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by Lóránd Ujházi1

Because of the current migration crisis the central organizations of the Catholic Church were forced to reflect upon more directly about the humanitarian, pastoral and policy aspects of the refugee issue. However, neither the annual speeches delivered by the pope at the annual World Day of Migrants and Refugees, nor other “ad hoc” communications by the representatives of the Holy See at multiple liturgical and diplomatic events led to any systematic legal and structural changes. These exhortations are not laws in the strict sense, instead they provide guidance to church organizations and pieces of advice for international and national authorities which must, by law, manage the whole migration crisis. The situation has changed with the emanation of a motu proprio titled Humanam progressionem on 31 August 2016, which led to the foundation of the new “Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development” inside the Vatican. This new document has amended the governance structure of the Holy See and other relevant regulations. In this paper we focus on the historical and political background which motivated the legislator to modify the existing legal framework. We analyze the new law and the new administrative system in the context of current Canon Law and its influence upon the operations of other Holy See offices.

Amendments to the Governance Structure of the Holy See and Canon Law during the European Migration Crisis2
The migration crisis of the past few years demanded that the leadership of the Holy See should make a much more determined statement in connection with the direction of the pastoral and humanitarian care of refugees and of the migration policy of Vatican. “Ad hoc” papal utterances in the field of migration—either on the annual World Day of Migrants and Refugees, or on more significant Christian festivals, or on any other protocol and liturgical events—did not result in comprehensive legislative and structural changes. Apostolic exhortations or encouraging reflections are not laws. On the one hand, they serve as guidelines for the ecclesiastical administration which participate in humanitarian and pastoral care of immigrants’. On the other hand, they offer moral consideration for secular and international organizations. These utterances are not negligible, but their significance cannot be overrated. They are not about legislative amendment, nor are we talking about establishing new institutions or assigning tasks, but they define basic behaviour and moral principles.3 Most of all they reflected the liberal migration policy which the new Pope represents, and which generated significant conflict inside the Catholic Church. On 31st August, 2016, the situation changed, when the Holy See office announced motu proprio4, Humanam progressionem and established a new Holy See office “Dicastery to Foster Integral Human Development”. The document does not formulate recommendation and urging any more, but it carries out changes in the structure of the Holy See offices and in their regulating laws. The reorganization of the Roman Curia and the modification of the official competences are not unique in the history of the Church.5 Termination and modification of offices, their subordinating under other offices often happened during Popes’ St. Peter’s service.6 Significant modifications rarely happened. A considerable change was performed by Pope Sixtus V in 1588,7 by Pope Pius in 1908,8 by Pope Paul VI in 19679 and by John Paul II in 1988. The Pope, as the supreme legislative, can freely modify the number, the name, the function, the competences and the management of the offices as firstly—in the reflections of the church—these offices of the Roman Curia do not exist of the divine right,10 but purely on the basis of dogmatic canon law and secondly, their task is to support the Pope’s main pastoral activity.11 However, it is logical both from the point of view of the canonical principle, according to which ecclesiastical offices should be established “in a stable manner”, (Can. 145 §1.),12 or the effectiveness of functioning to make limited number of modifications in the structure of the offices, and to carry out an overall conversion only in case of real pastoral and administrative demand.

Philosophical and  canonical consideration of the modification of the Curia
The spirit of the Second Vatican Council and those sudden changes that happened in the church and in the society played important roles in Paul VI’s and John Paul II’s curia reforms. As for the basic principles of the Second Vatican Council, the departments of the Roman Curia should be reorganized in a manner more appropriate to the needs of our time and of different regions and rites, especially in regard to their number, their titles, their competence, their procedures and how they coordinate their activities”. (CD 9), they constitute the theoretical basis of the current curia reform, too. It is obvious from Pope Francis’ Christmas speech, given in the presence of prominent representatives of the Roman Curia, in 2016. The curia reform was in the centre of the speech.  Besides reinforcing the canonical principles, “this means con-forming the Curia ever more fully to its purpose, which is that of cooperating in the ministry of the Successor of Peter, and supporting the Roman Pontiff in the exercise of his singular, ordinary, full, supreme, immediate and universal power” 13, the Pope summarized the essence of the reforms in twelve points: individualism; pastoral concern; missionary spirit; organizational clarity; improved functioning; modernization; sobriety; subsidiarity; synodality; catholicity; professionalism and gradualism.  These aspects formed the undeniable basic principles of the post Second Vatican Council reforms. So it can be seen that there is a kind of continuity in the point of theoretical principles between the current and the last two curia reforms of the twentieth century. As for the mission, the legislative framework and the scope of duties of the latest dicastery, especially its role in the field of migration, it fits into the current Pope’s philosophical and administrative concept.14The ecclesiastical legislator formed the institution motu proprio. Motu proprio, namely the law issued by the Pope on his own initiative and not because of being asked to do so,15 has often been applied to establish, modify, contract, divide and cease Holy See offices.16 Although motu proprio is issued by the Pope on his own initiative, the publication of the law is preceded by consultation.17 When establishing the new Holy See office, as some resources point out, Consilium Cardinalium Summo Pontifici (C-9, cardinal consultative body), the new private consultative body established by the Pope, also played roles. The Pope charged the body with, besides discussing general questions, examining the possible reorganization of the Roman Curia.18 Apart from this, the Pope consulted with the leaders of the affected decasteries and other experts, too. 19 Moto proprio, beginning Humanam progressionem, which establishes the new dicastery, is a short document. It clarifies only the name, the mission, the leadership and the principles of cooperation of the new office. The function of the dicastery is demonstrated more thoroughly, but not in details, by a regulation of five paragraphs, a statute. The legislator shortly mentions the name of the new office (par. 1), its structure (par. 2), its task, mission and scope of activities (par. 3), its relationship with the Roman Curia (par. 4) and with other, secular organisations (par. 5).  Beside its own rules of the decastery, the laws regulating the general functions of the Roman Curia must be kept as well (par. 2 §4). The briefness of the regulation partly can be explained with the fact that regulation was approved “ad experimentum”, in other words only for an experimental period. Probably, the decastery will be regulated more comprehensively and more thoroughly in the light of the experience emerging from its operation. However, the regulation, in spite of its briefness, is redundant, that is to say the repeated principles of the general legislation of the Roman Curia—unnecessarily – can be found in it. Possibly, it was the staff of the Roman Curia which found it important to warn the team of the newly established dicastery with wide scope of action, authority and tasks this way with some general principles.

Pope Benedict XVI already made changes in the office structure of the Roman Curia. He ordered competency modifications.20 He established a new Holy See decastery: Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.21 However, Pope Benedict XVI’s modifications, or those structural changes that were ordered by John Paul II after the apostolic constitution Pastor Bonus, cannot be compared to the current curia reform. The Pope himself called the current curia changes reforms, that is to say comprehensive changes. So it is probable, that he intends to order further structural and legal modifications. On the other hand, the new legislation, beyond the apostolic constitution Pastor bonus, regarding the Holy See offices requires the functions of the Roman Curia to be settled with a comprehensive body of law.

As four Holy See offices, Iustitia et Pax, Cor Unum Cor Unum, Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers and to Migrants and Itinerant Peoples were integrated into the new decastery, paragraphs 142-153, regulating the four pontifical councils, of the apostolic constitution Pastor Bonus abrogate.22 This touches nine paragraphs of the constitution. Only two paragraphs referred to Council for Pastoral Assistance to Migrants and Itinerant Peoples (par. 149-151)23 Laws that are contrary to motu proprio will abrogate as well on the grounds of the general principle of ceasing laws.  (Can 20) Inner rules—in a particular case secret or confidential—apply to the operation of each Holy See dicastery, too.   Obviously, the internal regulations of the four pontifical councils abrogated, too. Similarly, the directions, preambles and other additional orders regarding the four pontifical councils abrogated, too.

