UNPRECEDENTED honours 1.J have been conferred by the Holy Father upon his two ProSecretaries of State, Mgr. Tardini and Mgr. Montini.
In a letter addressed to them on Tuesday, His Holiness informed them that henceforth at all important Pontifical functions they will have precedence over Patriarchs, Archbishops and Bishops.
They will therefore rank next to the Cardinals.
The Holy Father stated at the Consistory in February last year that he had wished to make both Mgr. Tardini and Mgr. Montini Cardinals, but that they had both asked him insistently to be allowed to decline the honour so that they might continue their immediate personal service to him.
His Holiness instead raised them from the rank of Under-Secretaries to the status of Pro-Secretaries of State. They have the title of Excellency.
Mgx. Montini and Mgr. Tardini served as Under-Secretaries in the pontificate of Pope Pius X( and when the present Holy Father was Papal Secretary of State.