The Roman Curia| Secretariat of State| Congregations| Tribunals| Pontifical Councils| Offices| Other Curial Bodies
Contact Curia Offices| List Of Popes


The Roman Curia is the ensemble of the dicasteries and bodies that assist the Pope in the exercise of his supreme pastoral office for the good and in service of the Church throughout the world and of the particular Churches, assisting in the maintenance of the unity of the Faith and the communion of the People of God and in the promotion of the proper mission of the Church in the world.
There are a number of departments of the Roman Curia, each with their own responsibilities and competencies. The most important parts of the Curia are the Secretariat of State and the various Congregations. Then, there are Pontifical Councils and Pontifical Commissions.
Apart from the formal structures of the Roman Curia, the Pope may convoke an extraordinary consistory of the College of Cardinals to consider special difficulties or questions. In this way, they can advise him as a body, not just the Cardinals who advise the Holy Father as part of the Roman Curia itself, but all the Cardinals from around the world. The Pope has done this on a number of occasions during his pontificate. This is quite a novelty and was not done often during the pontificates of any of his modern predecessors.
In particular, the Pope has established a "Commission of Cardinals for the study of the organizational and economic problems of the Holy See" which meets regularly to assist the Holy Father with the economic management of the Vatican. The Holy Father established this commission early in his pontificate to help turn around a growing deficit in the Vatican's books that he inherited from his predecessors.


The Secretariat of State is headed by the Cardinal Secretary of State. This is the most important body within the Roman Curia. It is divided into two sections.

General Section| Relations with States

General Section

The first section, the General Section, is responsible for:

Relations with States

The second section, the Section for Relations with States, is responsible for the Holy See's diplomatic corps, its relations with civil society, negotiating concordats with States relating to the Church's position and status, ensuring representation of the Holy See before international organizations.

Doctrine of the Faith| Eastern Churches| Sacraments| Saints| Bishops| Evangelation| Clergy| Apostolic Life

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is the next most important dicastery of the Roman Curia.
This Congregation used to be called the "Holy Office" and before that it was known as the "Holy Roman Inquisition".
The primary duty and responsibility of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is to promote and preserve the Catholic Faith throughout the Church. Anything touching on the doctrine of the faith or on morals is within the competence of this dicastery.
In particular, the Congregation has the responsibility of examining the writings of theologians to ensure that they are not inconsistent with Catholic doctrine and, even, of disciplining theologians who refuse to resile from views considered erroneous or perilous to the Faith.
If required, the Congregation may publish declarations dealing with certain questions of faith and morals. The Congregation has issued a number of particularly important documents over the years such as the responsum ad dubium clarifying that in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis the Holy Father was merely restating a teaching which if part of the infallible Deposit of Faith, the Declaration on Certain Questions of Sexual Ethics, the Declaration on Euthanasia.
There is also a section of the Congregation responsible for the investigation and verification of private revelations.
The Congregation is responsible for the Pontifical Biblical Commission and the International Theological Commission.

Congregation for the Eastern Churches
This Congregation has full responsibility for matters pertaining to any of the Eastern Rites of the Church and their governance. It has competence over all matters which in the Latin rite would be governed by one of the other dicasteries. The only dicasteries that retain their competence with respect to the Eastern Churches are the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the Tribunal of the Roman Rota and the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. So, all matters which would normally be within the competence of say, the Congregation for Bishops or the Congregation for the Clergy, are dealt with by the Congregation for the Eastern Churches.

Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
This Congregation has primary responsibility for the Sacred Liturgy and the Sacraments. They must prepare all rubrics, approve translations, etc.
The Congregation also has competency in anything that regards Sacred Art or Sacred Music. It is responsible for regulating the veneration of holy relics and confirming Patron Saints.

Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei"
This Commission was established by the Holy Father in 1988 when he introduced the indult for priests to say the Tridentine Mass as a response to the ex-communication of Archbishop Lefebvre and the members of the Society of St Pius X. The role of the commission is to assist the faithful in the establishment of Indult masses and parishes in their dioceses.

Congregation for the Causes of Saints
This Congregation is responsible for the investigation and examination of the lives and the writings of candidates for beatification and canonization. It is responsible for verifying and preserving sacred relics.