The merging of the Holy See offices was carried out to achieve greater effectiveness, and due to the similar characters and scope of activities of the four councils. This competence harmonization, namely the same or similar tasks should be under one dicastery, was a significant element in John Paul II’s curia reforms, too.24 The supreme legislator endeavoured to refer competences and authority, formerly owned by different Holy See dicasteries simultaneously, to the most adequate Holy See office in a given question.25 However, nearly thirty years have passed since the last curia reform. It is unavoidable, in spite of the best legal regulations that office parallelism should happen during this time. Pope Francis definitely referred to this difficulty in his Christmas speech to the staff of the Roman Curia. Regarding the merging of the four pontifical councils, the Pope explained that “The eventual merging of two or more Dicasteries competent in similar or closely connected matters to create a single Dicastery serves on the one hand to give the latter greater importance (even externally). On the other hand, the closeness and interaction of individual bodies within a single Dicastery contributes to improved functioning.”26

The Name of the New Dicastery
The name of the new dicastery, “for Promoting Integral Human Development”, reveals only that the Pope wants it to be in the service of human development. The statutes of the dicastery makes it clear that this means the issues of justice and peace (par. 1 §1). The further paragraphs of the statutes name more fields of human rights that come under the dicastery. It is always ideal when it is possible to deduce the main scope of activities, given by the legislator, from the name of the dicastery.27 It is the task of dicastery law to define its competences clearly. The names of the four dicasteries—Iustitia et Pax, Cor Unum Cor Unum, Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers and to Migrants and Itinerant Peoples—now integrated into one, clearly showed their basic mission. As the new dicastery—more or less – took over the authority and scope of activity of all the four abolished councils, it was not easy to condense these complex tasks under one name that expresses the scope of activities of the new dicastery.

The office is called “dicastery”.  The expression ‘dicastery’ is usually used as a collective noun for Holy See offices. The legislation that regulates the operation of the Roman Curia institutions and its preambles clarify what office types are meant under the expression ‘dicastery’. The apostolic constitution of Sixtus V’s, Immensa aeterni Dei (1588), of Pius X’s Sapienti Consilio (1908),28 of Paul VI’s Regimini Ecclesiae Universiae (1967)29 and finally of John Paul II’s, mostly in force Pastor Bonus (1988) leave no doubt about the general character of the word ‘dicastery’.30 The same comes to light from the direction of the State Secretariat, Regolamento generale della Curia Romana (1999), which—in Italian—clarifies the practical issues of the operation of the Roman Curia.31 The documents specify which Holy See office belongs to which major category of dicasteries. According to the preamble of the apostolic constitution Pastor Bonus, congregations, courts, pontifical councils and offices should be meant under ‘dicastery’.32 Practically, the State Secretariat is a dicastery, though it has a special mission and inner structure. Similar division of the Roman Curia is shown by paragraph 360 of the Code of Canon Law according to which “The Roman Curia consists of the Secretariat of State or the Papal Secretariat, the Council for the Public Affairs of the Church, congregations, tribunals, and other institutes”.33 Different dicastery types support the Pope in different fields of governing.34 The Pope is helped by pontifical councils in the field of pastoral life, by offices in the field of financial issues and by courts in the field of authority.35 Congregations have delegated executive power, and they participate in the field of authority.36 The equality between dicasteries is considered to be a basic principle by the laws regulating the curia.  However, the congregations in dicasteries perform tasks in connection with the life and mission of the church.37 The favoured role of the congregations is shown by the fact that they are led by cardinal prefects; on the other hand they are discussed after the general part and immediately after the Secretariat of State in the authority discussing the operation of the Holy See offices. Furthermore, the most important fact is that congregations own delegated executive power. In general, councils do not own—apart from some special cases—such executive power.38 From this aspect, it really makes a difference whether we mean a congregation or a council under a discastery.

So, it is obvious that the general usage of ‘dicastery’ for the new office in motu proprio, Humanam progressionem, is troublesome. Possibly, the legislator was motivated by the fact that the scope of activities of the new office, even though it does not belong to the issues which are a matter for the congregations, is significant and it is about the social teachings of the church. A favoured place was hoped to be secured for the new office in the structure of the Holy See. It was drawn near to congregations, which own greater authority, not in its name but in its legal regulation, leadership, management etc. At the same time, imprecise naming can cause uncertainty in authority and problems in management.

The Authority and the Scope of Activities of the New Dicastery
Motu proprio that decreed to establish the dicastery shortly summarizes the tasks of the new office. Beside the general problems of human rights, it emphasizes that the new office will be specially “in charge of migration.” It is obvious that—in many cases—migration is closely connected to other aspects of human rights mentioned by motu proprio, such as the problems of “people in need, the ill, the discriminated (…) the victims of military conflicts and natural disasters, victims of slavery and torture and people whose dignity is endangered. These other fields mentioned in the papal documents can be the causes of migration, or they belong to the scope of problems arising with migration. The latter consists of the right to work, especially that of the under-age, or the problems human trafficking in which the new dicastery also has rights to investigate. In these human right questions Popes or certain offices of the Holy See made statements several times. However, there were no Holy See offices which would have played the role of an umbrella organization.As the dicastery technically was formed with merging the above mentioned four pontifical councils, it would be logical for the new office to have the authority and scope of activities of the four merged dicasteries. Neither the establishing motu proprio, Humanam progressionem nor the regulating authority of the new dicastery reveals this fact. Rather, the new office does not seem to have a hundred per cent similarity with the scope of activities of the four abolished offices.

The competency of the Roman Curia offices can be defined on territorial competency—e.g. the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples on missionary territories—on personal competency—e.g. the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in issues of Eastern Catholics—or on authority competency—e.g. Congregation for Catechism, in the questions of faith and ethic.39 Both motu proprio, Humanam Progressionem, establishing the new office and the statute of the dicastery show that the new office has a personal competency regarding migrants, people in need, the ill and the discriminated, marginalised people, the victims of military conflicts and natural disasters, the imprisoned, the unemployed, the victims of slavery and torture, and people whose dignity is endangered. On the other hand, the dicastery has authority competency regarding “human rights”. Clearly, both the scope of the above mentioned people and of the connected human right questions is huge.  It will not be easy to cover all the sectors, not to mention defining the groups mentioned in motu proprio. Furthermore, the question is what will happen to those territories that used to be under the authority and scope of activities of the four—now merged into one—formal pontifical councils, but neither motu proprio nor the statute of the office mentions it definitely. The new office does not seem to have authority in these questions on the basis of the general principles of the preamble.40

One department of the new office definitely deals with migration. It deals with a field that is considered to be especially important by Pope Francis. The Holy See already owned an independent office that concentrated on the pastoral and humanitarian assistance for immigrants.41 The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, which was abolished by the new papal regulation, and whose scope of activities—at least partly—was integrated into the tasks of the new dicastery, used to coordinate the pastoral assistance and humanitarian care for immigrants. However, as the name of the former pontifical council showed, its authority did not extend to those only who fled from their native land. It supplied pastoral care for those all who were far—whatever the reason was—from their native land. 42 Regarding the jurisdiction of the Pontifical Council, the emphasis was on “travelling” and “being away” from the native land. 43 Considering the authority competency, it was of no importance whether refugees left their native lands because of economic, political or ethnical reasons, voluntarily or under pressure.44 It is a fact that the task, in general, of the abolished pontifical council was to organize the pastoral care for those living abroad, but significant shifts could have been seen for a long time.  Though the council—in theory—owned nine departments which concentrated on those living far from their native land, for a long time its main task had been the pastoral and humanitarian care of those living far from their homeland for any reason. It is clear as for other reasons, e.g. studies; work etc., those living far from their native land joined mainly the life of the local parish. Their circumstances of life, language and cultural learning cannot be compared to those of the refugees’.

