Archbishop Lajolo, 68, will replace Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, 60, who will be made a cardinal in the consistory Oct. 21. Archbishop Tauran likely will be assigned to another key post by the Pope.
Born in Novara, Italy, Giovanni Lajolo was ordained a priest in 1960. After receiving a licentiate in canon law, he entered the Holy See's diplomatic service in 1970, carrying out his service in Germany and later in the Church's Public Affairs Council.
On Oct. 3, 1988, he was appointed archbishop and secretary of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See. The following Dec. 7 he was named apostolic nuncio of the German Federal Republic.
The Section for Relations with States, which Archbishop Lajolo will now head, works under the secretary of state, Cardinal Angelo Sodano.
This section has three key functions. It fosters diplomatic relations with nations and other subjects of international law, as well as handles matters for the good of the Church and civil society, establishing agreements and treaties when necessary. It represents the Holy See in international organizations and congresses on public issues. And it reviews the activity of apostolic nuncios abroad.