PRAEDICATE EVANGELIUM- On the Roman Curia and its service to the Church in the world (19/03/2022)

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    The Roman Curia is at the service of the Pope, who, as the successor of Peter, is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the Bishops and of the whole company of the faithful. [15] By virtue of this bond, the work of the Roman Curia is also organically related to the College of Bishops and individual Bishops, as well as to Episcopal Conferences and their regional and continental groupings, and the hierarchical structures of the Eastern Churches. All these are of great pastoral benefit as expressions of the affective and effective communion existing among the Bishops. The Roman Curia is not set between the Pope and the Bishops, but is at the service of both, according to the modalities proper to the nature of each.

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    Structure of the Dicasteries

    Art. 2 — § 1. 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.

    § 2. The dicasteries are juridically equal among themselves.

    § 3. Among the institutes of the Roman Curia are the Prefecture of the Papal Household and the Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff.

    Art. 3 — § 1. Unless they have a different structure in virtue of their specific nature or some special law, the dicasteries are composed of the cardinal prefect or the presiding archbishop, a body of cardinals and of some bishops, assisted by a secretary, consultors, senior administrators, and a suitable number of officials.

    § 2. According to the specific nature of certain dicasteries, clerics and other faithful can be added to the body of cardinals and bishops.

    § 3. Strictly speaking, the members of a congregation are the cardinals and the bishops.

    Art. 4. — The prefect or president acts as moderator of the dicastery, directs it and acts in its name.

    The secretary, with the help of the undersecretary, assists the prefect or president in managing the business of the dicastery as well as its human resources.

    Art. 5 — § 1. The prefect or president, the members of the body mentioned in art. 3, § 1, the secretary, and the other senior administrators, as well as the consultors, are appointed by the Supreme Pontiff for a five-year term.

    § 2. Once they have completed seventy-five years of age, cardinal prefects are asked to submit their resignation to the Roman Pontiff, who, after considering all factors, will make the decision. Other moderators and secretaries cease from office, having completed seventy-five years of age; members, when they have completed eighty years of age; those who are attached to any dicastery by reason of their office cease to be members when their office ceases.

    Art. 6 — On the death of the Supreme Pontiff, all moderators and members of the dicasteries cease from their office. The camerlengo of the Roman Church and the major penitentiary are excepted, who expedite ordinary business and refer to the College of Cardinals those things which would have been referred to the Supreme Pontiff.

    The secretaries see to the ordinary operations of the dicasteries, taking care of ordinary business only; they need to be confirmed in office by the Supreme Pontiff within three months of his election.

    Art. 7 — The members of the body mentioned in art. 3, § 1, are taken from among the cardinals living in Rome or outside the city, to whom are added some bishops, especially diocesan ones, insofar as they have special expertise in the matters being dealt with; also, depending on the nature of the dicastery, some clerics and other Christian faithful, with this proviso that matters requiring the exercise of power of governance be reserved to those in holy orders.

    Art. 8 — Consultors also are appointed from among clerics or other Christian faithful outstanding for their knowledge and prudence, taking into consideration, as much as possible, the international character of the Church.

    Art. 9 — Officials are taken from among the Christian faithful, clergy or laity, noted for their virtue, prudence, and experience, and for the necessary knowledge attested by suitable academic degrees, and selected as far as possible from the various regions of the world, so that the Curia may express the universal character of the Church. The suitability of the applicants should be evaluated by test or other appropriate means, according to the circumstances.

    Particular Churches, moderators of institutes of consecrated life and of societies of apostolic life will not fail to render assistance to the Apostolic See by allowing their Christian faithful or their members to be available for service at the Roman Curia.

    Art. 10 — Each dicastery is to have its own archive where incoming documents and copies of documents sent out are kept safe and in good order in a system of “protocol” organized according to modern methods.


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