At the same time, in spite of the Pope’s emphasized effort to build up the institutional frameworks for refugees care, the assessment of the dangers of migration, security risks, intolerable public security and social situation is a neglected area. Obviously, sooner or later the problem will have to be faced with. Regarding the previous problem the church has an authentic teaching, but papal immigration policy did not emphasize it. Owing to the series of crimes committed by radical groups of immigrants, the Pope’s speeches include that immigrants should respect the laws and traditions of receiving countries. A great leap forward that the utterances speak about the duties of the state regarding the protection of its citizens. 45 However, these segments are still negligible concerning papal and Holy See utterances in connection with immigration. It is not clear from the new documents, clarifying the scope of activities of the new dicastery, whether the Holy See office wants deal with—at least in theory—the security of the citizens of the receiving countries or not.

The leadership of the New dicastery   
Though the legislator does not call the new office congregation deliberately, its leadership is entrusted to a cardinal prefect, similarly to congregations (Statute, Par. 2 §1). The cardinal is helped by a secretary. In this aspect the statute of the dicastery follows the general laws and curial practice referring to the Roman Curia. The fourth paragraph of the Apostolic Constitution, Pastor Bonus, which is about the leading of dicasteries, notes that the prefect or the president leads and represents a dicastery. The secretary and the undersecretary help the prefect or the president with leading a dicastery in cooperation.46 In accordance with the practice the Holy Father appointed the leader of the new dicastery personally. The everyday engagement deriving from the leadership requires the prefect to live in Rome. 47The new statute, contrary to the above mentioned general laws and current practice, states that the prefect and the secretary can be helped by more undersecretaries in their work. Furthermore, there can be lay Christian faithfuls among undersecretaries. The apostolic Constitution, Pastor Bonus mentions only one undersecretary. 48 From the regulation Regolamento generale della Curia Romana, which regulates the practical functioning of the Roman Curia, we can conclude that dicasteries have only one undersecretary.49 Naturally, it is only a technical question, as the Pope can decide to appoint more than one personnel onto the second or third level of even one dicastery. It is not unprecedented in the history of the Roman Curia. Considering the fact that the new dicastery was established with merging four pontifical councils, it is justified appoint separate undersecretaries into integrated territories. On the other hand, against this, in other Holy See dicasteries with wide field of activities only one undersecretary was employed. Practically, Pope Francis appointed two undersecretaries, but each of them helps the work of the dicastery only in one field, with migration.

More questions arise with the fact that there can be lay Christian faithfuls among the undersecretaries. If we draw dicastery near congregations, the problem is more vivid. According to the current Canon law, lay people can participate in—to the norm of law—exercising the power of governance (potestas regiminis) (Can. 129 §2).  At the same time, “Those who have received sacred orders are qualified, according to the norm of the prescripts of the law, for the power of governance, which exists in the Church by divine institution and is also called the power of jurisdiction” (Can. 129 §1). Congregations own the Pope’s delegated executive authority. Executive power, which is an integral part of the power of governance beside legislative and judiciary power, can be practised by those who have received sacred order. The post-councilian legislation has repeated the principles in connection with practicing church governmental authority and with the assistance of lay personnels several times. The Apostolic Constitution, Pastor Bonus expressly notes regarding the Roman Curia that those who have received sacred order can participate in exercising the power of governance.50 The fourth paragraph of the constitution shortly refers to the post of the undersecretary.51 According to the original Latin text of the law, the post of the undersecretary is not accompanied with exercising the power of governance (Can. 129 §2). Some authors, who think the position of the undersecretary—helping the job of dicasteries and named in the Apostolic Constitution, Pastor Bonus—that it is the only “significant position” 52 that can be occupied by lay personnels.53 Nevertheless, if we take each congregation one by one, we find that priests were appointed to the position of the undersecretary in each case. Since, it is not easy to find the border between exercising the power of governance and participating in it.54 Significantly different—in some cases radical—answers were formulated in this question. The question has not been answered yet in all detail by canonicity.55 Employing a lay undersecretary in the new dicastery just makes the unanswered question of participation of lay personnels in exercising the power of governance more complicated.56 However, regarding the new dicastery, it is still a theory, as both of the vice-secreteies are priests.57

As for the department of the new dicastery dealing with refugees and immigrants, it works “ad tempus” (“for some time”) under the leadership of the Pope (Statute par. 1 §4). With this the Pope wanted to express his special attention towards the situation of refugees and migrants. At first, this papal measure seems unusual. Anyway, Holy See offices are under the Roman Pontiff’s direction, though not directly in majority but indirectly.58 The Pope appoints the leaders of dicasteries freely.59 The Pope exercises the supreme power of governance; the offices of the Curia participate in accordance with their scope of action defined in the law. After the publication of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor bonus, Pope John Paul II’s motu proprio, Inde a Pontificatus reinforced the deputy position of the Roman Curia in governance activity.60 The clearest sign of the Pope’s power of governance against the Roman Curia is the fact that the Roman Pontiff—as the supreme legislator—can issue new laws anytime to re-regulate the whole or part of the Roman Curia. 61 Certain Holy See offices have come under the Pope’s direct guidance several times throughout history for theological or church political reasons. For example, Congregation for Catechism was under the direct guidance of the Roman Pontiff because of the theological and moral questions concerned, Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and Congregation for the Oriental Churches because of the delicate situation of their area of operation.62 Last but not least, the department of the new dicastery that is responsible for the migration is managed by the Pope. The Holy Father appointed two people to be undersecretaries who are experienced in the field of migration, and help his work.63

The Principle of Cooperation
In the interest of higher efficiency, cooperation is considered to be evidence both by motu proprio and by the temporarily allocated statute of the new office. Cooperation is specified by the legislator on different levels:

  • Cooperation between the new dicastery and other Holy See offices
  • Cooperation inside the new dicastery, into which the representatives of local churches are incorporated,
  • Cooperation with the academic sector
  • Cooperation with the organisations of the new local churches, especially with episcopal conferences,
  • Cooperation with state, non-state and international organisations – with similar mission

1, Cooperation between the new dicastery and other Holy See offices
The cooperation between the new dicasteries, in different fields, but basically with the same tasks can be considered evidence. It is clear from the legislation which determines the operation of the Roman Curia. The statute repeats this principle first in general (par. 3 §5), then expressly in connection with the State Secretariat (par. 4 §1). The latter is logical, as the new dicastery operates in a field which is connected to international legislation, execution and institutions with number of strands (par. 4). However, according to the current law64 the first section of the State Secretary should cooperate with the new dicastery without any particular directives. The State Secretariat can fulfil its general function, with which it helps the Roman Pontiff manage everyday tasks, this way.  The new dicastery deals with actual political challenges whose evaluation has actively done by the Pope lately. It is especially true concerning migrants. Numbers of travels, declarations, documents and activities had to be arranged. As the fields studied by the new dicastery affect certain state and international organizations, its close connection to the second section of the State Secretariat, responsible for international relations, is also logical (par. 4 §2).65 In this field the second section of the State Secretariat owns general jurisdiction.66 The legislator emphasized that the new dicastery should work together with the State Secretariat when issuing public declarations and documents that are connected to the fields studied by certain governments and international organizations. Similarly, the dicastery cooperates with the State Secretariat when establishing international, intergovernmental delegations that deals with the matter of the new dicastery (par. 4 §3). It can be assumed that the dicastery will cooperate with other Holy See offices in a way that is specified in the laws.67 The legislator expects the new dicastery to gather as much information as possible in the studied fields (par. 3 §2). The best possible forum to achieve this goal is information exchange between Holy See offices. It can be ‘ad hoc’ when discussing an actual issue brought up by the first section of the State Secretariat.68 Through full or regular sessions of two or more dicasteries during which the leaders of the dicasteries discuss issues that refer to certain Holy See offices.691 Moreover, the cooperation can also be realized through interdicasterial committees that are confirmed by the Pope. 70 The tasks of these committees are to discuss questions that affect certain dicasteries together. Such committees can be established permanently or to solve a particular problem. 71 Considering the diversified tasks of the new dicastery, we can be sure the dicasterial cooperation, defined in the laws, will be widely used. Considering that there can be eastern Catholics among the refugees, we can discuss the competence of Congregation of the Eastern Churches. pontifical The cooperation is justified because of the competences and information of the Council for Promoting Christian Unity concerning other Christian denominations, and of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue regarding Muslims and other religious people.

