APOSTOLIC LETTER ISSUED “MOTU PROPRIO” OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF FRANCIS
Keeping the Faith
Motu Proprio: FIDEM SERVARE
MODIFYING THE INTERNAL STRUCTURE OF THE CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
“Keeping the faith” (cf. 2 Tm 4:7) is the principal task and the ultimate criterion to be followed in the life of the Church. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith takes on this important task, assuming both doctrinal and disciplinary competencies, as attributed to it by my Venerable Predecessors.
The current configuration of the Congregation was established by Saint Paul VI, who in the Motu Proprio Integrae Servandae changed the name of the Dicastery to “Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith”, and by Saint John Paul II, who in the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus specified its competencies.
Now, in view of the experience gained by the Congregation over this time in various areas of work, and the need to give it an approach more suited to the fulfilment of the functions proper to it, I have deemed it appropriate to establish the following:
1. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith consists of two Sections, Doctrinal and Disciplinary, each coordinated by a Secretary who assists the Prefect in the specific area of his competence, with the collaboration of the Under-Secretary and the respective Heads of Office.
2. The Doctrinal Section, through the Doctrinal Office, deals with matters pertaining to the promotion and protection of the doctrine of faith and morals. It also encourages studies aimed at increasing the understanding and transmission of the faith in the service of evangelization, so that its light may be a criterion for understanding the meaning of existence, especially in the face of the questions posed by the progress of the sciences and the development of society.
With regard to faith and morals, the Section shall arrange for the examination of documents to be published by other Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, as well as writings and opinions which appear problematic for the correct faith, encouraging dialogue with their authors and proposing suitable remedies, in accordance with the norms of Agendi ratio in doctrinarum examine.
This Section is entrusted with the task of studying questions relating to the Personal Ordinariates established by the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus.
To the Doctrinal Section belongs the Matrimonial Office, which has been set up to examine, both in law and in fact, matters concerning the “privilegium fidei”.
3. The Disciplinary Section, through the Disciplinary Office, deals with offences reserved to the Congregation and dealt with by it through the jurisdiction of the Supreme Apostolic Tribunal established there. Its task is to prepare and elaborate the procedures provided for by canonical norms so that the Congregation, in its various instances (Prefect, Secretary, Promoter of Justice, Congress, Ordinary Session, College for the examination of appeals in matters of delicta graviora), may promote a correct administration of justice.
To this end, the Section promotes appropriate training initiatives offered by the Congregation to Ordinaries and legal practitioners, in order to foster a correct understanding and application of the canonical norms relating to its own sphere of competence.
4. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith maintains a current Archive for the safekeeping and consultation of documents, which also manages the Historical Archives of the former Congregations of the Holy Office and of the Index.
I order that the provisions of this Apostolic Letter issued Motu Proprio have firm and stable effect, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, even if worthy of special mention, and be promulgated by publication in L’Osservatore Romano, coming into effect on 14 February 2022, and then published in the official commentary of the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.
What has been decided by this Apostolic Letter issued Motu Proprio, I order to be firm and stable in force, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, even if worthy of special mention, and to be promulgated by publication in L’Osservatore Romano, coming into effect on 14 February 2022, and then published in the official commentary of the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.
Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on the 11th day of February in the year 2022, Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes, ninth of my Pontificate.