that he would have been a leading candidate to be elected pope. This decision was overturned by the new pope, John XXIII, who chose Montini to be the first person he appointed to be a cardinal. Lehnert. She lived (1894-1983).

1966-76 Under Secretary of Pontifical Council for the Laity Rosemary Goldie
Originally from Australia.

2004-12 Under-Secretary for the Congegration for Institutes of Consecrated Life
Sister Enrica Rosanna
She was number three in the Ministry responsible for religious orders. Each congregation is headed by a cardinal with a secretary as second-in-command. (b. 1944-).

2005-13 Personal Assistant of the Pope Ingrid Stampa
She was Pope Benedict XVIs close confidant and advisor from 1991, during his term as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith under the name of Cardinal Ratzinger. She is an academic and lay affiliate of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary and has now been integrated into the German section of the secretariat of state. (b. 1950-)

2010- Under Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace Sister Flaminia Giovanelli

2012- Under-Secretary for the Congegration for Institutes of Consecrated Life Sister Nicla Spezzati

2012- Head of the Fabbrica di San Pietro Maria Cristina Carlo-Stella (Saint Peters Church)

Last update 11.11.14