2, Cooperation with the academic sector
The statute considers it important to cooperate with academic participants, too. Therefore it asks the dicastery to cooperate with the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (par. 4 §4). The Academy—Pontificia Accademia delle Scienze Sociali – was established by the Pope with his motu proprio, Socialium Scientiarum on 1st January, 1994. 72 Its aim was to deepen the social teachings of the church in the fields of social sciences, economics, politics and law. The new dicastery, in the light of safety and social challenges of the era, was established to deepen these principles in practice.  The academy was in close relation with the Pontifical Council Iustitia et Pax, which was integrated into new dicastery. The cooperation is reflected in common conferences mainly. It cannot be excluded that the cooperation will cover other areas later. The cooperation is justified from the point of view that the academy has published numbers of studies lately which discuss themes that are in connection with the scope of activities of the new dicastery.73 Certain offices of the Holy Apostolic See count on Roman and papal universities in all respects. The teachers of the university perform advisory and other tasks at Holy See offices. They perform incorporation, organize common  conferences, publish volumes.  This cooperation will be justified by the scope of activities of the dicastery.  It is possible that the cooperation will be extended over non-Rome based universities and theological faculties, too. Similarly, certain research centres that haven dealing with the challenges in which the new dicastery have been given competence may have greater significance.74

3, Cooperation with local ecclesiastical organizations
In the Curia reforms, performed after the Second Vatican Council, both Paul VI and John Paul II considered it to be a principle to strengthen the cooperation between the Apostolic Holy See and local churches.75 John Paul II, in his apostolic letter Novo millennio ineunte, stated “Much has also been done since the Second Vatican Council for the reform of the Roman Curia, the organization of Synods and the functioning of Episcopal Conferences. But there is certainly much more to be done, in order to realize all the potential of these instruments of communion, which are especially appropriate today in view of the need to respond promptly and effectively to the issues which the Church must face in these rapidly changing times.”76 The legislator, when establishing the new dicastery, emphasized the importance of cooperating with local churches, which can have—as in any event—formal and informal fields. The statute of the new dicastery calls the attention to the possible parts of cooperation. Other possible cooperation forms can be concluded from the general law referring to the Roman Curia and from the practice.

The new dicastery especially counts on the cooperation with Episcopal Conferences. The law does not mention deliberately that the committees of Episcopal Conferences, dealing with migration, can play important roles, too. The particular role of the conference is understandable: it is compulsory to be established in the Latin Church, and all superiors of the particular churches of a given country are members (Can. 447). The pastoral tasks of greater significance are coordinated via the conference (Can. 447). According to the documents of the Second Vatican Council (LG 23), the current Code of Cannon Law (Cans. 449-459) repeats the general principle of the cooperation between the Holy See and Episcopal Conferences.77 Motu proprio, Apostolos suos (issued on 21st May, 1998), which regulates the relations between the Holy See and Episcopal Conferences, considers the relationship of trust and collegiality between them to be evident. 78On the other hand, the cited law does not mention any other details concerning pastoral and humanitarian care.

As for the cooperation specifically in the field of migration, the competent Pontifical Council already tried to formulate some general directives in 1978.79 In 1986, the circular of Congregation for Catholic Education gave guidelines concerning priest education. The document asks Episcopal Conferences to integrate migration problems into priest education when forming the rules of national priest education.80 That time these documents affected the countries—North-American and Western-European—that were affected by immigration.

Erga Migranetes, issued on 3rd May, 2004, more thoroughly studies the possibilities in which local Episcopal Conferences and competent offices of the Holy See can work together.  The directive says,”In countries to which migrants go, or which they leave, in larger numbers, the Episcopal Conferences and the competent hierarchical structures of the Eastern Catholic Churches shall set up a special national commission for migration.” (Ch. V par. 19 §1) The directive leaves no doubt that the competent commissions of Episcopal Conferences have key roles regarding contacts with the competent offices of the Holy See. The request of the Holy See was taken seriously especially by the Episcopal Conferences of western countries. As for Eastern-European countries, having been not affected, either did not establish the commissions or they operated with low efficiency. In other cases, they dealt with other aspects of human rights as well as migration. In Hungary, first commission Iustitia et Pax of the Episcopal Conference and, after being abolished, commission Caritas in Veritate dealt with the problems of migration. In fact, the main activity of the commission—because of the transit character of the country—was not migration crises management. The president of the commission gained imprescriptible distinction in the field of gypsy pastoralwork.81

The directive, Erga Migrantes also discusses further cooperation possibilities between Episcopal Conferences and the competent Pontifical Council.It is therefore the duty of the Pontifical Council among other things: to study the reports sent in by Episcopal Conferences or the corresponding hierarchical structures of the Eastern Catholic Churches.” It is presumable that conferences, especially the commissions of conferences that deal with immigrations make summaries. It is probable that the new dicastery also claims these reports in spite of the fact that the regulation of the new dicastery does not mention it explicitly. The directive, Erga Migrantes also mentions that the Pontifical Council task is “to issue instructions, referred to by Can. 34 of the CIC, to make suggestions and encourage initiatives, activities and programmes to develop structures and institutions relating to the pastoral care of migrants.” Regarding the exchange of information, it definitely notes that the council is “to promote exchange of information among the different Episcopal Conferences or of that coming from the corresponding hierarchical structures of the Eastern Catholic Churches, and to facilitate their relations with one another, especially when it is a matter of transferring a presbyter from one nation to another for the pastoral care of migrants.”

Last but not least, it is “to study, encourage, and animate the pastoral activity of regional and continental organisms of ecclesial communion to co-ordinate and harmonise initiatives in favour of migrants.” In spite of the fact that the Pontifical Council was integrated into the new dicastery, and the regulations concerning the council were abolished, the general principles and the well-established practice of Erga migrantes concerning cooperation will probably be encompassed by the new office.