Congregation for Bishops
The Congregation for Bishops is responsible for the delineation, division, establishment and merging of Dioceses, for the consideration of candidates to be appointed to Dioceses and the recommendation of candidates to the Holy Father. It is also responsible in a more general sense for assisting the Bishops in their governance of their own Dioceses. It receives their quinquennial reports and organizes their visits ad limina Apostolorum.

Pontifical Commission for Latin America
This Commission is charged with assisting the various Dicasteries of the Roman Curia by studying the life of the Church and its development in Latin America. It operates under the auspices of the Congregation for Bishops.

Congregation for the Evangelation of Peoples
This Congregation is responsible for missionary activity throughout the World. It is the Congregation which used once to be called the, Propaganda Fide, Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith.

Congregation for the Clergy
This Congregation is responsible for matters relating to secular priests and deacons . One of its chief roles is to try and ensure a more equitable distribution of priests throughout the world. It is also responsible for the laicization of priests wanting to leave the priesthood.

Pontifical Commission for the Preservation of the Artistic and Historical Patrimony of the Church
Operating under the aegis of the Congregation for the Clergy, this Commission is responsible for preserving the artistic and historical heritage of the entire Church, including the Vatican Archives and the Vatican Library.

Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
This Congregation has responsibility for matters concerning religious orders and the priests and religious belonging to them. It is also responsible for the establishment of new orders, and for reviewing changes to the constitutions of orders. It is also responsible for those members of the laity who are members of Tertiary Orders, and for associations of the faithful which qualify for official recognition.

Congregation for Catholic Education
This Congregation is responsible for seminaries, Catholic Universities, Pontifical Institutes and Catholic Education generally.

Apostolic Penitentiary| Apostolic Signature| Roman Rota

Apostolic Penitentiary
The Apostolic Penitentiary is responsible for all matters concerning the "internal forum" and indulgences. It is also responsible for providing priests to hear confessions to the Patriarchal Basilicas of Rome. During a Conclave, the Major Penitentiary, the Cardinal who heads the Apostolic Penitentiary, is one of the only Cardinals permitted to receive messages from his office or to return to it if required.

Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature
This is a tribunal of appeal from the Tribunal of the Roman Rota. It is the highest court of appeal available in matters concerning the Church's tribunals.

Tribunal of the Roman Rota
This is a court of appeal from local Tribunals, and a court of first instance where there is no competency with local Tribunals.

Laity| Christian Unity| Family| Life| Justice and Peace| Cor Unum| Migrants and Itinerant Peoples
Health-Care Workers| Legislative Texts| Inter-religious Dialogue| Non-Believers| Culture| Communications

Pontifical Council for the Laity
The council is responsible for matters relating to the coordination and promotion of the apostolate and Christian life of the laity.

Pontifical Council for Christian Unity
This Council is responsible for ecumenical dialogue and relations with other Christian Churches.

Pontifical Council for the Family
This Council is responsible for protecting and promoting the Family. It assists Bishops throughout the world in Family matters, organizes conferences on Family issues, etc.

Pontifical Council for Life
This Council is to advise The Holy Father on issues relating to the sanctity of human life. Its members are bishops, theologians and laypeople whose expertise or talents lie in the development of the culture of life the Holy Father called for in Evangelium Vitae.

Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
This Council is responsible for promoting peace and justice in the World according to the Gospels and Catholic Social Teaching.

Pontifical Council "Cor Unum"
This Council is responsible for expressing the care of the Church towards those in need. It fosters charitable works by the faithful, assists those in urgent or calamitous situations, and those in special need of assistance.

Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples
This Council is responsible for the care of people who are transient and who are not readily cared for within traditional diocesan structures. It is also responsible for the Apostleship of the Sea.

Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Health-Care Workers
This Council is primarily responsible for assisting Health-Care Workers, their spiritual needs and those of their patients, assisting local churches to train and regulate the activities of hospital chaplains, etc.

Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts
This Council's role is to advise on matters of the interpretation of canon law.

Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue
This Council is responsible for ecumenical matters concerning the Church's relations with non-Christian Faiths.

