Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

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The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) (Congregatio pro Doctrina Fidei), previously known as the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition (wherefrom arose the names Roman Inquisition
Roman Inquisition
The Roman Inquisition was a system of tribunals developed by the Holy See during the second half of the 16th century, responsible for prosecuting individuals accused of a wide array of crimes related to heresy, including Protestantism, sorcery, immorality, blasphemy, Judaizing and witchcraft, as...

or Holy Inquisition popularly used in reference to the 16th century tribunals against witchcraft
Witchcraft
Witchcraft, in historical, anthropological, religious, and mythological contexts, is the alleged use of supernatural or magical powers. A witch is a practitioner of witchcraft...

 and heresy
Heresy
Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

), and after 1904 called the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, is the oldest of the nine congregations
Congregation (Roman Curia)
A congregation is a type of dicastery of the Roman Curia, the central administrative organism of the Catholic Church....

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

. Among the most active of the congregations, it oversees Catholic Church doctrine
Doctrine
Doctrine is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system...

. Its offices are housed at the Palace of the Holy Office
Palace of the Holy Office
The Palace of the Holy Office is a building in Vatican City which houses the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.Built in the 1920s, the palace is situated south of St Peter's Basilica near the Petriano Entrance to Vatican City....

 at the Vatican
Vatican City
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano , which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of...

.

History



On July 21, 1542, Pope Paul III
Pope Paul III
Pope Paul III , born Alessandro Farnese, was Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from 1534 to his death in 1549. He came to the papal throne in an era following the sack of Rome in 1527 and rife with uncertainties in the Catholic Church following the Protestant Reformation...

 proclaimed the Licet ab initio Apostolic Constitution
Apostolic constitution
An apostolic constitution is the highest level of decree issued by the Pope. The use of the term constitution comes from Latin constitutio, which referred to any important law issued by the Roman emperor, and is retained in church documents because of the inheritance that the canon law of the...

, establishing the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition, staffed by cardinal
Cardinal (Catholicism)
A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official, usually an ordained bishop, and ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church. They are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, which as a body elects a new pope. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and...

s and other officials whose task it was "to maintain and defend the integrity of the faith
Faith
Faith is confidence or trust in a person or thing, or a belief that is not based on proof. In religion, faith is a belief in a transcendent reality, a religious teacher, a set of teachings or a Supreme Being. Generally speaking, it is offered as a means by which the truth of the proposition,...

 and to examine and proscribe errors and false doctrines". It served as the final court of appeal in trials of heresy
Heresy
Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

 and served as an important part of the Counter-Reformation
Counter-Reformation
The Counter-Reformation was the period of Catholic revival beginning with the Council of Trent and ending at the close of the Thirty Years' War, 1648 as a response to the Protestant Reformation.The Counter-Reformation was a comprehensive effort, composed of four major elements:#Ecclesiastical or...

.

This body was renamed the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office in 1904 by Pope Saint Pius X.

The Congregation's name was changed to Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on December 7, 1965, at the end of the Second Vatican Council
Second Vatican Council
The Second Vatican Council addressed relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the modern world. It was the twenty-first Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church and the second to be held at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. It opened under Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and closed...

. In 1988, with the promulgation of the Apostolic Constitution
Apostolic constitution
An apostolic constitution is the highest level of decree issued by the Pope. The use of the term constitution comes from Latin constitutio, which referred to any important law issued by the Roman emperor, and is retained in church documents because of the inheritance that the canon law of the...

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

 called Pastor Bonus
Pastor Bonus
Pastor Bonus is an Apostolic Constitution promulgated by Pope John Paul II on 28 June 1988. It instituted a number of reforms in the process of running the central government of the Roman Catholic Church, as article 1 states "The Roman Curia is the complex of dicasteries and institutes which help...

, "Sacred" was dropped from the names of Curial Congregations, and so the dicastery
Dicastery
Dicastery is an Italicism sometimes used in English to refer to the Departments of the Roman Curia....

 adopted its current name, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Role


According to Article 48 of the Apostolic Constitution
Apostolic constitution
An apostolic constitution is the highest level of decree issued by the Pope. The use of the term constitution comes from Latin constitutio, which referred to any important law issued by the Roman emperor, and is retained in church documents because of the inheritance that the canon law of the...

 on the Roman Curia, Pastor Bonus
Pastor Bonus
Pastor Bonus is an Apostolic Constitution promulgated by Pope John Paul II on 28 June 1988. It instituted a number of reforms in the process of running the central government of the Roman Catholic Church, as article 1 states "The Roman Curia is the complex of dicasteries and institutes which help...

