By the name of department (dicasteria) is
understood: the congregations, tribunals, councils and offices, namely the Apostolic
Camera, the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, and the Prefecture of
Economic Affairs of the Holy See. The departments are juridically equal among themselves. Attached to the institutes of the Roman Curia
are the Prefecture of the Papal Household and the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the
Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith
Prefect: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
Secretary: Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B.
Undersecretary: Fr Gianfranco Girotti, O.F.M.Conv.
The proper function of the Congregation for the Doctrine
of the Faith is to promote and safeguard the doctrine of faith and morals in the whole
Catholic world; therefore, those things belong to it which touch this matter in any way.
Fulfilling the function of promoting doctrine, it fosters studies in order that the
understanding of the faith might grow and that a response can be prepared under the light
of faith for new questions arising from developments in science and human culture. It is a
help to bishops, whether individually or gathered in assemblies, in the exercise of the
function by which they are constituted authentic teachers and doctors of the faith as well
as the office by which they are held to safeguard and promote the integrity of that faith.
This Sacred Congregation reproves doctrines opposed to the principles of the faith after
the interested Bishops of a region have been heard. It studies the books referred to it
and, if necessary, reproves them after the author has been heard and has had an
opportunity to defend himself and after the Ordinary has been forewarned. It also examines
whatever concerns "the privilege of the faith" whether in law and in fact. It is
competent to pass judgement on errors about the faith according to the norms of an
ordinary process. It safeguards the dignity of the sacrament of Penance. The Congregation
proceeds administratively or judicially according to the nature of the question to be
the Oriental Churches
Prefect: Cardinal Achille Silvestrini
Secretary: Archbishop Miroslav Stefan Marusyn
Undersecretary: Mons. Claudio Gugerotti
This Congregation considers those matters, whether
regarding persons or things, which touch on the Eastern Catholic Churches. It treats all
questions which pertain either to persons, or to discipline, or to the rites of the
Oriental Churches, even if they are mixed in that by the nature of the thing or of persons
they involve Latins. Territories in which a major part of the Christians belong to
Oriental rites are subject only to this Congregation. Even in Latin territories it
carefully supervises the faithful of Oriental rites and provides as much as possible for
their spiritual needs even by the establishment of their own hierarchy if the number of
faithful and circumstances require this.
and the Discipline of the Sacraments
Prefect: Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Estevez
Secretary: Archbishop Geraido Majella Agnelo
Undersecretary: Mons. Vincenzo Ferrara
Undersecretary: Mons. Mario Marin
The congregation does those things which pertain to the
Apostolic See as to the moderation and promotion of the sacred liturgy, especially the
sacraments, with due regard for the competence of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the
Faith. It fosters and safeguards the discipline of the sacraments, especially what
pertains to their valid and licit celebration; moreover, it concedes favors and
dispensations for matters which are not contained in the facilities of diocesan bishops in
this line. It alone examines the non-consummation of a marriage and the presence of
causes for the granting of a dispensation and everything connected with them. It has
competence with regard to the obligations connected with major orders and it examines
questions about the validity of sacred ordination.
Congregation for the
Causes of Saints
Prefect: Archbishop Jose Saraiva Martins, C.M.F.
Secretary: Archbishop Edward Nowak
Undersecretary: Mons. Michele Di Ruberto
The Congregation for the Causes of Saints is competent
in all matters which in any way pertain to the Beatification of Servants of God or to the
Canonization of the Blessed or to the Preservation of Relics.
Prefect: Cardinal Lucas Moreira Neves, O.P.
Secretary: Archbishop Francesco Monterisi
Undersecretary: Mons. Giovanni Maria Rossi
Pontifical Commission for Latin America
President: Cardinal Lucas Moreira Neves, O.P.
Vice-President: Bishop Cipriano Calderon Polo
This congregation examines what pertains to the
constitution and provision of particular churches as well as the exercise of the episcopal
function in the Latin Church, except for the competence of the Congregation for the
Evangelization of Peoples. It belongs to the Congregation for Bishops to propose to the
Roman Pontiff, for approval, the constitution of new dioceses, provinces and regions; to
divide, unite and realign them after consulting the interested Episcopal Conferences; it
deals also with the erection of the military ordinariates and, after consulting the
Episcopal Conference, prelacies for special pastoral ministries for various regions or
social groups. This Congregation provides also for the naming of bishops, apostolic
administrators, coadjutors and auxiliaries of bishops, military and other vicars and
prelates enjoying personal jurisdiction. It is competent for all things that have to do
with bishops and publishes norms which, through the Episcopal Conference, provide for the
more urgent needs of the faithful.
the Evangelization of Peoples
Prefect: Cardinal Jozef Tomko
Secretary: Archbishop Marcello Zago, O.M.I.