Pontifical Council for Dialogue with Non-Believers
This Council is responsible for the Church's relations with those who do not believe.

Pontifical Council for Culture
This Council facilitates relations between the Holy See and the Cultural World.

Pontifical Council for Social Communications
This Council is responsible for matters relating to the use of the media for the spreading of the Gospel.

Camerlengo| Patrimony of the Holy See| Administration of Funds

Office of the Camerlengo
This Office takes on importance during the vacancy of the Holy See (after a Pope dies and before a new Pope is elected).

Office for the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See
This Office is responsible for administering the Holy See's property and goods.

Office for the Administration of Funds
This Office administers funds donated by the Dioceses around the World, income from investments and the proceeds of the annual Peter's Pence collection.

Prefecture of the Papal Household| Pontifical Master of Ceremonies

Prefecture of the Papal Household
The Prefect of the Papal Household is responsible for arranging all audiences with the Pope and administering the Papal apartments.

Pontifical Master of Ceremonies
The Pontifical Master of Ceremonies is responsible for organizing all papal liturgies and assisting the Pope at those liturgies. He also organizes the Wednesday General Audience in the Pope Paul VI Auditorium.




  1. Saint Peter   (32-67)
  2. Saint Linus   (67-76)
  3. Saint Anacletus Cletus   (76-88)
  4. Saint Clement I   (88-97)
  5. Saint Evaristus   (97-105)
  6. Saint Alexander I   (105-115)
  7. Saint Sixtus I   (115-125) - also called Xystus I
  8. Saint Telesphorus   (125-136)
  9. Saint Hyginus   (136-140)
  10. Saint Pius I   (140-155)
  11. Saint Anicetus   (155-166)
  12. Saint Soter   (166-175)
  13. Saint Eleutherius   (175-189)
  14. Saint Victor I   (189-199)
  15. Saint Zephyrinus   (199-217)
  16. Saint Callistus I   (217-22)
  17. Saint Urban I   (222-30)
  18. Saint Pontain   (230-35)
  19. Saint Anterus   (235-36)
  20. Saint Fabian   (236-50)
  21. Saint Cornelius   (251-53)
  22. Saint Lucius I   (253-54)
  23. Saint Stephen I   (254-257)
  24. Saint Sixtus II   (257-258)
  25. Saint Dionysius   (260-268)
  26. Saint Felix I   (269-274)
  27. Saint Eutychian   (275-283)
  28. Saint Caius   (283-296) - also called Gaius
  29. Saint Marcellinus   (296-304)
  30. Saint Marcellus I   (308-309)
  31. Saint Eusebius   (309 or 310)
  32. Saint Miltiades   (311-14)
  33. Saint Sylvester I   (314-35)
  34. Saint Marcus   (336)
  35. Saint Julius I   (337-52)
  36. Liberius   (352-66)
  37. Saint Damasus I   (366-83)
  38. Saint Siricius   (384-99)
  39. Saint Anastasius I   (399-401)
  40. Saint Innocent I   (401-17)
  41. Saint Zosimus   (417-18)
  42. Saint Boniface I   (418-22)
  43. Saint Celestine I   (422-32)
  44. Saint Sixtus III   (432-40)
  45. Saint Leo I (the Great)   (440-61)
  46. Saint Hilarius   (461-68)
  47. Saint Simplicius   (468-83)
  48. Saint Felix III (II)   (483-92)
  49. Saint Gelasius I   (492-96)
  50. Anastasius II   (496-98)
  51. Saint Symmachus   (498-514)
  52. Saint Hormisdas   (514-23)
  53. Saint John I   (523-26)
