A dicastery (from Greek δικαστήριον, law-court, from δικαστής, judge/juror) is a department of the Roman Curia, the administration of the Holy See through which the pope directs the Roman Catholic Church. The most recent comprehensive constitution of the church, Pastor bonus (1988), includes this definition:
By the word "dicasteries" are understood the Secretariat of State, Congregations, Tribunals, Councils and Offices, namely, the Apostolic Camera, the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See and the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.
These dicasteries or departments are grouped in the following categories:
.va is the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for the State of the Vatican City. It is administered by the Internet Office of the Holy See.Congregation for Catholic Education
The Congregation for Catholic Education (Institutes of Study) (Latin: Congregatio de Institutione Catholica (Studiorum Institutis)) is the Pontifical congregation of the Roman Curia responsible for: (1) universities, faculties, institutes and higher schools of study, either ecclesial or non-ecclesiastical dependent on ecclesial persons; and (2) schools and educational institutes depending on ecclesiastical authorities.
It was also in charge of regulating seminaries, which prepare those students intending to become priests (seminarians) for ordination to the presbyterate, until 16 January 2013 when Pope Benedict XVI transferred the oversight of seminaries and all other related formation programs for priests and deacons from this Dicastery to the Congregation for the Clergy, which regulates deacons and priests generally, not only their education. The Congregation for Catholic Education retains responsibility for matters pertaining to the structure of seminary curricula in philosophy and theology, in consultation with the Congregation for the Clergy.Congregation for the Oriental Churches
The Congregation for the Oriental Churches (Latin: Congregatio pro Ecclesiis Orientalibus) is a dicastery of the Roman Curia, and the curial congregation responsible for contact with the Eastern Catholic Churches for the sake of assisting their development and protecting their rights. It also maintains whole and entire in the one Catholic Church, alongside the liturgical, disciplinary, and spiritual patrimony of the Latin Rite, the heritage and Oriental canon law of the various Eastern Catholic traditions. It has exclusive authority over the following regions: Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula, Eritrea and northern Ethiopia, southern Albania and Bulgaria, Romania, Southern Italy, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Iran, Iraq, India, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Syria, Jordan, Turkey, and Ukraine. It was founded by the Motu Proprio Dei Providentis of Pope Benedict XV as the "Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Church" on 1 May 1917 and "considers those matters, whether concerning persons or things, affecting the Catholic Oriental Churches."Dicastery for Communications
The Dicastery for Communications (Italian: Dicastero per la Comunicazione) is a division (dicastery) of the Roman Curia with authority over all communication offices of the Holy See and the Vatican City State, including the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Holy See Press Office, Vatican Internet Service, Vatican Radio, Vatican Television Center, L'Osservatore Romano, Vatican Press, Photograph Service, and Vatican Publishing House.Pope Francis established the Secretariat for Communications in June 2015, with Monsignor Dario Edoardo Viganò, former director of the Vatican Television Center, as its first Prefect. Viganò resigned on 21 March 2018, "a week after his mishandling of a letter from retired Pope Benedict XVI provoked a global outcry".On 23 June 2018, the Secretariat was renamed Dicastery for Communications, and on 5 July 2018, Pope Francis appointed award-winning lay journalist Paolo Ruffini, as Prefect. He was the first layman named to head a Vatican dicastery. Monsignor Lucio Adrian Ruiz, former head of the Vatican Internet Service, is secretary. Paul Nusiner, former General Manager of Avvenire is director general.Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development
The Vatican announced the creation of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (Dicasterium ad integram humanam progressionem fovendam in Latin) on 31 August 2016 and it became effective 1 January 2017. Cardinal Peter K. A. Turkson was named its first prefect. The Prefect is to be assisted by a Secretary and at least one Undersecretary.Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life
The Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life is a dicastery of the Roman Curia. Pope Francis announced its creation on 15 August 2016, effective 1 September 2016. It takes over the functions and responsibilities of the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the Pontifical Council for the Family. It has responsibility "for the promotion of the life and apostolate of the lay faithful, for the pastoral care of the family and its mission according to God's plan and for the protection and support of human life." The statutes governing this new body had been approved on 4 June 2016. A revised statue was published on 8 May 2018, effective 13 May. It added to its mission promoting "ecclesial reflection on the identity and mission of women in the church and in society, promoting their participation"; specified two undersecretaries instead of two and no longer required