, promulgated by Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

 on June 28, 1988: "the duty proper to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is to promote and safeguard the doctrine on the faith and morals throughout the Catholic world: for this reason everything which in any way touches such matter falls within its competence."

This includes investigations into what are known as "delicta graviora"; i.e., the crimes which the Catholic Church considers as being the most serious of all: crimes against the Eucharist and against the sanctity of the Sacrament of Penance, and crimes against the sixth Commandment ("thou shall not commit adultery") committed by a cleric against a person under the age of eighteen. These crimes, in a "motu proprio" of 2001, "Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela", come under the competency of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In effect, it is the "promoter of justice" who deals with, among other things, the question of priests accused of paedophilia
Roman Catholic sex abuse cases
The Catholic sex abuse cases are a series of convictions, trials and ongoing investigations into allegations of sex crimes committed by Catholic priests and members of religious orders. These cases began receiving public attention beginning in the mid-1980s...

, which are periodically highlighted in the mass media. In other words, the CDF was given a broader mandate to address the sex abuse cases only from 2001.

Within the CDF are the International Theological Commission
International Theological Commission
The International Theological Commission of the Roman Catholic Church consists of up to 30 Catholic theologians from around the world. These theologians are appointed for renewable five year terms and have tended to meet together in person once every year for a week...

, the Pontifical Biblical Commission
Pontifical Biblical Commission
The Pontifical Biblical Commission is an organism established within the Roman Curia to ensure the proper interpretation and defense of Sacred Scripture.-The Commission 1901-1971:...

 and the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei
Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei
The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei is a commission of the Catholic Church established by Pope John Paul II's motu proprio Ecclesia Dei of 2 July 1988 for the care of those former followers of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre who broke with him as a result of his consecration of four priests of his...

. The Prefect of the CDF is ex officio president of these commissions.

Organization


Until 1968, the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 himself held the title of prefect but never exercised this birth office. Instead, he appointed one of the cardinals to preside over the meetings, first as Secretary, then as Pro-Prefect.

Since 1968, the Cardinal head of the dicastery
Dicastery
Dicastery is an Italicism sometimes used in English to refer to the Departments of the Roman Curia....

 has borne the title of Prefect, without further qualification. Therefore, from 1968 onwards, the title of Secretary refers to the second highest ranking officer of the Congregation. There are usually ten other cardinals on the Congregation, as well as a prelate
Prelate
A prelate is a high-ranking member of the clergy who is an ordinary or who ranks in precedence with ordinaries. The word derives from the Latin prælatus, the past participle of præferre, which means "carry before", "be set above or over" or "prefer"; hence, a prelate is one set over others.-Related...

 and two assistants.

The work of the Congregation is divided into four sections: the doctrinal, disciplinary, matrimonial, and clerical office. The Congregation holds biennial plenary assemblies, and is occasionally obligated to censure theologians whose writings and teachings are contrary to Church doctrine (e.g., Hans Küng
Hans Küng
Hans Küng is a Swiss Catholic priest, theologian, and prolific author. Since 1995 he has been President of the Foundation for a Global Ethic . Küng is "a Catholic priest in good standing", but the Vatican has rescinded his authority to teach Catholic theology...

, Charles Curran
Charles Curran (theologian)
The Rev. Charles E. Curran is a moral theologian. He currently serves at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, as the Elizabeth Scurlock University Professor of Human Values.-Biography:...

, and Leonardo Boff
Leonardo Boff
Leonardo Boff was born 14 December 1938 in Concórdia, Santa Catarina state, Brazil. He is a theologian, philosopher and writer, known for his active support for the rights of the poor and excluded....

).

Members (2009):
  • Cardinal Prefect
    Prefect
    Prefect is a magisterial title of varying definition....

    : Cardinal William Levada
    William Levada
    William Joseph Levada is an American Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. Since 2005, he has served as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, making him the highest ranking American in the Roman Curia. He was previously the Archbishop of Portland from 1986 to 1995 and...

  • Secretary: His Excellency
    Excellency
    Excellency is an honorific style given to certain members of an organization or state.Usually, people styled "Excellency" are heads of state, heads of government, governors, ambassadors, certain ecclesiastics, royalty, aristocracy, and military, and others holding equivalent rank .It is...

    , Archbishop
    Archbishop
    An archbishop is a bishop of higher rank, but not of higher sacramental order above that of the three orders of deacon, priest , and bishop...