  54. Saint Felix IV (III)   (526-30)
  55. Boniface II   (530-32)
  56. John II   (533-35)
  57. Saint Agapetus I   (535-36) - also called Agapitus I
  58. Saint Silverius   (536-37)
  59. Vigilius   (537-55)
  60. Pelagius I   (556-61)
  61. John III   (561-74)
  62. Benedict I   (575-79)
  63. Pelagius II   (579-90)
  64. Saint Gregory I the Great   (590-604)
  65. Sabinian   (604-606)
  66. Boniface III   (607)
  67. Saint Boniface IV   (608-15)
  68. Saint Deusdedit Adeodatus I   (615-18)
  69. Boniface V   (619-25)
  70. Honorius I   (625-38)
  71. Severinus   (640)
  72. John IV   (640-42)
  73. Theodore I   (642-49)
  74. Saint Martin I   (649-55)
  75. Saint Eugene I   (655-57)
  76. Saint Vitalian   (657-72)
  77. Adeodatus (II)   (672-76)
  78. Donus   (676-78)
  79. Saint Agatho   (678-81)
  80. Saint Leo II   (682-83)
  81. Saint Benedict II   (684-85)
  82. John V   (685-86)
  83. Conon   (686-87)
  84. Saint Sergius I   (687-701)
  85. John VI   (701-05)
  86. John VII   (705-07)
  87. Sisinnius   (708)
  88. Constantine   (708-15)
  89. Saint Gregory II   (715-31)
  90. Saint Gregory III   (731-41)
  91. Saint Zachary   (741-52)
  92. Stephen II   (752)
  93. Stephen III   (752-57)
  94. Saint Paul I   (757-67)
  95. Stephen IV   (767-72)
  96. Adrian I   (772-95)
  97. Saint Leo III   (795-816)
  98. Stephen V   (816-17)
  99. Saint Paschal I   (817-24)
  100. Eugene II   (824-27)
  101. Valentine   (827)
  102. Gregory IV   (827-44)
  103. Sergius II   (844-47)
  104. Saint Leo IV   (847-55)
  105. Benedict III   (855-58)
  106. Saint Nicholas I the Great   (858-67)
  107. Adrian II   (867-72)
  108. John VIII   (872-82)
  109. Marinus I   (882-84)
  110. Saint Adrian III   (884-85)
  111. Stephen VI   (885-91)
  112. Formosus   (891-96)
  113. Boniface VI   (896)
  114. Stephen VII   (896-97)
  115. Romanus   (897)
  116. Theodore II   (897)
  117. John IX   (898-900)
  118. Benedict IV   (900-03)
  119. Leo V   (903)
  120. Sergius III   (904-11)
  121. Anastasius III   (911-13)
  122. Lando   (913-14)
  123. John X   (914-28)
  124. Leo VI   (928)
  125. Stephen VIII   (929-31)
  126. John XI   (931-35)
  127. Leo VII   (936-39)
  128. Stephen IX   (939-42)
  129. Marinus II   (942-46)
  130. Agapetus II   (946-55)
  131. John XII   (955-63)
  132. Leo VIII   (963-64)
  133. Benedict V   (964)
  134. John XIII   (965-72)
  135. Benedict VI   (973-74)
  136. Benedict VII   (974-83)
  137. John XIV   (983-84)
  138. John XV   (985-96)
  139. Gregory V   (996-99)
  140. Sylvester II   (999-1003)
  141. John XVII   (1003)
  142. John XVIII   (1003-09)
  143. Sergius IV   (1009-12)
  144. Benedict VIII   (1012-24)
  145. John XIX   (1024-32)
  146. Benedict IX   (1032-45)
  147. Sylvester III (1045)
  148. Benedict IX   (1045)
  149. Gregory VI   (1045-46)
  150. Clement II   (1046-47)
  151. Benedict IX   (1047-48)
  152. Damasus II   (1048)
  153. Saint Leo IX   (1049-54)
  154. Victor II   (1055-57)
  155. Stephen X   (1057-58)
  156. Nicholas II   (1058-61)
  157. Alexander II   (1061-73)
  158. Saint Gregory VII   (1073-85)
  159. Blessed Victor III   (1086-87)
  160. Blessed Urban II   (1088-99)
  161. Paschal II   (1099-1118)