Regional cooperation, depending on the size of the territory that is affected by migration, can be limited to a smaller territory, to an ecclesiastical diocese or a prelature.82

In handling migration, beside the hierarchical structures of local churches, the Holy See cooperates with international catholic organizations.  Particularly, if these organizations have a department responsible for immigrants. For example, the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE), which involves 39 members and works in the spirit of episcopal collegiality of the Second Vatican council,   has been observing European migration situation since it was established. Commission Caritas in Veritate of CCEE has a separate Migration Section.83 The commission focuses on issues such as justice, peace and the protection of created world. Its aim is to promote European episcopes to share their experience. The section cooperated with the Pontifical council, integrated into the new dicastery, and in the future it will cooperate with the new dicastery.84

Specific aspects of cooperation—choosing the fellow workers and consultants of the dicastery
It can be considered to be a special kind of cooperation between particular churches and the Apostolic Holy See that not only professional and human suitability are measured when fellow workers and consultants are chosen for the dicastery. Another aspect is that the universal church should be represented as well (Par. 2 §2). In the law, regulating the Roman Curia, it is a basic principle that the universalism of the church should be demonstrated. 85 The dicasteries of the Roman Curia has always carried multicultural character. This multicultural character has been reinforced by the development of transport. However, the supreme legislator found it important to repeat the basic principle of universalism, as the new dicasteries deal with social and security questions all over the world. As for the field of migration particularly, when choosing the fellow workers and consultants of the Council for Pastoral Assistance to Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, integrated into the new dicastery, the basic aspect was that the whole universal church should be represented. Fellow workers, consultants and experts were tried to be chosen from both sending and receiving countries

The principle of the post-councilar legislation was that lay Christian faithfuls should appear in as many fields of church life—which are not reserved for clericals particularly—as possible. this principle was enforced to appear when choosing the fellow workers, mainly the consultants of the Holy See. It was new comparing to the old laws, in which choosing the fellow workers of the Holy See was nearly exclusively based on clericals.86 Lay Christian faithfuls were determining factors in the life of the dicasteries to which they were attached because of their state of life.  The Pontifical Council for the Laity, the Pontifical Council for the Family etc. always helped the work of the offices of the Holy See as consultants either collectively or individually.87 Pope Francis has promoted the consultative participation of lay faithfuls several times in connection with curia reforms.88 Beside the general principle, the Pope counts on the cooperation of lay faithfuls due to the special character of the field (Statute, par. 2 §2). Namely, the dicastery deals with fields—e.g. migration, effectiveness of human rights etc.—where there can be lay Christian faithfuls who are well qualified and experienced.

4; Cooperation with non-state, state and international organizations with the same mission  
The ecclesiastical legislation of the Second Vatican Council and the succeeding legislation several times pointed out the importance of the cooperation between ecclesiastical, secular and state organizations that work for accomplishing good goals.89 According to the councilian document, “the church shares the happiness and sufferings of the world.” During the past decades the Holy See and local churches have established close cooperation in several fields of life—having respect for the separation of the church and the state. 90 Besides the fact that the Apostolic Holy See maintains diplomatic relations with more and more countries, the number of tasks in which the Holy See and the given state or international organization cooperate has risen. Lately environment protection, social questions, poverty, struggle against famine and the common handling of migration crisis have come to the focus of deepening cooperation. 91 These questions have been commented in several documents by the social teachings of the church. According to the statute of the new dicastery, the new Holy See office becomes competent to maintain relations with societies, institutions and non-governmental organizations outside the Catholic Church that are devoted to promote justice and peace (Statute, par. 3 §5). Furthermore, respecting the jurisdiction of the other Holy See dicasteries, the office owns power to establish relations with governments and international organizations, too (Statute, par. 3 §5).

In the field of migration, the Apostolic Holy See—before the new dicastery was established—had already cooperated with non-governmental, governmental and international organizations on number of strands. The Pope stressed the significance of cooperation in numerous papal and Holy See documents. Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical, Caritas in veritate (issued in 2009)92 states that migration “is a striking phenomenon because of the sheer numbers of people involved, the social, economic, political, cultural and religious problems93 it raises, and the dramatic challenges it poses to nations and the international community. We can say that we are facing a social phenomenon of epoch-making proportions that requires bold, forward-looking policies of international cooperation if it is to be handled effectively.”94  (No. 62) The directive Erga migrantes, which is about migration, speaks about—besides the “ad intra” cooperation between its own organizations of the church—the significance of “ad extra” ecclesiastical dialogue, too. According to the directive, Erga migrantes the church contributes to world peace this way. The directive referred to the fact as well that handling migration is a special field of communication between religions and denominations, therefore “Finally the Pontifical Council, through its superiors and officials, is at times present in the international arena, representing the Holy See at meetings of multilateral organisations.”  (No. 32). The International Catholic Commission for Migration played an active role in it.

The Holy See is in connection with numbers of international organizations that are affected in handling migration crisis. Namely, with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and with the International Organization for Migration. The Apostolic Holy See became the full member of the latter in December, 2011 during the papacy of Benedict XVI’s. The International Organization for Migration had been in close relations with the Catholic Church before, especially with those Catholic organizations that took part in handling migration crisis. The cooperation referred to information exchange, conferences, meetings and particular activities such as aiding after armed conflicts or helping refugees return their native lands. As monk communities are at the forefront in helping immigrants in different fields inside the Catholic Church, the International Union of Superiors General is a strategic partner of International Catholic Migration Commission. Under wide-ranging cooperative activities the union holds preparatory lessons for monks all over the world, and it cooperates with further state offices. The most important partner of the International Catholic Migration Commission, among Holy See offices, was the Pontifical Council, which was responsible for the pastoral care Migrants and Itinerant Peoples and was later integrated into the new dicastery.95 Logically, this role is taken over by the new dicastery.  

The reshaping of the Roman Curia already started after Pope Francis was elected. The first steps aimed at establishing and reinforcing consultant bodies. It was followed by the reshaping of Holy See offices responsible for asset management, and then for families and marriages. Possibly, rapid changes in security environment and European migration crisis significantly participated in the fact the Pope established, with motu proprio Humanam progressionem, the new Holy See office “Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development”. The Pope’s policy was clear from his utterances and the tasks he had given ecclesiastical organizations. The jurisdiction and the scope of activities of the new organization leave no doubt that the Pope considers the question of immigrants his special point. Hopefully, the office—regarding migration—will deal with the assessment of the security state of receiving countries at least partly. This is not evident from motu proprio and its regulations, which shortly present the tasks and jurisdiction. They refer to human rights in general, in particular to those who are at the periphery of the society, especially to immigrants.

Although many people were astonished that the department of the dicastery responsible for immigrants was directed by the Pope himself, it is not unprecedented in the history of the Roman Curia. Moreover, in this field the Pope is helped by two experts as undersecretaries. Regarding the management of the dicastery, the question—so far has not been settled concerning canon law—of lay Christian faithfuls taking part in church governance emerges again.  In the regulation of the dicastery, the legislator expressly notes that the undersecretary can be a lay faithful. The question is whether it suits the cooperation of lay faithfuls, allowed by the law, in ecclesiastical governance.

The dicastery was formed by the integration of four pontifical councils. The new Holy See office did not take over all the jurisdictional and other duties of the pontifical councils.  The questions of human rights, people at the periphery of the society, the poor and, first of all, refugees form the most important scope of activities of the new office.

The name of the Holy See office, ‘dicastery’, itself raises uncertainty. Namely, dicastery, regarding Holy See offices, is used as a collective noun. It is neither a congregation nor a council. It is managed by the cardinal prefect, similarly to congregations, but its duties are limited to welfare and social questions, typical of councils. We find it difficult to follow the ecclesiastical legislator’s intention of giving an uncertain, general name. As long as congregations own executive power, councils do not. According to the general principle of the preamble, general laws concerning congregations cannot be applied to new dicasteries, unless they are called congregations.

The above mentioned documents consider the principle of cooperation evident. However, the questions studied by the dicastery have several fields—especially migration—that have national security dimension. In these fields both the Holy See and responsible ecclesiastical offices should strive for national security consciousness.bluestar



Author’s Note: This research was completed with the support of the Zrínyi Miklós habilitation excellence program directed by the National University of Public Service in the PACSDOP-2.1.2-CCHOP-15-2016-00001 “Public Service Development Establishing Good Governance” project of the European Union.