     Luis Ladaria Ferrer
    Luis Ladaria Ferrer
    Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.J. is a Spanish Jesuit archbishop. He currently serves as Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Roman Curia, while still teaching at the Pontifical Gregorian University and remaining an active member of the International Theological...

    , S.J.
    Society of Jesus
    The Society of Jesus is a Catholic male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits, and are also known colloquially as "God's Army" and as "The Company," these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and a...

  • Undersecretary: Monsignor
    Monsignor
    Monsignor, pl. monsignori, is the form of address for those members of the clergy of the Catholic Church holding certain ecclesiastical honorific titles. Monsignor is the apocopic form of the Italian monsignore, from the French mon seigneur, meaning "my lord"...

     Damiano Marzotto Caotorta
  • Promoter of Justice: Monsignor
    Monsignor
    Monsignor, pl. monsignori, is the form of address for those members of the clergy of the Catholic Church holding certain ecclesiastical honorific titles. Monsignor is the apocopic form of the Italian monsignore, from the French mon seigneur, meaning "my lord"...

     Charles J. Scicluna (his office, per the direction of Pope Benedict XVI
    Pope Benedict XVI
    Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

     that the Congregation handle such matters, is ultimately responsible for handling the resolution of complaints of sexual abuse of minors by church personnel)
  • 25 members: Cardinals
    Cardinal (Catholicism)
    A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official, usually an ordained bishop, and ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church. They are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, which as a body elects a new pope. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and...

    , Archbishop
    Archbishop
    An archbishop is a bishop of higher rank, but not of higher sacramental order above that of the three orders of deacon, priest , and bishop...

    s and Bishop
    Bishop (Catholic Church)
    In the Catholic Church, a bishop is an ordained minister who holds the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders and is responsible for teaching the Catholic faith and ruling the Church....

    s
  • 28 Consultors
  • Staff of 33


On 6 May 2006 Cardinals Antonio Cañizares Llovera and Jean-Pierre Ricard were named members of the Congregation.

Recent opinions and publications

  • Dominus Iesus
    Dominus Iesus
    Dominus Iesus is a declaration by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It was approved in a Plenary meeting of the Congregation, and bears the signature of its then Prefect, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, and of its then Secretary, Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, now...

    (Declaration on the unicity and salvific universality of Jesus Christ and the Church; with comments from Congregation officials; August 6, 2000; one of the Congregation's most controversial and debated documents)
  • Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons (2002)
  • (24 November 2002), arguably the basis for the comments by Cardinal
    Cardinal (Catholicism)
    A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official, usually an ordained bishop, and ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church. They are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, which as a body elects a new pope. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and...

     George Pell
    George Pell
    George Pell AC is an Australian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the eighth and current Archbishop of Sydney, serving since 2001. He previously served as auxiliary bishop and archbishop of the Archdiocese of Melbourne...

     and those by Archbishop
    Archbishop
    An archbishop is a bishop of higher rank, but not of higher sacramental order above that of the three orders of deacon, priest , and bishop...

     Barry Hickey
    Barry Hickey
    Barry James Hickey, OAM is the current Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church archdiocese of Perth, Western Australia.-Early career:...

     in June 2007 in Australia
    Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

     to Catholic politicians on their votes on therapeutic cloning legislation.
  • In an April 2007 address to chaplains, Archbishop Amato denounced same-sex marriage
    Same-sex marriage
    Same-sex marriage is marriage between two persons of the same biological sex or social gender. Supporters of legal recognition for same-sex marriage typically refer to such recognition as marriage equality....

     and abortion
    Abortion
    Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

     and criticized the Italian media's coverage of them, saying that they are evils "that remain almost invisible" due to media presentation of them as "expression of human progress."
  • On September 28, 2007, Gaston Hebert, the then apostolic administrator
    Apostolic Administrator
    An apostolic administrator in the Roman Catholic Church is a prelate appointed by the Pope to serve as the ordinary for an apostolic administration...

     of the Diocese of Little Rock stated that (per the July 11 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) 6 Arkansas
    Arkansas
    Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

     nuns were excommunicated for heresy
    Heresy
    Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

     (the first in the diocese's 165-year history). They refused to recant the doctrines of the Community of the Lady of All Nations
    Community of the Lady of All Nations
    The Community of the Lady of All Nations, also known as the Community of the Lady of All Peoples or the Army of Mary, is a Marian sect founded by Marie-Paule Giguère...