organization into three divisions; and both developing "guidelines for training programs for engaged couples preparing for marriage, and for young married couples" and guiding the care of couples in unorthodox marital situations.As its first Prefect, Francis named Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas, Texas, whom Francis telephoned in May to propose his appointment before Farrell accepted it in June. He also appointed Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the soon to be abolished Pontifical Council for the Family, to head the Pontifical Academy for Life and the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, which are academic centers associated with the new dicastery. Pope Francis instructed Paglia that the institutes' work should be "ever more clearly inscribed within the horizon of mercy" and that "in theological study, a pastoral perspective and attention to the wounds of humanity should never be missing".Pope Francis had announced that he intended to establish the new dicastery and replace two existing pontifical councils at the Synod of Bishops on the Family on 22 October 2015. The Council of Cardinals that he formed in April 2013 to advise him on the reform of the Roman curia had discussed the idea extensively and recommended it following a study by Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, Archbishop emeritus of Milan.In 31 May 2017, Pope Francis named Alexandre Awi Mello the Dicastery's Secretary. On 7 November he appointed Gabriella Gambino Sub-Secretary of the section on life and Linda Ghisoni Sub-Secretary of the section on laity. Both academics and laywomen, they became the highest ranking in the Vatican.Holy See Press Office
The Holy See Press Office (Latin: Sala Stampa Sanctae Sedis, Italian: Sala Stampa della Santa Sede) publishes the official news of the activities of the Pope and of the various departments of the Roman Curia. All speeches, messages, documents, as well as the statements issued by the Director, are published in their entirety.
The press office operates every day in Italian, although texts in other languages are also available. Since August 1st 2016 the Director of the Holy See Press Office and Pope's Spokesman is the American journalist Greg Burke. The former head of the press office, with the title director, is Father Federico Lombardi, a Jesuit, while the director before Lombardi was the Spanish layman and medical doctor Joaquín Navarro-Valls.
On Saturday, June 27, 2015, Pope Francis, through an apostolic letter done motu proprio ("on his own initiative") established the Secretariat for Communications in the Roman Curia; the Press Office was incorporated into it, but at the same time belongs to the Secretary of State.On December 21, 2015, Pope Francis appointed Dr. Greg Burke, formerly the Communications Advisor for the Section for General Affairs of the Vatican's Secretariat of State of the Holy See (a key department in the Roman Curia), as Deputy Director of the Press Office.Following Burke's appointment as director in 2016, however, Spanish journalist Paloma García Ovejero took over as vice director, making her the first woman to hold that position. It was also announced that both Burke and García Ovejero, both laymen, would later begin their positions on 1 August, 2016. On 31 December 2018, both Burke and García Ovejero announced their resignations.L'Osservatore Romano
L'Osservatore Romano (pronounced [losservaˈtoːre roˈmaːno]; Italian for 'The Roman Observer') is the daily newspaper of Vatican City State which reports on the activities of the Holy See and events taking place in the Church and the world. It is owned by the Holy See but is not an official publication, a role reserved for the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, which acts as a government gazette. The views expressed in the Osservatore are those of individual authors unless they appear under the specific titles "Nostre Informazioni" or "Santa Sede".Available in nine languages, the paper prints two Latin mottos under the masthead of each edition: Unicuique suum ("To each his own") and Non praevalebunt ("[The gates of Hell] shall not prevail"). The current editor-in-chief is Andrea Monda.
On 27 June 2015, Pope Francis, in an apostolic letter, established the Secretariat for Communications, a new part of the Roman Curia, and included L'Osservatore Romano under its management.Pastor bonus
Pastor bonus (Latin: "The Good Shepherd") is an apostolic constitution promulgated by Pope John Paul II on 28 June 1988. It instituted a number of reforms in the process of running the central government of the Roman Catholic Church, as article 1 states "The Roman Curia is the complex of dicasteries and institutes which help the Roman Pontiff in the exercise of his supreme pastoral office for the good and service of the whole Church and of the particular Churches. It thus strengthens the unity of the faith and the communion of the people of God and promotes the mission proper to the Church in the world".Pontifical Council Cor Unum
The Pontifical Council Cor Unum for Human and Christian Development was a dicastery of the Roman Curia of the Catholic Church from 1971 to 2016.Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace (Justitia et Pax) was a dicastery of the Roman Curia dedicated to "action-oriented studies" for the international promotion of justice, peace, and human rights from the perspective of the Roman Catholic Church. To this end, it cooperates with various religious institutes and advocacy groups, as well as scholarly, ecumenical, and international organizations.