1. Senior Research Fellow, (National University of Public Service, Faculty of Military Sciences and Officer Training)

2. The writing appeared in the project “Good governance through Public service improvement” (KÖFOP 2.1.2-VEKOP-15-2016-00001), requested by National University of Public Service.

3. Pope Francis: Migranti e rifugati. Verso un mondo migliore. Migranti, 2014/1. 5.

4.Pope Francis: Motu proprio, Humanam progressionem. 17/07/2016 (Downloaded 19/01/2017)

5. Alfons Stickler: Le riforme della curia nella storia della chiesa. In: La curia romana nella Cost. Ap. “Pastor Bonus”. Szerk. AntonioBonnet—Carlo Gullo. Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano, 1990. 1-15.

6. Leopold von Ranke: A pápák története. Hungária, Budapest, 1936.

7. Apostolic Constitution, Immensa aeterni Dei, issued on 22nd January, 1588.

8.Apostolic Constitution, Sapienti Consilio, issued 29th, June, 1908. The main goal was to clean the Roman Curia of offices that did not deal merely with ecclesiastical questions and church matters. It makes clear that the dicasteries of the Roman Curia are congregations, offices, courts participating in propositional, disciplinal, administrative procedures and in litigation. Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1909/1. 7-108.

9. Apostolic Constitution, Regimini Ecclesiae Universiae, issued on 15th August, 1967. Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1967/59. 885-928. Comprehensive analysis to the results of the 1977 and preceding curia reforms: Ignacio Gordon: De Curia Romana renovata. Renovatio «desiderata» et renovatio «facta» conferuntur. Periodica, 1969/58. 59-116; José Antonio Souto: La reforma de la Curia Romana. Ius Canonicum, 1968/16. 547-578; Giuseppe Alberigo: Servire la comunione delle chiese. Concilium. 1979/7. 39-68.

10. In the theological and canonical reflection of the Catholic Church, the two offices, Peter’s that is papal and Apostolic that is pontifical, cannot be traced back merely to the ecclesiastical legislator’s wish, but to the divine’s wish. In consquence, these offices cannot be terminated by, but their rights and duties can be specified by by the ecclesiastical legislator.

11. James H. Provost: Local Church and Catholicity in the Constitution Pastor Bonus. The Jurist, 1992/52. 299-334.

12. To the history of the Roman Curia, see: Pásztor, Lajos: L’Histoire de la Curie romaine, problèmed’histoire de l’Église. Revue d’histoire ecclésiastique, 1969/64. 353-366; Niccolò Del Re: La Curia Romana: Lineamenti storico-giuridico. Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano, 1998.

13. Pope Francis: Hogyan folyik a római kúriai reformja. (downloaded 30/12/2016). See: John Paul II: Apostolic Constitution, Pastor Bonus, par. 1. 28/06/1988. Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1988/80. 859. “Curia Romana complexus est Dicasteriorum et Institutorum, quae Romano Pontificia diutricem operam navant in exercitio eius supremi pastoralis muneris ad Ecclesiae Universae Ecclesiarum que particularium bonum ac servitium, quo quidem unitas fidei et communio populi Dei roboratur atque missio Ecclesiae propria in mundo promovetur.”

14. The reorganization of the curia is not a mere aesthetic measure, but it always touches the point, so that the church can provide a more perfect mission, said Paul VI on 21st September, 1963, in his speech to the fellow workers of the Roman Curia.

15. Erdő, Péter: Motu proprio. In: Katolikus Lexikon. Ed. Diós, István. Szent István Társulat, Budapest, 2004. IX. pp. 359-360.

16. Pope Francis: Motu proprio, Fidelis dispensator et prudens. 2014. II. 24; Motu proprio. Trasferimento della Sezione Ordinaria dell’Amministrazione del Patrimonio della Sede Apostolica alla Segreteria per l’Economia. 2014. VII. 8; Motu proprio, Istituzione della Segreteria per la Comunicazione, 2015. VI. 15; Motu Proprio Sedula Mater. 2016. VIII. 15. Lásd még Gentile Claudio: La riforma della curia romana di Papa Francesco – Bilancio a tre anni dall’elezione. Rivista online di storia e informazione, 2016/84. Http:// (letöltés ideje: 2016. december 30.).

17. Gianfranco Ghirlanda: Il. M. P. Apostolos suos sulle Conferenze dei vescovi. Periodica, 1999/88. 613.

18. The council has consultations every second month.

19. Vincenzo Corrado: Nuovi Dicasteri: la riforma della Curia romana è realtà di Chiesa viva. (downloaded 30/12/2016).

20.Referring to Congregation for Educatuion and Congregation for the Clergy, see Benedict XVI: Motu proprio, Ministrorum institutio. 06/01/2013 I. 06. Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 2013/105.  pp. 133-134.

21. Pope Bendict XVI: Motu proprio, Fides per doctrinam, 06/01/2013  Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 2013/105. 136-139.

22. Pope John Paul II: Apostolic Constitution, Pastor Bonus, par. 142-153. 28/06/1988. Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1988/80  pp.  897-902.

23. Pope John Paul II: Apostolic Constitution, Pastor Bonus. 28/06/1988.. Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1988/80. pp. 899-900.

24. Jean Beyer: Le linee fondamentali della Costituzione Apostolica Pastor Bonus. In: La Curia Romana nella Cost. Ap. “Pastor Bonus”. Ed. Antonio Bonnet – Carlo Gullo. Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano, 1990. 33.

25. A typical example is Congregation for Sacraments and Divine Worship. After several competency changes, John Paul II united the two congregations, Congragation for Sacraments and Congregation for Divine Worship. Erdő, Péter: Istentiszteleti és Szentségi Kongregáció (lat. Congregatio de Cultu Divino et Disciplina Sacramentorum). In: Katolikus Lexikon. Ed. Diós, István. Szent István Társulat, Budapest, 2000. V. 462-464.

26. Basically, it is the supreme institution of the Apostolic Holy See, the State Secretariat was established with integrating different tasks and offices into one particular office. Bruno Bertagna: La Segreteria di Stato. In: La Curia Romana nella Cost. Ap. “Pastor Bonus”. Szerk.Bonnet Antonio – Gullo Carlo. Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano, 1990. 163.

27. Beyer J.: Le linee  op.cit.  pp. 36-38.

28. Pope Pius X: Apostolic Constitution, Sapienti Consilio. 29/05/1908 Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1909/1. pp.  7-108.

29. Paul VI: Apostolic Constitution, Regimini Ecclesiae Universiae. 15/08/1967  Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1967/59. pp. 885-928

30. Regarding the new struture, some authors noted that the name or the categorisation of the Holy See councils were not perfect. It was advised that the Holy See offices should be named differently. The name ‘dicastery’ was also among the suggestions, e.g. “Dicastero di Giustizia” for Apostolisc Penitence. But they are only the author’s opinions. Beyer J.: Le linee op.cit. 37.

31. State Secretariat: Directive, Regolamento generale della Curia Romana. 04/30/1999 §2, §13, §19, §6, §26, §103, § 4, §106, §116, §118, §1, §3,  Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1999/91. PP. 631-677.

32. John Paul II: Apostolic Constitution, Pastor Bonus. 28/06/1988 Preamb. 5.  Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1988/80. pp. 847-848. See: Érszegi, Márk Aurél: A Római Kúria Intézményei. (Downloaded 31/12/2016)

33. José Luis Gutiérez: Kommentár a 360. kánonhoz. In: Codice di Diritto Canonico e Leggi Complementari Commentato. ED. Juan, Ignacio Arrieta. Colletti, Roma, 2004. 296.

34. Antonio Viana: La potestad de los Dicasterios de la Curia Romana. Ius canonicum, 1990/59. pp. 83-114.

35. Juan Ignacio Arrieta: Governance Structures within the Catholic Church. Wilson and Lafleur, Montreal, 2000. pp. 147-148.