     (Army of Mary). The 6 nuns are members of the Good Shepherd Monastery of Our Lady of Charity and Refuge in Hot Springs
    Hot Springs, Arkansas
    Hot Springs is the 10th most populous city in the U.S. state of Arkansas, the county seat of Garland County, and the principal city of the Hot Springs Metropolitan Statistical Area encompassing all of Garland County...

    . Sister Mary Theresa Dionne, 82, one of 6, said they will still live at the convent
    Convent
    A convent is either a community of priests, religious brothers, religious sisters, or nuns, or the building used by the community, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion...

     property, which they own. The sect
    Sect
    A sect is a group with distinctive religious, political or philosophical beliefs. Although in past it was mostly used to refer to religious groups, it has since expanded and in modern culture can refer to any organization that breaks away from a larger one to follow a different set of rules and...

     believe that its 86-year-old founder, Marie Paule Giguere, is the reincarnation
    Reincarnation
    Reincarnation best describes the concept where the soul or spirit, after the death of the body, is believed to return to live in a new human body, or, in some traditions, either as a human being, animal or plant...

     of the Virgin Mary.
  • On April 5, 2008, as a result of "grave reservations" by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about the Mormon practice of posthumous rebaptism, Catholic dioceses throughout the world were directed not to give information in parish registers to the Mormons' Genealogical Society of Utah for microfilming or digitizing.
  • Doctrinal Note on Some Aspects of Evangelization (with press conference transcript; December 3, 2007)
  • Responses to Certain Questions of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Concerning Artificial Nutrition and Hydration (with commentary; August 1, 2007)
  • Note on the banalization of sexuality, Regarding certain interpretations of "Light of the World" (December 22, 2010)
  • Circular Letter to the Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences regarding the association Opus Angelorum (October 2, 2010)
  • Dignitas Personae
    Dignitas Personae
    Dignitas Personae is the title of a 2008 instruction by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith giving doctrinal directives on certain embryonic ethical controversies that had emerged since 1987, after Donum Vitae was released....

     (on bioethical questions, with summary and press conference transcript; September 8, 2008)
  • Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church (June 29, 2007)
  • Notification on the works of the Reverend Father Jon Sobrino
    Jon Sobrino
    Jon Sobrino, S.J. is a Jesuit Catholic priest and theologian, known mostly for his contributions to liberation theology....

    , S.J. (with an explanatory note; November 26, 2006)
  • Notification regarding the book "Jesus Symbol of God" of the Reverend Father Roger Haight
    Roger Haight
    Roger Haight is an American Jesuit theologian.He received his B.A. and the M.A. in Philosophy from Berchmans College, Cebu City, Philippines; his S.T.B. from Woodstock College, Maryland ; the M.A. in Theology and the Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Chicago; and the S.T.L. from the...

    , S.J.
  • Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the collaboration of men and women in the Church and in the world (May 31, 2004)
  • Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the participation of Catholics in political life (with two commentaries from Their Eminences, Cardinals Joachim Meisner and Giacomo Biffi; November 24, 2002)
  • Note on the Force of the Doctrinal Decrees Concerning the Thought and Work of the Reverend Father Antonio Rosmini Serbati (July 1, 2001)
  • Notification regarding certain writings of the Reverend Father Marciano Vidal, C.Ss.R.

(with comments; February 22, 2001)
  • Notification on the book "Toward a Christian Theology of Religious Pluralism" by the Reverend Father Jacques Dupuis
    Jacques Dupuis
    Jacques Dupuis was a Belgian Jesuit priest.-Career:Jacques Dupuis became a Jesuit in 1941. After early religious and academic training in Belgium he left for India in 1948. A 3 year teaching experience at St. Xavier's Collegiate School, Calcutta, made him discover Hinduism through the way it...

    , S.J. (with commentary; January 24, 2001)
  • Notification concerning some writings of Professor Dr. Reinhard Messner (November 30, 2000)
  • Ardens felicitatis (instructions on prayers for healing; September 14, 2000)
  • Note on the expression "sister churches
    Sister Churches
    The Sister Churches consist of two late 12th century churches built side by side at Granavollen, Gran, Hadeland, in Norway.-History:According to local folklore, the two churches were commissioned by two sisters who had fallen out and therefore would not be seen in the same church...

    " (June 30, 2000)
  • Documents regarding "The Message of Fatima
    Fatima
    -People:* Fatima , a female given name of Arabic origin* Fatima bint Muhammad, daughter of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad* Fatima Jinnah, the younger sister of Muhammad Ali Jinnah...

