The Pope unpacks the old Holy Office. And Ladaria…


With the apostolic letter Faithful to serve, Francis divides the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith into two autonomous sections: the Disciplinary, which will also deal with the most serious crimes, and the Doctrinal. And the indiscretions on the non-extension of Ladaria and its replacement by Scicluna are multiplying.

A new motu owner which, this time, modifies the internal structure of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. On February 11, a Vatican holiday for the anniversary of the Lateran Pacts, Pope Francis signed the Apostolic Letter Faithful to serve, which divides the former Holy Office into two autonomous sections: Doctrine and Discipline. A decision taken to satisfy “the need to give him a more suitable approach to the performance of his duties”, writes the Sovereign Pontiff in the document made public yesterday.

The competence on crimes against the faith and the most serious crimes committed against morals or in the celebration of the sacraments will thus be reserved for the Disciplinary Section, which will also have the task of preparing any canonical proceedings. The doctrinal section, on the other hand, will deal with “matters relating to the promotion and protection of the doctrine of faith and morals”. The doctrinal office will also be reserved for the examination of the documents of the other dicasteries of the Roman Curia before publication and also of the writings and opinions which “seem problematic for the good faith”. He will have to do it, read it motu owner“Promote dialogue with their authors and propose appropriate remedies”.

Also the wedding officein charge of the causes of dissolution of the marriage in Favorm fidei and the other aspects of the matrimonial bond related to the validity of the sacrament, will be the competence of the Doctrinal Section; as well as matters relating to personal ordinariates established for Anglicans who have returned to full communion with the Catholic Church as established by the apostolic constitution of Benedict XVI Anglicanorum coetibus of 2009. This office will therefore be responsible for examining the files of married priests: former Anglicans, but also the pending requests for dispensation from celibacy of those who have abandoned priestly life or of those who should not have received ordination. priesthood and those of reinstatement in the exercise of the priestly ministry of former married priests after the death of the spouse or the nullity of the marriage.

In motu owneralongside the protection of the doctrine of faith and morals, Francis made a point of emphasizing that the Doctrinal Section will be called upon to promote “studies aimed at increasing intelligence and the transmission of the faith in the service of evangelization”. A passage that recalls the speech he gave to the audience of participants in the plenary session of the former Holy Office a little less than a month ago, when he said that “the Congregation is called not only to defend but also to promote the Faith”.

Fidem Servare redraw the structure of what is the oldest Congregation of the Roman Curia, founded in 1542 by Pope Paul III and which owes its current name to Saint Paul VI. 2022 seems destined to be a year of change in the dicastery that Joseph Ratzinger led from 1981 to 2005: it opened, in fact, with the surprise departure of the secretary, Bishop Giacomo Morandi, appointed bishop of Reggio Emilia-Guastalla. Now that this new has been enacted motu owner the reason for the absence of indication of a successor to the outgoing Morandi is also understood: indeed, the Doctrinal Section and the Disciplinary Section will have their own secretary, being autonomous from each other.

The changes, however, may not be complete. The unpacking of the CDF formalized yesterday was indeed anticipated by the well-informed blog, who had also reported an indiscretion – widely circulated in Rome in recent months – that the mandate of the current prefect, which expires in July, will not be extended. Cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, criticized last week by the newspaper tomorrow due to the content of a letter in which he allegedly asked Cardinal Philippe Barbarin to “avoid public scandal” over the story of the pedophile priest Bernard Preynat, he could be replaced by Mgr Charles Scicluna, Metropolitan Archbishop of Malta and Pope’s confidence in the delicate file of the fight against abuse.

However, it should be noted that Ladariain the letter distributed and used by part of the press to criticize his work, he had written to take “adequate disciplinary measures” against the pedophile priest and had ordered that he be prohibited from missions in contact with minors.

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