  162. Gelasius II   (1118-19)
  163. Callistus II   (1119-24)
  164. Honorius II   (1124-30)
  165. Innocent II   (1130-43)
  166. Celestine II   (1143-44)
  167. Lucius II   (1144-45)
  168. Blessed Eugene III   (1145-53)
  169. Anastasius IV   (1153-54)
  170. Adrian IV   (1154-59)
  171. Alexander III   (1159-81)
  172. Lucius III   (1181-85)
  173. Urban III   (1185-87)
  174. Gregory VIII   (1187)
  175. Clement III   (1187-91)
  176. Celestine III   (1191-98)
  177. Innocent III   (1198-1216)
  178. Honorius III   (1216-27)
  179. Gregory IX   (1227-41)
  180. Celestine IV   (1241)
  181. Innocent IV   (1243-54)
  182. Alexander IV   (1254-61)
  183. Urban IV   (1261-64)
  184. Clement IV   (1265-68)
  185. Blessed Gregory X   (1271-76)
  186. Blessed Innocent V   (1276)
  187. Adrian V   (1276)
  188. John XXI   (1276-77)
  189. Nicholas III   (1277-80)
  190. Martin IV   (1281-85)
  191. Honorius IV   (1285-87)
  192. Nicholas IV   (1288-92)
  193. Saint Celestine V   (1294)
  194. Boniface VIII   (1294-1303)
  195. Blessed Benedict XI   (1303-04)
  196. Clement V   (1305-14)
  197. John XXII   (1316-34)
  198. Benedict XII   (1334-42)
  199. Clement VI   (1342-52)
  200. Innocent VI   (1352-62)
  201. Blessed Urban V   (1362-70)
  202. Gregory XI   (1370-78)
  203. Urban VI   (1378-89)
  204. Boniface IX   (1389-1404)
  205. Innocent VII   (1406-06)
  206. Gregory XII   (1406-15)
  207. Martin V   (1417-31)
  208. Eugene IV   (1431-47)
  209. Nicholas V   (1447-55)
  210. Callistus III   (1455-58)
  211. Pius II   (1458-64)
  212. Paul II   (1464-71)
  213. Sixtus IV   (1471-84)
  214. Innocent VIII   (1484-92)
  215. Alexander VI   (1492-1503)
  216. Pius III   (1503)
  217. Julius II   (1503-13)
  218. Leo X   (1513-21)
  219. Adrian VI   (1522-23)
  220. Clement VII   (1523-34)
  221. Paul III   (1534-49)
  222. Julius III   (1550-55)
  223. Marcellus II   (1555)
  224. Paul IV   (1555-59)
  225. Pius IV   (1559-65)
  226. Saint Pius V   (1566-72)
  227. Gregory XIII   (1572-85)
  228. Sixtus V   (1585-90)
  229. Urban VII   (1590)
  230. Gregory XIV   (1590-91)
  231. Innocent IX   (1591)
  232. Clement VIII   (1592-1605)
  233. Leo XI   (1605)
  234. Paul V   (1605-21)
  235. Gregory XV   (1621-23)
  236. Urban VIII   (1623-44)
  237. Innocent X   (1644-55)
  238. Alexander VII   (1655-67)
  239. Clement IX   (1667-69)
  240. Clement X   (1670-76)
  241. Blessed Innocent XI   (1676-89)
  242. Alexander VIII   (1689-91)
  243. Innocent XII   (1691-1700)
  244. Clement XI   (1700-21)
  245. Innocent XIII   (1721-24)
  246. Benedict XIII   (1724-30)
  247. Clement XII   (1730-40)
  248. Benedict XIV   (1740-58)
  249. Clement XIII   (1758-69)
  250. Clement XIV   (1769-74)
  251. Pius VI   (1775-99)
  252. Pius VII   (1800-23)
  253. Leo XII   (1823-29)
  254. Pius VIII   (1829-30)
  255. Gregory XVI   (1831-46)
  256. Ven. Pius IX   (1846-78)
  257. Leo XIII   (1878-1903)
  258. Saint Pius X   (1903-14)
  259. Benedict XV   (1914-22)
  260. Pius XI   (1922-39)
  261. Pius XII   (1939-58)
  262. John XXIII   (1958-63)
  263. Paul VI   (1963-78)
  264. John Paul I   (1978)
  265. John Paul II   (1978-2005)
  266. Benedict XVI  (2005-2013)
  267. Francis I  (2013-  )