HOW MANY corporate divisions hath the Pope? Well, none, strictly speaking; but within the Catholic church can be found the rough equivalent of many corporate hallmarks, everything from flow charts to limos. The Vatican has somewhere between eight and a dozen of the latter, used mainly for whisking visiting dignitaries around Rome.
Worldwide, John Paul commands 405,000 priests who in turn oversee 30,000 secondary schools, 6,000 hospitals and almost 7,000 orphanages. Were it not for a decentralized system of management, this huge organization long ago would have sunk into administrative nightmare. As it is, the Vatican gives only broad direction to the church's 3,100 bishops, who have wide authority over all the operations of their dioceses.
Since Pope John Paul II has decided to spend much of his energy taking high-visibility tours of the world, most of the day-to-day administration of the Vatican has been left to 10 or so of his chief cardinals. Each has been given charge of a major church office, which are called congregations and resemble a corporate division. There is, for example, the Congregation for Catholic Education and the Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes. A recent proposal to combine some congregations for economic reasons has produced ferocious in-fighting among the cardinals.