The Office of Camerlengo or Chamberlain dates from the 12th century. The Camerlengo heads the Apostolic Camera, the body which cares for and administers the Holy See during the sede vacante. The Camerlengo is protected by the Swiss Guard during the sede vacante.
Jordan of Santa Susanna held the position from A.D. 1147–1151. Jordan was a Carthusian monk. He was created Cardinal Deacon by Pope Lucius II in 1144 and then Cardinal Priest of Santa Susanna by Eugene III in December of 1145.What are the various offices attached to the Apostolic Camera?
The Cardinal Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church (Camerlengo)The Governor of Rome, Vice-ChamberlainThe Treasurer-General of the Holy Roman ChurchThe Auditor of the Camera ApostolicaThe President of the Apostolic CameraThe Advocate of the PoorThe Fiscal AdvocateThe Commissary of the Apostolic CameraThe Clerics of the Apostolic Camera are twelve in number. Four have specific titles:
- Prefect of the Annona
- Prefect of Grace
- Prefect of the Prisons (carceri)
- Prefect of the Roads (strade)
17. As soon as he is informed of the death of the Supreme Pontiff, the Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church must officially ascertain the Pope's death, in the presence of the Master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations, of the Cleric Prelates of the Apostolic Camera and of the Secretary and Chancellor of the same; the latter shall draw up the official death certificate. The Camerlengo must also place seals on the Pope's study and bedroom, making provision that the personnel who ordinarily reside in the private apartment can remain there until after the burial of the Pope, at which time the entire papal apartment will be sealed; he must notify the Cardinal Vicar for Rome of the Pope's death, whereupon the latter shall inform the People of Rome by a special announcement; he shall notify the Cardinal Archpriest of the Vatican Basilica; he shall take possession of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican and, either in person or through a delegate, of the Palaces of the Lateran and of Castel Gandolfo, and exercise custody and administration of the same; he shall determine, after consulting the heads of the three Orders of Cardinals, all matters concerning the Pope's burial, unless during his lifetime the latter had made known his wishes in this regard; and he shall deal, in the name of and with the consent of the College of Cardinals, with all matters that circumstances suggest for safeguarding the rights of the Apostolic See and for its proper administration. During the vacancy of the Apostolic See, the Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church has the duty of safeguarding and administering the goods and temporal rights of the Holy See, with the help of the three Cardinal Assistants, having sought the views of the College of Cardinals, once only for less important matters, and on each occasion when more serious matters arise.
14. According to the provisions of Article 6 of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus, at the death of the Pope all the heads of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia — the Cardinal Secretary of State and the Cardinal Prefects, the Archbishop Presidents, together with the members of those Dicasteries — cease to exercise their office. An exception is made for the Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church and the Major Penitentiary, who continue to exercise their ordinary functions, submitting to the College of Cardinals matters that would have had to be referred to the Supreme Pontiff.
Likewise, in conformity with the Apostolic Constitution Vicariae Potestatis (No. 2 § 1), the Cardinal Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome continues in office during the vacancy of the Apostolic See, as does the Cardinal Archpriest of the Vatican Basilica and Vicar General for Vatican City for his jurisdiction.
15. Should the offices of Camerlengo of Holy Roman Church or of Major Penitentiary be vacant at the time of the Pope's death, or should they become vacant before the election of his successor, the College of Cardinals shall as soon as possible elect the Cardinal, or Cardinals as the case may be, who shall hold these offices until the election of the new Pope. [...]
Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran (2014–present)
He is the president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.