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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 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.[1]

Dicasteries of the Roman Curia

These dicasteries or departments are grouped in the following categories:

  1. Congregations, headed by a prefect, who is most frequently a cardinal:
    1. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (which also has jurisdiction over sexual abuse of minors committed by priests)
    2. The Congregation for the Oriental Churches
    3. The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
    4. The Congregation for the Causes of Saints
    5. The Congregation for Bishops
    6. The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
    7. The Congregation for the Clergy
    8. The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life
    9. The Congregation for Catholic Education (for seminaries and educational institutions)
  2. Dicasteries
    1. The Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life
    2. The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development (beginning 1 January 2017)
  3. Tribunals:
    1. The Apostolic Penitentiary
    2. The Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura
    3. The Tribunal of the Roman Rota
  4. Pontifical councils
    1. The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
    2. The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace (until 1 January 2017)
    3. The Pontifical Council Cor Unum (until 1 January 2017)
    4. The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants (until 1 January 2017)
    5. The Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers (until 1 January 2017)
    6. The Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts
    7. The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue
    8. The Pontifical Council for Culture
    9. The Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization
  5. Offices:
    1. The Apostolic Camera, headed by the Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church
    2. The Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See
    3. The Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See
  6. Secretariats:
    1. The Secretariat of State (or Papal Secretariat)
    2. The Secretariat for the Economy
    3. The Secretariat for Communications


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