Pope Francis creates a one new Dicastery out of four, which will be suppressed

Today it was announced that Pope Francis created a “Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development” through a Motu Proprio published on today in L’Osservatore Romano.  More from Vatican Radio HERE.

The Dicastery will come into effect on 1 January 2017 and will be especially “competent in issues regarding migrants, those in need, the sick, the excluded and marginalized, the imprisoned and the unemployed, as well as victims of armed conflict, natural disasters, and all forms of slavery and torture”.

On that same date, four Pontifical Councils will cease to exist and will be incorporated into the new institution.

A dicastery is an official “department” of the Curia. Congregations and Councils are both “dicasteries”.

I suspect that this new Dicastery will eventually be made into a Congregation.

One thing that occurred to me is that by squishing four dicasteries that usually have a Cardinal as their head into one dicastery, he eliminated three curial cardinal positions. This is what I predicted he would do shortly after he was elected: he would cut down the Curia and, thereby, shift power away from the Curia to regions. If he wants to maintain the number of electors – and he probably will – he can now give a red hat to three bishops “out there” somewhere in the world, not excluding Maseru in Lethoso, Juneau in Alaska, or even Tawara, Nauru and Funfati.

Whom shall he choose!

Time will tell.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Given His Holiness’ priorities, isn’t he making a substitute for the Secretariat of State, the Holy Office, and the Propaganda?

  2. acardnal says:

    I’ve been told consolidation is the future.

  3. “Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development”: what does this even mean?

    I wish some Pope would create a Dicastery for the Promotion of Plain, Straightforward Language and the Elimination of Squishy, Equivocating, Secularist Jargon.

  4. TheDude05 says:

    I wonder if he has looked at outsourcing to other countries. Seems to me that would help the poor and reduce power in the Curia. You can speak to Giovanni in Bangladesh who will help you with your concerns.

  5. TimG says:

    My fear is a red hat goes to the Chicago area….

  6. Chrisc says:

    Apparently, this new arrangement will have Cardinal Turkson as its head, but with Francis personally in charge of the question of migration. Regardless of how you feel about Pope Francis vis-a-vis the question of migration… yeah… anyway, simply from an organizational standpoint this utterly strips Cardinal Turkson of any ability to get anything done in this area. You can’t effectively be tasked with managing your direct superior. So, Turkson is put in a very unenviable position whereby he is charged with running something that he can’t possibly succeed in any real way. What did Turkson do to become scapegoated if/when necessary?

  7. Orlando says:

    Red Hat for the Charlotte NC area? Aren’t we peripharies enough ??

  8. Geoffrey says:

    I am probably one of the few who is not looking forward to a “reform” of the curia. Why does St John Paul the Great’s Pastor Bonus need tweaking? Why not just fill the various posts and positions with the right people?

  9. sahn105 says:


  10. sahn105 says:

    I’d be surprised if that didn’t happen considering he being groomed and Chicago being a cardinal see.

  11. sahn105 says:

    St. JPII’s pastor’s name was Bonus?

  12. Y2Y says:

    You’ve obviously never been to Juneau.

    [You’ve obviously missed my point. o{]:¬) ]

  13. Pingback: Morning Catholic must-reads: 01/09/16 | CHRONICA

  14. robtbrown says:

    Not only few Cardinals in the Curia but also fewer Italian Cardinals.

  15. Elizium23 says:

    The Holy Father can put the “Fun” in Funfati.

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