Congregation for the Clergy

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Congregation for the Clergy
Latin: Congregatio pro Clericis
Coat of arms Holy See.svg
Coat of arms of the Holy See
Via della Conciliazione din Roma1.jpg
Palazzo delle Congregazioni in Piazza Pio XII (in front of St. Peter's Square) is the workplace for most congregations of the Roman Curia
Congregation overview
FormedAugust 2, 1564;456 years ago (1564-08-02)
Preceding agencies
  • Sacred Congregation for the Clergy
  • Sacred Congregation of the Council
Type Congregation
Headquarters Palazzo delle Congregazioni, Piazza Pio XII, Rome, Italy
Congregation executives

The Congregation for the Clergy (Latin : Congregatio pro Clericis; formerly the Sacred Congregation for the Clergy and Sacred Congregation of the Council) is the congregation of the Roman Curia responsible for overseeing matters regarding priests and deacons not belonging to religious orders. The Congregation for the Clergy handles requests for dispensation from active priestly ministry, as well as the legislation governing presbyteral councils and other organisations of priests around the world. The Congregation does not deal with clerical sexual abuse cases, as those are handled exclusively by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.



It was first set up as the Sacra Congregatio Cardinalium pro executione et interpretatione concilii Tridentini interpretum by Pope Pius IV in the apostolic constitution Alias Nos of 2 August 1564 to oversee the proper application and observation of the disciplinary decrees of the Council of Trent throughout the Catholic Church. It was commonly known as the Sacred Congregation of the Council. Pope Sixtus V's Apostolic Constitution Immensa aeterni Dei of 22 January 1587 expanded the Congregation's functions, entrusting it with the proper interpretation of the canons of the Council of Trent, resolving controversial questions relating to it, and monitoring provincial councils. It later lost many of its powers, retaining only those relating to disciplining secular clergy, but still held onto its original name prior to Pope Paul VI's apostolic constitution Regimini Ecclesiae Universae of 31 December 1967, which renamed it the "Congregation for the Clergy."

By 2009, Pope Benedict XVI made the Congregation responsible for managing the guidelines concerning clergy who maintained their clerical status after violating their vows of celibacy. [1] On 25 January 2012, Pope Benedict XVI gave it responsibility for regulating Catholic seminaries, which until then was the responsibility of the Congregation for Catholic Education. [2]

In January 2013, the motu proprio Fides per doctrinam transferred the competency on Catechesis from the Congregation for the Clergy to the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation.

In February 2019, Cardinal Beniamino Stella, Prefect of the Congregation, said that the Congregation manages the cases of priests who violate their vows of celibacy for approximately ten years. He said that "In such cases there are, unfortunately, Bishops and Superiors who think that, after having provided economically for the children, or after having transferred the priest, the cleric could continue to exercise the ministry." [1] In February 2020, the Congregation made public its guidelines for managing cases of priests who have fathered children. The guidelines were previously secret, though in 2019 the Congregation offered to provide then to a bishops conference upon request. [3]

On 3 June 2021, Pope Francis tasked Egidio Miragoli, Bishop of Mondovì, with conducting a review of the Congregation in anticipation of the replacement of its prefect in August. He expected it would take at least the month of June to complete. [4] [5]


Since 21 September 2013, the Prefect of the Congregation has been Cardinal Beniamino Stella. [6] The Secretary of the Congregation is the French Archbishop Joël Mercier. [7] Jorge Carlos Patrón Wong is the Secretary for Seminaries. The under secretary is Fr. Andrea Ripa, a former professor of matrimonial and canon law for the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences in Rimini and of the “General Norms” at the Lugano Faculty of Theology and the Pontifical Lateran University and licensed canon law and Roman Rota lawyer, and a former judge and vicar of the Ecclesiastical Tribunal of Flaminio in Bologna. [8] [9]

On June 11, 2021, Pope Francis appointed Lazarus You Heung-sik, bishop of Daejeon, South Korea, as prefect after accepting the resignation of Cardinal Stella. However, Cardinal Stella remains "in charge" of the Congregation "until the new Prefect takes office." [10]


Prefect of Congregation for the Clergy
Coat of arms of the Vatican City.svg
Beniamino Stella.jpg
Beniamino Stella

since 21 September 2013
Congregation for the Clergy
Style His Eminence
Member of Roman Curia
Reports to The Pope
Appointer The Pope
Constituting instrumentAlias Nos
Formation2 August 1564
First holder Carlo Borromeo
1 Carlo Borromeo.jpg Carlo Borromeo 15641565 Pius IV
2 3207 - Roma - S. Maria degli Angeli - Tomba card. Francesco Alciati - Foto Giovanni Dall'Orto 18-June-2007.jpg Francesco Alciati 15651580
3 Cardinal galero with fiocchi.svg Filippo Boncompagni 15801586 Gregory XIII
4 Antonio Carafa (1538-1591).jpg Antonio Carafa 15861591 Sixtus V
5 Cardinal galero with fiocchi.svg Girolamo Mattei 15911603

