Roman Curia

The Roman Curia is the administrative apparatus of the Holy See and the central governing body of the entire Catholic Church, together with the Pope. It coordinates 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

Curia in medieval and later Latin usage means "court" in the sense of "royal court" rather than "court of law". The Roman Curia, then, sometimes anglicized as the Court of Rome, as in the 1534 Act of Parliament that forbade appeals to it from England, is the Papal Court, and assists the Pope in carrying out his functions. The Roman Curia can be loosely compared to cabinets in governments of countries with a Western form of governance, but only the Second Section of the Secretariat of State, known also as the Section for Relations with States, the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and the Congregation for Catholic Education, can be directly compared with specific ministries of a civil government.

It is normal for every Latin Catholic diocese to have its own curia for its administration. For the Diocese of Rome, these functions are not handled by the Roman Curia, but by the Vicariate General of His Holiness for the City of Rome, as provided by the Apostolic Constitution Ecclesia in Urbe. The Vicar General of Rome, traditionally a Cardinal, and his deputy the Vicegerent, who holds the personal title of Archbishop, supervise the governance of the diocese by reference to the Pope himself, but with no more dependence on the Roman Curia, as such, than other Catholic dioceses throughout the world.

Until recently, there still existed hereditary officers of the Roman Curia, holding titles denominating functions that had ceased to be a reality when the Papal States were lost to the papacy. A reorganization, ordered by Pope Pius X, was incorporated into the Code of Canon Law (promulgated 1917). Further steps toward reorganization were begun by Pope Paul VI in the 1960s. Among the goals of this curial reform were the modernization of procedures and the internationalization of the curial staff. These reforms are reflected in the second Code of Canon Law (1983).

The offices of the Vatican City State are not part of the Roman Curia, which is composed only of offices of the Holy See.

The following organs or charges, according to the official website of the Holy See, compose the Curia:

Read more about Roman Curia:  The Secretariat of State, The Congregations, The Tribunals, The Pontifical Councils, The Synod of Bishops, The Swiss Guard, The Labour Office of The Apostolic See, The Pontifical Academies

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