PONTIFICAL COUNCILS

Pontifical Council for the Laity

President: Cardinal James Francis Stafford
Secretary: Bishop Stanislaw Rylko
Undersecretary: Prof. Guzmin Carriquiry

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 Edward Idris Cassidy
Secretary: Bishop Pierre Duprey, M.Afr.
Adjunct Secretary: Bishop Jean-Claude Perisset
Undersecretary: Mons. Eleuterio Francesco Fortino

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 Edward Idris Cassidy
Vice-President: Bishop Pierre Duprey, M.Afr.
Secretary: Fr Remi Hoeckman, O.P

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


Pontifical Council for the Family

President: Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo
Secretary: Bishop Francisco Gil Hellin
Undersecretary: Mons. Francesco Di Felice

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: Archbishop Francois Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan
Secretary: Mons. Diarmuid Martin
Undersecretary: Mons. Giampaolo Crepaldi

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: Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes
Secretary: Mons. Karel Kasteel
Undersecretary: Mons. Francisco Azcona San Martin

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 Stephen Fumio Hamao
Secretary: Archbishop Francesco Gioia, O.F.M.Cap.
Undersecretary: Mons. Giuseppe De Andrea

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 Javier Lozano Barragan
Secretary: Fr Jose Luis Redrado Marchite, O.H.
Undersecretary: Fr Felice Ruffini, O.S.Cam.

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 Julian Herranz
Secretary: Bishop Bruno Bertagna
Undersecretary: Fr Marino Maccarelli, O.S.M.

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 Francis Arinze
Secretary: Bishop Michael Louis Fitzgerald, M.Afr.
Undersecretary: Fr John Bosco Masayuki Shirieda, S.D.B.

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 Francis Arinze
Vice-President: Bishop Michael Louis Fitzgerald, M.Afr.
Secretary: Fr Khaled Akasheh


Pontifical Council for Culture

President: Cardinal Paul Poupard
Secretary: Fr Bernard Ardura, O.Praem.
Undersecretary: Fr Fabio Duque JaramiIlo, O.F.M.

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 John Patrick Foley
Secretary: Bishop Pierfranco Pastore
Undersecretary: Mr Hans-Peter Rothlin

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.


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