Alessandro algardi, il cardinale paolo emilio zacchia, 1650 ca..JPG

Paolo Emilio Zacchia 16041605 Clement VIII
7 Ottavio Leoni - Francesco Maria del Monte.jpg Francesco Maria del Monte 16061616 Paul V
8 Cardinal galero with fiocchi.svg Orazio Lancellotti 16161620 Paul V
9 Guido Reni - Roberto Ubaldini - LACMA.jpg Roberto Ubaldini 16211623
10 Card de torres.jpg Cosimo de Torres 16231626
11 Cardinal galero with fiocchi.svg Bonifazio Bevilacqua
16261627 Urban VIII
12 Cardinal galero with fiocchi.svg Fabrizio Verospi 16271639 Urban VIII
13 Portrait of Pope Innocent X (by Circle of Diego Velazquez) - National Gallery of Art.jpg Giambattista Pamphilj 16391644 Urban VIII
14 Cardinal galero with fiocchi.svg Francesco Cennini
de' Salamandri
15 Siluestri a Petrasancta Symbola heroica (1682) (14562259038).jpg Pier Luigi Carafa 16451655 Innocent X
16 Testana Giuseppe - Francesco Paolucci.jpg Francesco Paolucci 16571661
17 Giulio Sacchetti, by Pietro da Cortona.jpg Giulio Cesare Sacchetti 16611663 Alexander VII
18 Angelo Celsi.jpg Angelo Celsi16641671 Alexander VII
19 Paluzzo Paluzzi Altieri degli Albertoni.jpg Paluzzo Paluzzi Altieri
degli Albertoni
16711672 Clement X
20 Benedetto XIII.jpg Vincenzo Maria Orsini, O.P. 16731675 Clement X
21 Jakob-Ferdinand Voet - Portrait of Cardinal Federico Ubaldo Baldeschi Colonna (1624-1691) - Google Art Project.jpg Federico Baldeschi Colonna 16751691 Clement X
22 Galeazzo Marescotti.jpg Galeazzo Marescotti 16921695 Innocent XII
23 Portret van kardinaal Giuseppe Sacripante, RP-P-1909-4275.jpg Giuseppe Sacripante 16961700 Innocent XII
24 Cardinal Bandino Panciatici.jpg Bandino Panciatichi 17001718
25 CORRADINI PIER MARCELLINO.jpg Pier Marcellino Corradini 17181721 Clement XI
26 Portret van kardinaal Curzio Origo, RP-P-1909-5284.jpg Curzio Origo 17211737
27 Antonio Saverio Gentili.jpg Antonio Saverio Gentili 17371753 Clement XII
28 Mario Millini.jpg Mario Millini 17531756 Benedict XIV
29 Cardinale Giovanni Giacomo Millo.jpg Giovanni Giacomo Millo 17561757 Benedict XIV
30 Cardinal galero with fiocchi.svg Clemente Argenvilliers 17571758 Benedict XIV
31 Ferdinando Maria de' Rossi.jpg Ferdinando Maria de' Rossi 17591775 Clement XIII
32 Carlo Vittorio Amedeo Ignazio delle Lanze.jpg Carlo Vittorio Amedeo
delle Lanze
33 Guglielmo Pallotta.jpg Guglielmo Pallotta 17851795 Pius VI
34 Tommaso Antici - Kardinal.jpg Tommaso Antici 17951798 Pius VI
35 Cardinal galero with fiocchi.svg Filippo Carandini 18001810
36 Giulio Gabrielli.jpg Giulio Gabrielli 18141820 Pius VII
37 Emanuele De Gregorio.jpg Emmanuele De Gregorio 18201834 Pius VII
38 Cardnale Vincenzo Macchi.jpg Vincenzo Macchi 18341841 Gregory XVI
39 Kardinal Paolo Polidori.jpg Paolo Polidori 18411847 Gregory XVI
40 Kardinal Pietro Ostini.jpg Pietro Ostini 18471849 Pius IX
41 Angelo Mai - Imagines philologorum.jpg Angelo Mai 18511853 Pius IX
42 Cardinali Antonio Maria Cagiano de Azevedo (1797-1867) 19696qzv-front-shortedge-384.jpg Antonio Maria Cagiano
de Azevedo
18531860 Pius IX
43 Prospero Caterini.jpg Prospero Caterini 18601881 Pius IX
44 Coat of arms of Lorenzo Nina.svg Lorenzo Nina 18811885 Leo XIII
45 Cardinal galero with fiocchi.svg Luigi Serafini 18851893 Leo XIII
46 Angelo Di Pietro.jpg Angelo Di Pietro 18931902 Leo XIII
47 Vincenzo Vannutelli 1913.jpg Vincenzo Vannutelli 19021908 Leo XIII
48 Cardinal galero with fiocchi.svg Casimiro Gennari 19081914 Pius X
49 Cardinal galero with fiocchi.svg Francesco di Paola Cassetta 19141919
50 Mgr Donate Sbaretti (HS85-10-13671).jpg Donato Raffaele Sbarretti 19191930 Benedict XV
51 Cardinal galero with fiocchi.svg Giulio Serafini 19301938 Pius XI
52 Cardinal Maglione.JPG Luigi Maglione 19381939 Pius XI
53 Francesco Marmaggi.jpg Francesco Marmaggi 19391949
54 Coat of arms of Giuseppe Bruno.svg Giuseppe Bruno 19491954 Pius XII
55 Coat of arms of Pietro Ciriaci.svg Pietro Ciriaci 19541966 Pius XII
56 Jean-Marie Villot 1978.jpg Jean-Marie Villot 19671969
57 Coat of arms of John Joseph Wright.svg John Joseph Wright 19691979 Paul VI
58 Coat of arms of Silvio Oddi.svg Silvio Oddi 19791986 John Paul II
59 External Ornaments of a Cardinal Bishop.svg Antonio Innocenti 19861991 John Paul II
60 Coat of arms of Jose Tomas Sanchez.svg José Tomás Sánchez 19911996 John Paul II
61 Cardenal Dario Castrillon.jpg Darío Castrillón Hoyos 1996
1998 John Paul II
62 Hummes2006.jpg Cláudio Hummes 20062010 Benedict XVI
63 Card-piac3.jpg Mauro Piacenza 20102013 Benedict XVI
64 Beniamino Stella.jpg Beniamino Stella 2013present Francis


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  9. "Rinunce e nomine, 12.09.2017" (Press release) (in Italian). 12 September 2017. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
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