    " (June 26, 2000)
  • Notification regarding Sister Jeannine Gramick
    Jeannine Gramick
    Jeannine Gramick, S.L., is a Roman Catholic religious sister and a co-founder of the activist organization New Ways Ministry.-Career and work:...

    , SSND, and the Reverend Father Robert Nugent, SDS
  • Considerations on The Primacy of the Successor of Peter in the mystery of the Church (October 31, 1998)
  • Formula to be used for the profession of faith and for the oath of fidelity to assume an office to be exercised in the name of the Church with the Illustrative doctrinal Note of the conclusive formula of "Professio fidei" (June 29, 1998)
  • Notification concerning the writings of the Reverend Father Anthony De Mello
    Anthony de Mello
    Anthony de Mello was a Jesuit priest and psychotherapist who became widely known for his books on spirituality. An internationally acclaimed spiritual guide, writer and public speaker, de Mello hosted many spiritual conferences...

    , S.J. (jUNE 24, 1998)
  • Notification concerning the Text "Mary and Human Liberation" by the Reverend Father Tissa Balasuriya
    Tissa Balasuriya
    Tissa Balasuriya is a Sri Lankan Roman Catholic priest and theologian.-Theological work:In 1971 Balasuriya founded the Center for Society and Religion; four years later he founded the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians. In 1990, Balasuriya published the book Mary and Human Liberation...

    , O.M.I. (January 2, 1997)
  • Notification on the writings and activities of Mrs. Vassula Ryden
    Vassula Ryden
    Vassula Rydén was born in Egypt on January 18, 1942 into a Greek Orthodox family. She has composed messages she claims to have received from the Christian God in a series of books called True Life In God. There are currently over 107 Notebooks compiled in 12 Volumes of the True Life in God...

     (October 6, 1995)
  • Responses to questions proposed concerning uterine isolation and related matters (July 31, 1993)
  • Some considerations concerning the response to legislative proposals on the non-discrimination of homosexual persons (July 23, 1992)
  • Decree on the doctrine and customs of the Association Opus Angelorum (June 6, 1992)
  • Communionis notio (Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on some aspects of the Church understood as Communion; May 28, 1992)
  • Instruction on some aspects of the use of the instruments of social communication in promoting the doctrine of the faith- The Second Vatican Council
    Second Vatican Council
    The Second Vatican Council addressed relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the modern world. It was the twenty-first Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church and the second to be held at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. It opened under Pope John XXIII on 11 October 1962 and closed...

     (March 30, 1992)
  • Note on the book "The Sexual Creators, An Ethical proposal for Concerned Christians", (University Press of America, Lanham-New York-London 1986), by the Reverend Father André Guindon, O.M.I. (January 31, 1992)
  • Donum veritatis (Instruction on the ecclesial vocation of the theologian; May 24, 1990)
  • Orationis formas (Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on some aspects of Christian meditation; October 15, 1989)
  • Note regarding "The moral rule of "Humanae vitae
    Humanae Vitae
    Humanae Vitae is an encyclical written by Pope Paul VI and issued on 25 July 1968. Subtitled On the Regulation of Birth, it re-affirms the traditional teaching of the Catholic Church regarding married love, responsible parenthood, and the continuing proscription of most forms of birth...

    " (Pope Paul VI
    Pope Paul VI
    Paul VI , born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church from 21 June 1963 until his death on 6 August 1978. Succeeding Pope John XXIII, who had convened the Second Vatican Council, he decided to continue it...

    's encyclical, On the Regulation and Control of Human Birth) and the pastoral duty" (February 16, 1989)
  • Observation of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) II's "Salvation and the Church" (November 18, 1988)
  • Formula to be used for the profession of faith and for the oath of fidelity to assume an office to be exercised in the name of the Church (July 1, 1988)
  • Donum vitae
    Donum Vitae
    Donum Vitae is the instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation which was issued on February 22, 1987 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith...

     (Instruction on respect for life in its origin and on the dignity of procreation; February 22, 1987)
  • Homosexualitatis problema (Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons; October 1, 1986)
  • Notification on the book "Pleidooi voor mensen in de Kerk" (Nelissen, Baarn 1985) by the Reverend Father Professor Edward Schillebeeckx
    Edward Schillebeeckx
    Edward Cornelis Florentius Alfonsus Schillebeeckx was a Belgian Roman Catholic theologian born in Antwerp. He taught at the Catholic University in Nijmegen. He then continued writing. In his nineties, he still wanted to finish a major book about the Sacraments.He was a member of the Dominican Order...

