Pope Benedict XVI has confirmed long-time Vatican Secretary of State Angelo Sodano as the new dean of the College of Cardinals.
The Vatican announced Cardinal Sodano's appointment Saturday. He replaces the newly elected pope, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who served as dean under the late Pope John Paul II.
Among other responsibilities as dean, Cardinal Sodano would preside over a conclave that would elect a new pope in the event of the death of the pontiff.
Cardinal Roger Etchegaray of France has been named deputy to the dean.
Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.