Vatican: Bertone out as Secretary of State. Italian cleric Pietro Parolin in.

Pope Francis on Saturday appointed a senior Vatican diplomat as his new secretary of state, ousting divisive cardinal Tarcisio Bertone as he looks to overhaul the Church’s scandal-ridden administration.

His replacement for the “number two” position at the Vatican, Italian cleric Pietro Parolin, is currently the Roman Catholic Church’s envoy to Venezuela and has worked on improving ties with communist China.

“The Holy Father has accepted… the resignation of His Eminence Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone,” the Vatican said in a widely-expected announcement, adding that the changeover would formally take place on October 15.

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Bird of a feather, SoS John Kerry.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry continued his bumpy first out-of-the-country tour with an homage to the ugly Americans he represents. Speaking in Germany, he told students, “In America, you have a right to be stupid, if you want to be, and you have a right to be disconnected to somebody else if you want to be. And we tolerate that – we somehow make it through that.”

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Editor’s note: This from a guy stupid enough to have chin implant cosmetic surgery, just to make his jaw a bit bigger than Clutch Cargo’s. We ought to change Kerry’s title to Secretary of Stupid.

Haig, a Catholic who served as US secretary of state, dies at age 85

BALTIMORE (CNS) — Alexander M. Haig Jr., former U.S. secretary of state and retired four-star general who served as a top adviser to three presidents, died Feb. 20 of complications from an infection. He was 85.

Haig, who was Catholic, died at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where he was surrounded by family members.

Although funeral and burial arrangements had not been announced, Haig’s brother, Jesuit Father Francis Haig, a retired physics professor at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, told The New York Times that the Army was coordinating a Mass at Fort Myer military base in Arlington, Va., and interment at Arlington National Cemetery.

The priest, a former president of LeMoyne College in Syracuse, N.Y., and Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia, said the services for his brother would likely be delayed for about two weeks.

Alexander Haig, a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam wars, served as secretary of state under President Ronald Reagan and White House chief of staff under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He made a run for president in 1988 but failed to win the Republican nomination.