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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1. What is the "Roman Curia?"

A. 1. The Roman Curia is the administrative part of the Holy See (Vatican) and the central body through which the Roman Pontiff (Pope) conducts the business of the universal Catholic Church. It acts in his name and with his authority for the good and for the service of the particular Churches and provides the necessary central organization for the correct functioning of the Church and the achievement of its goals.

"In exercising supreme, full, and immediate power in the universal Church, the Roman pontiff makes use of the departments of the Roman Curia which, therefore, perform their duties in his name and with his authority for the good of the churches and in the service of the sacred pastors." [Decree concerning the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church, Christus Dominus.]

The structure and organization of responsibilities within the Curia is 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.

Within the Roman Curia, you will find:

The secretariats

Secretariat of State
Secretariat for the Economy
Secretariat for Communications

The congregations

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
The Congregation for the Oriental Churches
The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
The Congregation for the Causes of Saints
The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
The Congregation for the Clergy
The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
The Congregation for Catholic Education (Institutes of Study)
The Congregation for Bishops

The Tribunals

The Apostolic Penitentiary
The Tribunal of the Rota Romana
The Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura

The Pontifical Councils

The Pontifical Council for the Laity
The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
The Pontifical Council for the Family
The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
The Pontifical Council Cor Unum
The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants
The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Health Care Workers
The Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts
The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue
The Pontifical Council for Culture
The Pontifical Council for Social Communications
The Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization

The Synod of Bishops

The offices

The Apostolic Camera
The Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See
The Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See

The Pontifical commissions

The Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church
The Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei"
The Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology
The Pontifical Biblical Commission
The International Theological Commission
Interdicasterial Commissions
The Pontifical Commission for Latin America
The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors

The Swiss Guard

The Labour Office of the Apostolic See

The pontifical academies

The Pontifical Academy Cultorum Martyrum
The Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy
The Pontifical Academy for Life
The Pontifical Academy of Sciences
The Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences

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