Among its reference works is the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church.
Effective 1 January 2017, the work of the Council was assumed by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and Cardinal Peter Turkson became Prefect of the Dicastery.Pontifical Council for the Family
The Pontifical Council for the Family was part of the Curia of the Roman Catholic Church from 1981 to 2016. It was established by Pope John Paul II on 9 May 1981 with his motu proprio Familia a Deo Instituta, replacing the Committee for the Family that Pope Paul VI had established in 1973. The Council fostered "the pastoral care of families, protects their rights and dignity in the Church and in civil society, so that they may ever be more able to fulfill their duties."Its functions were shifted to the new Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life on 1 September 2016.Pontifical Council for the Laity
The Pontifical Council for the Laity was a unit of the Roman Catholic Curia from 1967 to 2016. It had the responsibility of assisting the Pope in his dealings with the laity in lay ecclesial movements or individually, and their contributions to the Church. Its last Cardinal President from 4 October 2003 to 31 August 2016 was Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko. Its undersecretary from 1967 to 1976 was Professor Rosemary Goldie, the first woman to be the Undersecretary of a Pontifical Council and the highest-ranking woman in the Roman Curia at the time. Another layman, Professor Guzman Carriquiry Lecour, was undersecretary from 1991 to 2011.
The Pontifical Council for the Laity had its foundation in Vatican II's Apostolicam Actuositatem - Decree on the Lay Apostolate. The council was created in January 1967 by Pope Paul VI's motu proprio Catholicam Christi Ecclesiam. In December 1976, the council was included as a permanent fixture of the Roman Curia.In September 2016, its functions were shifted to the new Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life.Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People
The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People (Pontificium Consilium de Spirituali Migrantium atque Itinerantium Cura) was a dicastery of the Roman Curia. The Council, established by Pope John Paul II on 28 June 1988, was dedicated to the spiritual welfare of migrant and itinerant people.
The last President of the Council was Cardinal Antonio Maria Vegliò, who was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI on 28 February 2009. The last Secretary was Bishop Joseph Kalathiparambil, who was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI on February 22, 2011, and who had until then been serving as the Bishop of the Calicut, India.
Effective 1 January 2017, the work of the Council was assumed by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.Pontifical council
The pontifical councils are a group of several mid-sized dicasteries, each led by a cardinal or archbishop as president, which are part of the larger organization called the Roman Curia. The Roman Curia is charged with helping the Pope in his governance and oversight of the Roman Catholic Church.Roman Curia
The Roman Curia comprises the administrative institutions of the Holy See and the central body through which the affairs of the Catholic Church are conducted. It acts in the Pope’s name and with his authority for the good and for the service of the particular Churches and provides the central organization for the Church to advance its objectives.The structure and organization of responsibilities within the Curia are at present regulated by the apostolic constitution Pastor bonus, issued by Pope John Paul II on 28 June 1988, which Pope Francis has decided to revise.Other bodies that play an administrative or consulting role in Church affairs are sometimes mistakenly identified with the Curia, such as the Synod of Bishops and regional conferences of bishops. Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote in 2015 that "the Synod of Bishops is not a part of the Roman Curia in the strict sense: it is the expression of the collegiality of bishops in communion with the Pope and under his direction. The Roman Curia instead aids the Pope in the exercise of his primacy over all the Churches."Secretariat for the Economy
The Secretariat for the Economy (Italian: Segreteria per l'economia) is a dicastery of the Roman Curia with authority over all economic activities of the Holy See and the Vatican City State.Vatican Media
Vatican Media (formerly Centro Televisivo Vaticano) is the Holy See national broadcaster of the Vatican City State which first aired in 1983.Vatican Publishing House
The Vatican Publishing House (Italian: Libreria Editrice Vaticana; Latin: Officina libraria editoria Vaticana; LEV) is a publisher established by the Holy See in 1926. It is responsible for publishing official documents of the Roman Catholic Church, including Papal bulls and encyclicals. On 27 June 2015, Pope Francis decreed that the Vatican Publishing House would eventually be incorporated into a newly established Secretariat for Communications in the Roman Curia.
of the faithful