CDF to have spiffy new website. (Looks sorta like the old one.)

When I worked in the Vatican I had a mantra: “Yesterday’s technology tomorrow!”  We updated our equipment every 75 years, whether it needed it or not.

I am happy to see recent developments.  For example, Vatican Radio and CTV have a greater video/audio player which works!  Their sites are still a chaotic mess, but – hey! – whoever said that being a Catholic was easy?

I am also glad to see that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has a new site.  Year ago, under Card. Castrillon as Prefect, the Cong. for Clergy started doing its own internet thing apart from the Holy See’s regular paradigm, bless them.  The CDF can now have a more prominent web presence.  It is about time, by the, that the CDF become again La Suprema.

From the Holy See Press Office with my emphases:



Documents of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which have the express approbation of the Holy Father participate in his ordinary Magisterium as the Successor of Peter (cf. Instruction Donum veritatis on the ecclesial vocation of the theologian: 24 May 1990, n. 18). For this reason, attentive reception of these texts is important for all members of the faithful and in particular for those who are engaged in theological and pastoral work in the name of the Church.

Wider distribution of the teaching of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is necessary in today’s world. The documents of the Congregation which have been published from the time of the Second Vatican Council were printed in the volume, CONGREGATIO PRO DOCTRINA FIDEI, Documenta inde a Concilio Vaticano Secundo expleto edita (1966-2005): LEV, Vatican City, 2006. These texts treat significant questions for the life and mission of the Church and give important doctrinal responses to the challenges of our times.

In order to facilitate online consultation of its documents, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has created a new domain ( in addition to the already existing access from the official site of the Holy See (

The major documents of the Congregation are available in eight languages: Latin, French, English, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, German and Polish. Certain documents are also available in Hungarian, Slovak, Czech, and Dutch. The work of adding other translations continues. At the present, each document is available in its original language as well as in some translations.

The documents are organized in two ways on the website. There is a general list of all the texts organized chronologically, and three subgroups of these texts, divided into doctrinal, disciplinary and sacramental documents.

In addition, the website also presents information on the Congregation’s series “Documenti e Studi” which are individual printed volumes presenting a major document of the Congregation together with commentaries by noted theologians. There is also a description of the volumes containing the proceedings of various symposia organized by the Congregation in recent years. Finally, the website includes various speeches and other contributions by the Cardinal Prefects.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is convinced that the enhanced availability of these documents will be of significant value in communicating the teaching of the Church to people throughout the world.

Check it out!

Click here.

I hope it won’t be the same ol’ same ol’.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. haribo says:

    The Holy See really needs to redesign its site, and soon. It looks like it hasn’t been changed since the late nineties.

  2. discerningguy says:

    The background pattern is still bad, but it is good that the CDF is foraying out with its own semi-independent website. Perhaps a sign of things to come? Internet catechesis from the Dicastery itself?

  3. SonofMonica says:

    Subsidiarity in Holy See web governance? ;-)

  4. The Cobbler says:

    I personally like the papery feel, but I always have my monitor brightness turned way up and its contrast moderately high so things like that are visible for me, and maybe that’s why black on white gets hard on my eyes eventually. (I’m also one of those weird people who generally likes light on dark, providing both colors are distinct but fairly soft — well, rather, providing niether is jarring… I even like white on black.)

    They could use more thorough translations to fill out the data available in English, and perhaps some tweaks to make it easier to tell what all is in what sections of the site, but the overall organization isn’t terrible — they could have lots of cross-references without any one complete reference, and they don’t, each section at least is fairly well designed in terms of organization. As for the fact that the layout isn’t bloglike — who wants every website to be a blog? I don’t.

  5. shane says:

    It looks like something out of the Da Vinci code.

  6. Andrew says:

    You can access the CDF documents two ways, the traditional way, and this new method.

    However, as discerninguy has noticed, there is not the typical vellum background, one associates with the older way.

    In fact it looks like it is a link that has not 100% downloaded, by the prsence of shapes and writing inside them. I am acquainted with Sr Judith Zobelein, who was the original creator the Vatican website, (she was affectionately called the Pope’s webmaster!) but like so many, she has moved on to bigger things. So I can’t complain to her about it.

    Hopefully, they can fix this up becauase one has become used to looking at the color of parchment, when reading the documents of the world’s oldest continuing institution, the Roman Catholic Church.

    Positively, I think it is great that the CDF has become proactive in offering us their statements, organizing it into three divisions, doctrinal, disciplinary, sacramental, and by chronological order.

    As the late Cardinal Avery Dulles SJ used to say, “The more theology draws from the magisterium of the Church, the richer it will be”.

    One thing I have always liked about documents from this dicastery, is that they are always “straight down the line”, when so often in church life, one encounters so much equivocation. We are really blessed, that this has been offered to the ordinary layperson like myself, as it gives us more power when trying to advance orthdooxy, in the local churches.

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