    , O.P. (September 15, 1986)
  • Letter to György Bulányi on certain writings attributed to him (September 1, 1986)
  • Letter regarding the suspension of the Reverend Father Professor Charles Curran
    Charles Curran
    Charles Curran may refer to:* Charles Curran , British Conservative politician, MP for Uxbridge 1959–1966* Charles Curran , BBC Director-General 1969–1977...

     from the teaching of theology (July 25, 1986)
  • Libertatis conscientia (Instruction on human freedom and liberation; March 22, 1986)
  • Notification on the Book "Church: Charism and Power. Essay on militant Ecclesiology" by the Reverend Father Leonardo Boff
    Leonardo Boff
    Leonardo Boff was born 14 December 1938 in Concórdia, Santa Catarina state, Brazil. He is a theologian, philosopher and writer, known for his active support for the rights of the poor and excluded....

    , O.F.M. (March 11, 1985)

Grand Inquisitors


When the Supreme Sacred Congregation for the Roman and Universal Inquisition was first established in 1542, it was led by an officer who bore the title of Grand Inquisitor. Grand Inquisitors led the Congregation for the Inquisition until 1602, when the Pope himself assumed formal presidency of the Congregation.
  • Gian Pietro Carafa
    Pope Paul IV
    Pope Paul IV, C.R. , né Giovanni Pietro Carafa, was Pope from 23 May 1555 until his death.-Early life:Giovanni Pietro Carafa was born in Capriglia Irpina, near Avellino, into a prominent noble family of Naples...

     1542-1555 (elected as Pope Paul IV)
  • Antonio Michele Ghisleri
    Pope Pius V
    Pope Saint Pius V , born Antonio Ghislieri , was Pope from 1566 to 1572 and is a saint of the Catholic Church. He is chiefly notable for his role in the Council of Trent, the Counter-Reformation, and the standardization of the Roman liturgy within the Latin Church...

     1558-1566 (elected as Pope Pius V)
  • Scipione Rebiba
    Scipione Rebiba
    Scipione Rebiba was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.He is of particular significance as more than 90% of all living Catholic bishops can trace their episcopal lineage back to him.-Biography:...

     1573-1577
  • Giacomo Savelli 1577-1586
  • Giulio Antonio Santori 1586-1602

Secretaries


Unless stated otherwise, the secretaryship ended with the relevant man's death. From 1602 until 1965, the leading prelate of the Congregation was the Secretary, as the Pope himself presided over the congregation as its Prefect. However, the daily administration of the affairs of the Congregation was discharged by the Secretary, aided by the Accessor. Thus, unlike other Congregations, that were led by a Prefect aided by a Secretary, the Holy Office was led by a Secretary, aided by an Accessor, with the Pope as Prefect.
  • Camillo Borghese
    Pope Paul V
    -Theology:Paul met with Galileo Galilei in 1616 after Cardinal Bellarmine had, on his orders, warned Galileo not to hold or defend the heliocentric ideas of Copernicus. Whether there was also an order not to teach those ideas in any way has been a matter for controversy...

     1602-1605 (elected as Pope Paul V)
  • Pompeio Arrigoni 1605-1616
  • Giovanni Garzia Millini 1616-1629
  • Antonio Marcello Barberini
    Antonio Marcello Barberini
    Antonio Marcello Barberini was an Italian cardinal and the younger brother of Maffeo Barberini, later Pope Urban VIII. He is sometimes referred to as Antonio the Elder to distinguish him from his nephew Antonio Barberini.Born Marcello Barberini in Florence into the Barberini family, he entered the...

     1629-1633 (Left office; died in 1646. Succeeded by his nephew)
  • Francesco Barberini
    Francesco Barberini (seniore)
    Francesco Barberini was an Italian Catholic Cardinal. The nephew of Pope Urban VIII , he benefited immensely from the nepotism practiced by his uncle...

     1633-1679
  • Cesare Facchinetti
    Cesare Facchinetti
    Cesare Facchinetti was an Italian Catholic Cardinal.Facchinetti was born 17 September 1608 in Bologna. He was the son of Ludovico Facchinetti and Violante da Correggio...

     1679-1683
  • Alderano Cybo
    Alderano Cybo
    thumb|250 px|Cardinal Alderano CyboAlderano Cybo was an Italian Catholic Cardinal.-Biography:Cybo was born 16 July 1613 in Genoa and went to Rome at an early age as prelate to Pope Urban VIII....

