Pontifical Councils
and associated Commissions


Pontifical Council for the Laity

President: Archbishop Stanisław Ryłko
Secretary: Bishop Josef Clemens
Undersecretary: Msgr. Miguel Delgado Galindo

This council is competent in those matters which pertain to the Apostolic See in promoting and coordinating the apostolate of the lay persons and, generally, in those things which look to the Christian life of lay persons as such. The norms were published in the apostolic letter, "Catholicam Christi Ecclesiam" of January 6, 1967 (AAS, LIX, pp. 25-28).


Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

President: Cardinal Kurt Koch
Secretary: Bishop Brian Farrell, L.C.
Undersecretary: Fr. Andrea Palmieri

The function of this Council is to concentrate in an appropriate way on initiatives and ecumenical activities for the restoration of unity among Christians. It has charge of relations with those of other communities; considers the correct interpretation and observance of the principles of ecumenism; promotes Catholic groups and coordinates the efforts at unity, both on the national and international levels; institutes colloquies on ecumenical questions and activities with Churches and ecclesial communities separated from the Holy See; deputes Catholic observers for Christian congresses; invites to Catholic gatherings observers of the separated brethren; orders into practice conciliar decrees on ecumenical matters. Furthermore, it is competent for all questions concerning religious relations with Judaism.

Commission for Religious Relations with Jews

President: Cardinal Kurt Koch
Vice-President: Bishop Brian Farrell, L.C.
Secretary: Reverend Norbert Hofmann, S.D.B.

This commission is responsible for all questions concerning religious relations with Judaism.


Pontifical Council for the Family

President: Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia 
Secretary: Bishop Jean Laffitte
Undersecretary: Fr. Carlos Sim
ón Vázquez

This Council promotes the pastoral care of families and fosters their rights and dignity in the Church and in civil society, in order that they might ever more suitably fulfill their own functions.


Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace

President: Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson
Secretary: Bishop Mario Toso, S.D.B.
Undersecretary: Flaminia Giovanelli

This Council looks to those things which will promote justice and peace in the world according to the gospel and the social teaching of the Church.


Pontifical Council Cor Unum (One Heart)

President: Cardinal Robert Sarah
Secretary: Monsignor Giovanni Pietro Dal Toso
Undersecretary: Monsignor Segundo Tejado Muñoz

This Council shows the solicitude of the Catholic Church toward the needy, in order that human fraternity might be fostered and the charity of Christ be made manifest.


Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care
of Migrants and Itinerant People

President: Archbishop Antonio Vegliò
Secretary: Bishop Joseph Kalathiparambil
Undersecretary: Fr Gabriele Ferdinando Bentoglio, C.S.

This Council directs the pastoral concern of the Church toward the special needs of those who are forced to leave their own native land or who perhaps lack one; it also sees that there is appropriate study of the questions which touch on this matter.


Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance
to Health-Care Workers

President: Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowksi
Secretary: Msgr. Jean-Marie Mate Musivi Mupendawatu
Undersecretary: Mons. Augusto Chendi, M.I.

This Council shows the solicitude of the Church for the sick by aiding those who carry out a ministry toward the sick and suffering, in order that the apostolate of mercy, which they carry out, may ever more suitably respond to new needs.


Pontifical Council for the
Interpretation of Legislative Texts

President: Archbishop Francesco Coccopalmerio
Vice-President: Archbishop Bruno Bertagna
Secretary: Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru
Undersecretary: Mons. José Aparecido Gonçalves de Almeida

The function of this Council consists especially in interpreting the Church's laws, especially the Code of Canon Law.


Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue

President: Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran
Secretary: Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot M.C.C.J.
Undersecretary: Fr. Indunil Janakaratne Kodithuwakku Kankanamalage

This Council fosters and moderates relations with members and bodies of religions which do not carry the name of Christian, as well as with those who in any way possess a religious spirit. It fosters studies and promotes relations with non-Christians to bring about an increase in mutual respect and seeks ways to establish a dialogue with them; it receives and carefully weighs the wishes of the Ordinaries; it provides for the formation of those who participate in dialogue.

Commission for Religious Relations with Muslims

President: Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran
Vice-President: Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot M.C.C.J.
Secretary: Monsignor Khaled Akasheh


Pontifical Council for Culture

President: Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi
Delegate: Bishop Carlos Alberto de Pinho Moreira Azevedo
Secretary: Bishop Barthélemy Adoukonou
Undersecretary: Monsignor Melchor Jos
é Sánchez de Toca y Alameda

The Council embodies the Church's pastoral concern over the relationship between faith and cultures. Its tasks include: studying unbelief and religious indifference, as present in different cultures; supporting the Church's inculturation of the Gospel; promotion initiatives of dialogue between faith and culture, as well as dialogue with those who do not believe in God. Its activities include seminars, intercultural exchanges, and coordinating the activities of Pontifical Academies and the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church. An important hope of the Council is to show faith as the inspiration of science, literature and the arts.


Pontifical Council for Social Communications

President: Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli
Secretary: Monsignor Paul Tighe
Adjunct Secretary: Mons. Giuseppe Antonio Scotti
Undersecretary: Doctor Angelo Scelzo

This Council is involved in questions touching on the instruments of social communication so that the proclamation of salvation and human progress might be promoted even through them in order to foster civil culture.


Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization

President: Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella
Secretary: Archbishop José Octavio Ruiz Arenas
Undersecretary: Mons. Graham Bell

This Council promotes renewed evangelisation in countries where the first announcement of the faith has already been heard and where there are Churches of ancient foundation, but where a progressive secularisation of society is being experienced.


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