36. Francis ARINZE: Tipologia degli organismi della Curia Romana. La curia romana: aspetti ecclesiologici, pastorali, istituzionali: Per una lettura della “Pastor Bonus”. Testo e commenti. Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano,1989.

37. Stickler A.: Le riforme op.cit. 5.

38. Juan Ignacio Arrieta: Diritto dell’organizzazione ecclesiastica. Giuffrè, Milano, 1997. 305.

39. Arrieta J.: Governance  op.cit. pp. 147-148.

40. Ujházi, Lóránd: Joghézag feloldásának lehetőségei az Egyház hatályos jogában (Can. 19.). In. Kánonjog, a journal of Canon Law Institute, 2009/11. pp. 81-99; id: Törvénymagyarázat az Egyházban. Iustum Aequum Salutare, 2009/5. 75-107.

41. Ujházi, Lóránd: A menekültek lelkipásztori és humanitárius segítése a katolikus egyházban. Iustum Aequum Salutare, 2016/12. pp. 317-34; Id: A menekültek lelkipásztori és humanitárius gondozásnak szabályozása a katolikus egyház hatályos jogában. Acta Humana: Hungarian Centre For Human Rights Publications,2014/3. pp. 57-86; Id: A migráció, mint biztonsági kihívás és a Vatikán válaszai a menekültkérdésre. Hadtudomány: Journal of  Hungarian Military Science Society, 2012/12.  pp. 162-173.

42. Giovanni Cheli – Luigi Sabbarese: Pontificio Consiglio della Pastorale per i Migranti e gli Itineranti. In: Commento alla Pastor Bonus e alle Norme Sussidiarie della Curia Romana. Szerk. Pio Vito Pinto Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano, 2003. 216.

43. John Paul II issued a separate regulation for pastoral care to those travel on the waterways, whatever their reasons are. John Paul II: Motu proprio, Stella Maris 31/01/1997 Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1997/89 pp. 209-216.

44. Giangiacomo Sanzi Sartori: Kommentár az Egyházi Törvénykönyv 360. kánonjához. In: Quaderni di Diritto Ecclesiale Codice di Diritto Canonico Commentato. Ancora, Milano, 2001. 350; Heribert Schmitz: Die Römische Kurie. In: Handbuch des katholischen Kirchenrechts. Szerk. Joseph Listl – Heribert Scmitz. Verlag Friedrich Pustet, Regensburg, 1999. 378.

45. In his speech, Pope Francis called the attention of diplomats accredited to the Holy See on 9th January, 2017 that “immigrants themselves must not forget that they have a duty to respect the laws, culture and traditions of the countries in which they are received. Prudence on the part of public authorities does not mean enacting policies of exclusion vis-à-vis migrants, but it does entail evaluating, with wisdom and foresight, the extent to which their country is in a position, without prejudice to the common good of citizens, to offer a decent life to migrants, especially those truly in need of protection. Address of his holiness Pope Francis to the members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See For the traditional exchange of new year greetings (Downloaded: 29/04/2017). The defence of recipient countries already appeared in different papal and Holy See documents. However, this field was considered there marginal, too.

46. “Praefectus vel Praeses Dicasterium moderatur, id dirigit eius demque personam gerit. Secretarius, cooperante Subsecretario, Praefectum vel Praesidem in Dicasterii negotiis personis que moderandis, adiuvat.” John Paul II: Apostolic Constitution, Pastor Bonus, par. 7, 28/06/ 1988  Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1988/80  p. 860.

47. Juan Ignacio Arrieta: Funzione pubblica e attività di governo nell’organizzazione centrale della Chiesa: Il regolamento generale della Curia Romana. Ius Ecclesiae, 1992/4. pp. 585-613.

48. John Paul II: Apostolic Constitution, Pastor Bonus, par. 7, 28/06/ 1988. Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1988/80 860.

49. State Secretariat. Directive, Regolamento generale della Curia Romana. 30/06/1999, §2; §13; §19, §6; §26; §103,  §4; §106; §116; §118, §1; §3;  Acta Apostolicae Sedis,1999/91. pp. 631; 636; 639; 642; 673; 674; 676; 677.

50. “(…) quae exercitium potestatis regiminis requirunt, reserventur iis qui ordine sacro insigniti sunt.” John Paul II: Apostolic Constitution, Pastor Bonus, §7,  28/06/1988  In. ActaApostolicaeSedis. 1988 p. 861

51.“Praefectus vel Praeses Dicasterium moderatur, id dirigit eius demque personam gerit. Secretarius, cooperante Subsecretario, Praefectum vel Praesidem in Dicasterii negotiis personis quem oderandis, adiuvat.” II. János Pál: Apostoli konstitúció, Pastor Bonus, §7,  28/06/1988 In. Acta Apostolicae Sedis. 1988/80 p. 860

52.  John Paul II: Apostolic Constitution, Pastor Bonus, § 3, 28/06/ 1988 Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1988/80.  p. 861

53. John Paul II: Apostolic Constitution, Pastor Bonus, §9, 28/06/1988  Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1988/80. pp. 859-860. See: Geraldo Angelo Maiella: Kommentár a Pastor Bonus kezdetű apostoli konstitúció 4-10. cikkelyeihez. In: Commento alla Pastor Bonus e alle norme sussidiarie della Curia Romana. Ed. Pinto Pio Vito, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano, 2003. 28.

54. Carlos M. Errazuriz: Il dirittoe la giustizia nella Chiesa. Per una teoria fondamentale del diritto canonico. Giuffrè, Milano, 2000. 163-168.

55. Beyer J.: Le linee op.cit. 26.

56. Gájer, László: Jogelméleti megalapozás laikusok kormányzati hatalommal való együttműködéséhez. In. Pléróma 1947-2012  Ed. Rokay Zoltán. Lux Color Óbecse, 2012  pp. 59-76

57. Other Pontifical Acts, Summary of Bullatin. Holy See Press Office. 2016, issue 12 (Downloaded 16/01/ 2017 )

58.To the main pastoral and governmental power of the Roman Pontiff: First Vatican Council: Constitution Pastor Aeternus Denzinger-Schönmetzer 3050 ss; Second Vatican Council: Lumen gentium dogmatic constitution par. 22; The edict of the Second Vatican council, Christus dominus clearly speaks about relations of the Roman Pontiff and Holy See offices: “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.” (par 9) Basicallay this is repeated by canon 360 of the current law. See The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: Il Primato del Successore di Pietro nel mistero della Chiesa. Communicationes, 1998/30, pp. 207-216

59. Can 132; John Paul II: Apostolic Constitution, Pastor Bonus, §18 28/06/1988 Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1988/80 p. 864 See: Juan, Ignacio Arrieta: Principios informadores de la Constitución apostólica Pastor Bonus. Ius canonicum, 1990/59 pp. 59-81.

60. John Paul II: Motu proprio. Inde Pontificatus. 25/03/1993 Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1993/85 pp. 550-552.

61. Gagnon Edouard: Chiave di lettura della Riforma della Curia Romana ordinata da Pastor Bonus. In. Commento alla Pastor Bonus e alle norme sussidiarie della Curia Romana. Szerk. Vito Pio Pinto. Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano. 2003 pp.  9-15

62. “Seorsum a S. Congregatione de Propaganda Fide, S. Congregatio pro Ecclesia Orientali sit a die i mensis insequentis: cui quidem prae erit ipse Summus Pontifex. Ea compietetur aliquot S. R. E. Cardinales, ex quibus unus Secretarius erit: adiunctus habebit e spectatissimis de Clero viris unum Assessorem et plures tum ex latino tum ex orientali ritu Consultores; praeterea idoneum officialium- numerum ex clericis qui rerum orientalium peritiores sint.” Benedict XV Motu proprio, Dei providentia. 01/05/1907 Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1917/9 pp. 529-531. Four popes led the congregation directly: Benedict XV (1917-1922), Pius XI (1922-1939), Pius XII (1939-1958) John XXIII (1958-1963). See Fernando Filoni: La chiesa in Iraq. Storia, sviluppo e missione, dagli inizi ai nostri giorni. Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano, 2015 pp. 160-161.