     1683-1700
  • Galeazzo Marescotti 1700-1716
  • Fabrizio Spada
    Fabrizio Spada
    Fabrizio Spada was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, and served as Secretary of State under Pope Innocent XII.-Life:...

     1716-1717
  • Nicolò Acciaioli 1717-1719
  • Francesco del Giudice
    Francesco del Giudice
    Francesco del Giudice was a Roman Catholic cardinal from 1690 to 1725 who also held a variety of other ecclesiastical and governmental offices.-Biography:...

     1719-1725
  • Fabrizio Paolucci
    Fabrizio Paolucci
    Fabrizio Paolucci was a Italian cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church, appointed by Pope Innocent XII.-Biography:He went to Rome at the age of eight, 1659, to be educated by his grand-uncle, Francesco Paolucci...

     1725-1726
  • Pietro Ottoboni 1726-1740
  • Tommaso Ruffo
    Tommaso Ruffo
    Tommaso Ruffo was an Italian archbishop of Ferrara and Cardinal.-Life:He was born in Naples, son of Carlo Ruffo, 3rd Duke of Bagnara. He was educated at La Sapienza University, becoming a doctor of canon and civil law...

     1740-1753
  • Neri Maria Corsini
    Neri Maria Corsini
    Neri Maria Corsini was an Italian nobleman and nephew of pope Clement XII, who made him a cardinal in pectore at the consistory of 14 August 1730 - his creation as cardinal was made public in December 1730. He exercised several roles in the Roman Curia, notably the Supreme Tribunal of the...

     1753-1770
  • Giovanni Francesco Stoppani 1770-1774
  • Luigi Maria Torregiani 1775-1777
  • Carlo Rezzonico 1777-1799
  • Leonardo Antonelli
    Leonardo Antonelli
    Leonardo Antonelli was an Italian Cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church.A native of Senigallia, Antonelli was the nephew of Cardinal Nicolò Maria Antonelli...

     1800-1811
  • Giulio Maria della Somaglia
    Giulio Maria della Somaglia
    -External links:*...

     1814-1830
  • Bartolomeo Pacca 1830-1844
  • Vincenzo Macchi
    Vincenzo Macchi
    -Career:Born on 31 August 1770 in Capodimonte in the Papal States, he studied in Montefiascone and in Rome and was ordained a priest in 1794. In 1801 he gained his doctorate in utroque iure and was posted to the papal Nunciature in Lisbon, where he was active in the years 1801-1816...

     1844-1860
  • Costantino Patrizi Naro
    Costantino Patrizi Naro
    Costantino Patrizi Naro JUD was a long-serving Italian Cardinal who became Dean of the College of Cardinals. Cardinal Benedetto Naro was his great-uncle.-Biography:...

     1860-1876
  • Prospero Caterini
    Prospero Caterini
    Prospero Caterini was an Italian Cardinal. As protodeacon, he announced at the end of the conclave of 1878 the election of Cardinal Gioacchino Pecci as Pope Leo XIII...

     1876-1881
  • Antonio Maria Panebianco 1882-1883
  • Luigi Bilio
    Luigi Bilio
    Luigi Maria Bilio B was a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who among other things was Secretary of the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office.Luigi Maria Bilio was born in Alessandria, Piedmont, Italy...

    , C.R.S.P. (1883–1884)
  • Raffaele Monaco La Valletta (1884–1896)
  • Lucido Parocchi
    Lucido Parocchi
    Lucido Maria Parocchi S.T.D. was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Secretary of the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office.-Biography:...

     (1896–1903)
  • Serafino Vannutelli (1903–1908) (served until death in 1915 as Regent of Apostolic Penitentiary)
  • Mariano Rampolla (1908–1913)
  • Domenico Ferrata (January 3, 1914 - October 10, 1914)
  • Rafael Merry del Val (October 14, 1914 - February 26, 1930)
  • Donato Sbarretti (July 4, 1930-April 1, 1939)
  • Francesco Marchetti-Selvaggiani (April 30, 1939-January 13, 1951)
  • Giuseppe Pizzardo
    Giuseppe Pizzardo
    Giuseppe Pizzardo was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Prefect of the Congregation for Seminaries and Universities from 1939 to 1968, and Secretary of the Holy Office from 1951 to 1959...