Adjunct Secretary: Archbishop Charles A Schleck, C.S.C.
Undersecretary: Mons. Luigi Ghidoni
It belongs to this congregation to direct and coordinate
throughout the world the work of the evangelization of peoples itself and missionary
cooperation, while respecting the competence of the Congregation for Eastern Churches. It
is competent for those things which pertain to all the missions established for the spread
of the Kingdom of Christ throughout the world and therefore for whatever is connected with
the assignment and transferal of the necessary ministers, for describing ecclesiastical
boundaries and proposing those who will govern them. It encourages also the development of
an indigenous clergy. The congregation sponsors missionary initiatives and promotes
missionary vocations and spirituality. In the territories subject to it, the Congregation
has charge of all that pertains to the holding of synods and councils, to the establishing
of episcopal conferences and to the review of their statutes and decrees. The Congregation
has a Supreme Council for the direction of Pontifical Missionary Works, on which depend
the general Councils of the Missionary Union of the Clergy, the Society for the
Propagation of the Faith, the Society of St. Peter the Apostle, and the Society of the
Congregation for the
Prefect: Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos
Secretary: Archbishop Csaba Ternyak
Undersecretary: Mons. Antonio Silvestrelli
With due regard for the rights of bishops and their
conferences, this congregation examines those things which concern priests and deacons of
the secular clergy with regard to their persons, pastoral ministry, matters which are in
support of the exercise of these things, and in all this provides opportune assistance to
the bishops. The Congregation has many functions: it studies, proposes and urges the means
and aids by which priests strive for sanctity. This office also has charge of everything
which concerns the work and discipline of the diocesan clergy. Particularly it promotes
the preaching of the Word of God and the works of the apostolate and organization of
catechesis, evaluates and approves pastoral and catechetical directories, fosters national
and international Catechetical Congresses and indicates the opportune norms for religious
instruction of children, young people and adults. The Congregation looks also to the
preservation and administration of the temporal goods of the Church without prejudice to
the other Congregations which have temporal goods committed to their vigilance. The
Pontifical commission for The Conservation of the Artistic and Sacred Patrimony if
directly responsible to the Congregation for the Clergy.
Institutes of Consecrated Life
and Societies of Apostolic Life
Prefect: Cardinal Eduardo Martinez Somalo
Secretary: Archbishop Piergiorgio Silvano Nesti, C.P.
Undersecretary: Fr Jesus Torres Llorente, C.M.F.
Undersecretary: Mons. Juan Josi Dorronsoro Allo
The principal function of this congregation is to
promote and supervise, in the whole Latin Church, the practices of the evangelical
counsels as they are exercised in approved forms of consecrated life and at the same time
the activities of societies of apostolic life. The Congregation takes care of
Religious Institutes of Consecrated Life and Secular Institutes.
Religious Institutes: the Congregation is
entrusted with the affairs of all religious institutes of the Latin Rite and their
members. It is also competent in matters which pertain to societies of common life,
whose members live like religious, or to Third Orders as such.
Secular Institutes: the Congregation is competent
in the same way, all else being equal, for Apostolic Societies which, although not
religious, make a true and complete profession of the evangelical counsels in the world.
(for Seminaries and Educational Institutions)
Prefect: Cardinal Pio Laghi
Secretary: Archbishop Giuseppe Pittau, S.J.
Undersecretary: Mons. Giuseppe Baldanza
This Congregation expresses and exercises the Apostolic
See's solicitude for the formation of those who are called to Holy Orders as well as for
the promotion and organization of Catholic education. It is competent for all that
pertains to the formation of clerics and the Catholic education both of clerics and of the
The Congregation has many functions and is charged with
the direction, discipline and temporal administration of seminaries and whatever touches
the education of the diocesan clergy and the scientific formation of religious and secular
The Congregation oversees universities, faculties athenaea and any institute of higher
learning which has the name "Catholic" in so far as they depend on the authority
of the Church, not excluding those directed by religious or the laity.
The Congregation cares for the establishment of
parochial and diocesan schools; watches over all Catholic schools below the level of a
university and faculty, as well as all institutes of instruction or education dependent on
the authority of the Church.
Also within the Congregation is located the Pontifical
Work for Vocations, which is charged with coordinating and promoting the work of fostering
all ecclesiastical vocations.