63. Pope Francis Appoints Fr. Michael Czerny, SJ, to New Vatican Office for Refugees And Migrants (Downloaded 16/01/2017). The jesuist Michael Czerny, dealt with the questions of migration and human rights ab ovo in the Pontifical Council, Iustitia et Pax whichwas later integrated to the new dicastery.  Fabo Biaggio, a scabrinian monk, is the president of the International migration Institute, which was established by the scabrinians, and later was integrated into theological faculty of The Pontifical Urban University.  Other Pontifical Acts, Summary of Bullatin. Holy See Press Office. 2016. issue 12.
(downloaded : 16/01/2017)

64.  John Paul II: Apostolic Constitution, Pastor Bonus. 28/06/1988 par. 41 Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1988/80 p. 871

65. John Paul II : Apostolic Constitution, Pastor Bonus. 28/06/1988 pp. 45-47. Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1988/80. 872.

66. Vicenzo Buonomo: La Segreteria di Stato—competenze nella funzione diplomatica. In: La curia romana nella Cost. Ap. “Pastor Bonus. ed. AntonioBonnet—Carlo Gullo. Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano, 1990. pp. 186-187

67. John Paul II: Apostolic Constitution, Pastor Bonus. 28/06/1988 Preamb. par. 10, Acta Apostolicae Sedis. 1988/80 pp. 853-654.

68. “Sarà cura del Sostituto per gli Affari Generali della Segreteria di Stato riunire i Segretari dei vari Dicasteri, per studiare e proporre y misure atte ad assicurare una sempre miglior intesa e coordinazione del lavoro della Curia Romana.” Államtitkárság: Utasítás, Regolamento generale della Curia Romana. 30/04/1999 §108, Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1999/91 p. 675

69. “D’intesa tra i Dicasteri interessati e con l’approvazione del Sommo Pontefice potranno essere costituite Commissioni interdicasteriali per la trattazione di singole questioni riguardanti specifiche materie miste.”  State Secretariat: Regulation, Regolamento generale della Curia Romana. 30/04/1999, §110, Acta Apostolicae Sedis,1999/91  p.675

70. JohnPaul II: Apostolic Constitution, Pastor Bonus. 28/06/1988 §21, Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1988/80 p. 865

71. Giuseppe Dalla Torre: Le comissioni. In:La curia romana nella Cost. Ap. “Pastor Bonus”. Ed. AntonioBonnet—Carlo Gullo. Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano, 1990 pp. 1-15

72. John Paul II: Motu proprio, Socialium Scientiarum, 01/01/1994 Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1994/86 p. 209.

73. To the list of publications, see: (Downloaded: 03/01/ 2017)

74. A typical example of this kind in German language area:  Institut für Religion und Frieden –  (downloaded 24/01/2017)

75. Luis-Miguel Muñoz Cárdaba: Principios eclesiológicos de la “Pastor Bonus”. Università Gregoriana, Roma, 1999; Sebastiano Baggio: La dimensione pastorale del servizio della Curia Romana. L´Osservatore Romano, 13. VII. 1988. 4; Rosalio José Castillo LARA: La Costituzione Apostolica Pastor Bonus in prospettiva giuridica. L’Osservatore Romano. 16.VII.1988. 4; Juan Ignatio ARRIETA: La reforma de la Curia Romana Comentario a la Constitución Apostólica «Pastor Bonus». Ius Canonicum, 1989/57 p. 191

76.John Paul II: Apostolic letter, Novo millennio ineunte.06/01/ 2001 par. 44 Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 2001/ 93. pp. 297-298.

77. John Paul II: Speech to the Roman Curia 28/06/1986. Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1987/79 p. 197

78. John Paul II: Motu proprio, Apostolos suos, 21/05/1998 Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1998/90 pp. 641-658. Ghirlanda G.: Il. M. P. Apostolos op.cit. pp.  609-657; Juan Manzanarés: Los Conferencias episcopales les hoy. Configuraciôn juridica y fundumentos doctrinales. Revista Espanola de Derecho Canonico.1969/25 pp. 325-372; Winfried Aymans: Das Synodale Element in der Kirchenverfasung. Münchener Theologische Studien, München, 1970; Id. Wesensverständnis und Zuständigkeiten der Bischefskonferenz im Codex Iuris Canonici von 1983. Archiv für katholisches Kirchenrecht, 1983/152 pp. 46-61.

79. Council for Pastoral Assistance to Migrants and Itinerant Peoples: Circular to Episcopal Conferences. Chiesa e mobilitá umana. 26/05/1978 Acta ApostolicaeSedis, 1978/70 pp. 357-378.

80. Congregation for Catholic Education: Circularl, La pastorale della mobilità umana nella formazione dei futuri sacerdoti. 25/01/1986  Prot. N. 205/85

81. János Székely, suffragan bishop distinguished himself in the field of gypsy pastoralism during the past few decades (downloaded:13/01/ 2017)

82. Cheli G.—Sabbarese L.: Pontificio op.cit. 218.

83. Orinizations with similar names operate in subordination to Episcopal Conferences, too.

84. Migration section. Pl. Caritas Europa, the International Catholic Migration Commission, and Comece.

85. “Consultores quoque nominantur ex clericis vel ceteris Christifidelibus scientia et prudentia praestantibus, ratione universalitatis, quantum fieri potest, servata.” II. János Pál: Apostoli konstitúció, Pastor Bonus. 1988/80, 28/06  §8 Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1988/80 p. 861

86. To historic and comprehensive current law description, see: Alvaro del Portillo: Laici e fedeli nella chiesa. Giuffrè, Milano. 1999.

87. Domingo J. Andrès: Consigli e consiglieri al diritto servizio del Romano Pontefice. Utrumqueius. 1991/21. p. 23.

88. Antonio Spadaro: Intervista a papa Francesco. La civiltà cattolica, 2013/3918 p. 449-477

89. Fiorello Cavalli: Il motu proprio Sollicitudo Omnium Ecclesiarum sull’ufficio dei rapresentanti pontifici. La Civilta Cattolicà, 1969/120 pp. 41-42.

90. Schanda, Balázs: Új alapokon az Egyház és az állam kapcsolata. Jel, 2000/3 pp.10-14.

91. Markus Feller: “Das Ziel der päpstlichen Diplomatie ist, die Würde des Menschen in den Mittelpunkt zu stellen und besonders die Religionsfreiheit zu fördern.” Diplomatisches-magazin. 2016/12.  (Downloaded: 17/01/2017)

92. Klaus Tanner: Political Theology according to Benedict XVI. Political Theology. Contemporary Challanges and Future Directions. Szerk. Francis Schüssler – Klaus Tanner – Michael Welker. John Knox Press, Westmister, 2013 pp. 65-66.

93. Benedict XVI: Encyclical, Caritas in veritate. n. 61. 29/06/2009 Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 2009/101 pp. 696-697.

94. Benedict XVI: Caritas. op. cit. n. 67 pp. 701-702.



Dr. Lóránd Ujházi holds a PhD in canon law as well as a second PhD in Milititary Studies.  He is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Public Service, at the Faculty of Military Sciences and Officer Training. In addition to his academic positions he is pastor of a Catholic comunity in Budapest.


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