     (February 16, 1951-October 12, 1959)
  • Alfredo Ottaviani (November 7, 1959– December 7, 1965, when he was made Pro-Prefect)

Pro-Prefect


On December 7, 1965, along with changing the name of the dicastery, Pope Paul VI changed the title of the head of the Congregation from Secretary to Pro-Prefect, the Roman Pontiff retaining the role of Prefect. Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani, who was then Secretary, having been appointed to lead the Holy Office in 1959, continued leading the newly reorganized dicastery without any break in continuity since that date. In spite of that, a few months later, on February 8, 1966, Cardinal Ottaviani was formally confirmed as Pro-Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
  • Alfredo Ottaviani (December 7, 1965-January 6, 1968)

Prefects


Since the appointment of Cardinal Franjo Šeper in 1968, the head of the dicastery has been titled Prefect. The Pope no longer holds the office of Prefect of the CDF himself. Although Cardinal Ottaviani had served as Pro-Prefect, upon his retirement he was declared Prefect emeritus of the Congregation, and not Pro-Prefect emeritus. The following Prelates have presided over the Congregation as Prefects since then:
  • Franjo Šeper
    Franjo Šeper
    Franjo Šeper was a Croatian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 1968 to 1981, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1965....

     (January 8, 1968 - November 25, 1981) (his retirement)
  • Joseph Ratzinger
    Pope Benedict XVI
    Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

     (November 25, 1981 - April 2, 2005) (Pope John Paul II
    Pope John Paul II
    Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

    's death
    Death
    Death is the permanent termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism. Phenomena which commonly bring about death include old age, predation, malnutrition, disease, and accidents or trauma resulting in terminal injury....

    )
    - elected Pope Benedict XVI
    Pope Benedict XVI
    Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

  • William Levada
    William Levada
    William Joseph Levada is an American Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. Since 2005, he has served as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, making him the highest ranking American in the Roman Curia. He was previously the Archbishop of Portland from 1986 to 1995 and...

     (May 13, 2005–Present)

Modern Secretaries of the CDF


With the reorganization of the Holy Office as the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in December 1965, the head of the Congregation was no longer titled Secretary. The dicastery's second-in-command, until then titled accessor, was then given the title of Secretary, as was already the case with the other Roman Congregations. The following Archbishops have served as the CDF's second-in-command with the title of Secretary:
  • Archbishop Pietro Parente
    Pietro Parente
    Pietro Parente was a long-serving theologian and inquisitor in the Holy Office of the Roman Catholic Church, and was made a cardinal on June 26, 1967...

     (7 December 1965 to 1967)
  • Archbishop Paul-Pierre Philippe
    Paul-Pierre Philippe
    Paul-Pierre Philippe O.P. was a Cardinal and Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches in the Roman Catholic Church....

    , O.P. (29 June 1967 to 6 March 1973)
  • Archbishop Jean Jérôme Hamer
    Jean Jérôme Hamer
    Jean Jérôme Hamer, OP, S.T.D. was a Belgian Cardinal who was Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life from 1985 until 1992....

    , O.P. (14 June 1973 to 8 April 1984)
  • Archbishop Alberto Bovone
    Alberto Bovone
    Alberto Bovone was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints from 1995 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1998....

      (5 April 1984 to 13 June 1995)
  • Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B. (13 June 1995 to 10 December 2002)
  • Archbishop Angelo Amato
    Angelo Amato
    Angelo Amato, S.D.B. is a cardinal of the Catholic Church and currently serves as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. He previously served as Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 2002 to 2008.-Education:He entered the Salesians, after completing...

    , S.D.B. (19 December 2002 - 9 July 2008)
  • Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer
    Luis Ladaria Ferrer
    Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.J. is a Spanish Jesuit archbishop. He currently serves as Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Roman Curia, while still teaching at the Pontifical Gregorian University and remaining an active member of the International Theological...

    , S.J (9 July 2008–present)

See also

  • Index Librorum Prohibitorum
    Index Librorum Prohibitorum
    The Index Librorum Prohibitorum was a list of publications prohibited by the Catholic Church. A first version was promulgated by Pope Paul IV in 1559, and a revised and somewhat relaxed form was authorized at the Council of Trent...

  • Crimen sollicitationis
  • Archive of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
    Archive of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
    The Archive of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Vatican , commonly referred to as the Archive of the Inquisition , contains the Catholic Church's documents dealing with doctrinal and theological issues related to church...

  • Jon Sobrino
    Jon Sobrino
    Jon Sobrino, S.J. is a Jesuit Catholic priest and theologian, known mostly for his contributions to liberation theology....

     Spanish theologian disciplined by the Congregation in 2007
  • Liberation theology
    Liberation theology
    Liberation theology is a Christian movement in political theology which interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ in terms of a liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions...

  • Woodstock defence

External links