Changes in the Roman Curia: governance of seminaries transferred to Congregation for Clergy

At the end of the Synod of Bishops, which coincided with the beginning of the Year of Faith and focused on the promotion of the New Evangelization (of places where the Christian Faith and identity is dying or dead), the Holy Father said:

In the context of the reflections of the Synod of Bishops, “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith,” and at the conclusion of a process of reflection on the themes of seminaries and of catechesis, I am pleased to announce that I have decided, after prayer and further reflection, to transfer competence [i.e., which office of the Curia has control] over Seminaries from the Congregation for Catholic Education, to the Congregation for the Clergy [HURRAY!] and competence of Catechesis from the Congregation for the Clergy, to the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization. [Interesting.]

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  1. Catholicity says:

    Father Z, what will this *mean* in practical terms? Does anybody know yet?

  2. Tim Ferguson says:

    Is this a vote of no confidence in Cardinal Grocholewski and what has been called (since 1988) the Congregation for Catholic Education (in Seminaries and Institutes of Study)? Presumably, the name of that congregation will be changed to reflect this change.

    I presume also that there will be a personnel shift from the Catechetical office of Clergy to the New Evangelization Commission.

  3. robtbrown says:

    The Cong of Clergy has long been considered one of the better groups in the Vatican (Sacraments and Liturgy on the other end of the spectrum–BXVI trying to reshape it).

    Education is of little import. That the catechism has been under Clergy is a good example.

  4. Dave N. says:

    At this point I think any change in seminary oversight would be an improvement. The fact that the Church refuses to insure even marginally adequate education and formation for the few vocations that we do actually have is really an insult both to seminarians and to the faithful.

    The mistakes made at seminary impact the Church for decades.

  5. Rellis says:

    It’s all arranging deck chairs on the Titanic unless the two most urgent changes are made to seminaries:

    1. Implementing the 1983 Code of Canon Law requirement that seminarians learn ecclesiastical Latin, and

    2. Implementing the express wishes of the Holy Father and the PCED that each seminarian know how to celebrate the Ex Form.

    If this is a step toward that, great. If this is simply New Evangelization/Year of Faith happy talk (as most of this synod has been), then it’s meaningless. We’ll see. I’m positively-inclined, because the Holy Father tends to do things with a purpose.

  6. Imrahil says:


    What will the Congregation for Education, after this, be still there for? I had been thinking that mostly formation of seminarians is what it is there for.

    Is a merge of the Congregation for Education with the Council for Culture (perhaps separating from it the Atheists issues to put them to the Council for Interreligious Dialogue) likely?

  7. AnnAsher says:

    Does this indicate the Holy Father is pulling catechesis in closer to himself ?

  8. joan ellen says:

    AnnAsher says: 27 October 2012 at 1:01 pm
    Does this indicate the Holy Father is pulling catechesis in closer to himself ?

    How insightful!

  9. joan ellen says:

    “and competence of Catechesis from the Congregation for the Clergy, to the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization. [Interesting.]”

    Interesting Fr., and optimistic also! There may be better days ahead, in the Church, sooner than later.

  10. frjeremiah says:

    The comments so far are missing the big good news here. Cardinal Piacenza over seminaries is a wonderful prospect. He is bringing bringing great clarity to the renewal of the priesthood. It makes sense to have seminaries come under the Congregation for the Clergy. The Congregation for Catholic Education will have enough to be going on with. How many Catholic educational institutions are there in the world? How many students in total? They won’t be idle.

  11. acardnal says:

    There are definitely some “catholic” universities that need some close and continuing supervision. Where has the Cong. for Cath. Education been?? I am pleased they are transferring seminary oversight to the Cong. for Clergy.

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