The Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life is a dicastery of the Roman Curia. Pope Francis announced its creation on 15 August 2016, effective 1 September 2016. It takes over the functions and responsibilities of the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the Pontifical Council for the Family. It has responsibility "for the promotion of the life and apostolate of the lay faithful, for the pastoral care of the family and its mission according to God's plan and for the protection and support of human life."The statutes governing this new body had been approved on 4 June 2016. A revised statue was published on 8 May 2018, effective 13 May. It added to its mission promoting "ecclesial reflection on the identity and mission of women in the church and in society, promoting their participation"; specified two undersecretaries instead of two and no longer required organization into three divisions; and both developing "guidelines for training programs for engaged couples preparing for marriage, and for young married couples" and guiding the care of couples in unorthodox marital situations.
A dicastery is a department of the Roman Curia, the administration of the Holy See through which the pope directs the Roman Catholic Church. The most recent comprehensive constitution of the church, Pastor bonus (1988), includes this definition:
By the word "dicasteries" are understood the Secretariat of State, Congregations, Tribunals, Councils and Offices, namely, the Apostolic Camera, the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See and the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.
The Roman Curia comprises the administrative institutions of the Holy See and the central body through which the affairs of the Catholic Church are conducted. It acts in the Pope’s name and with his authority for the good and for the service of the particular Churches and provides the central organization for the Church to advance its objectives.
Pope Francis is the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere, the first to visit the Arabian Peninsula, and the first pope from outside Europe since the Syrian Gregory III, who reigned in the 8th century.
As its first Prefect, Francis named Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas, Texas,whom Francis telephoned in May to propose his appointment before Farrell accepted it in June. He also appointed Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the soon to be abolished Pontifical Council for the Family, to head the Pontifical Academy for Life and the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, which are academic centers associated with the new dicastery. Pope Francis instructed Paglia that the institutes' work should be "ever more clearly inscribed within the horizon of mercy" and that "in theological study, a pastoral perspective and attention to the wounds of humanity should never be missing".
Kevin Joseph Farrell is an Irish-American prelate and a Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.
Vincenzo Paglia is an Italian prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He is President of the Pontifical Academy for Life and Grand Chancellor of the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences. He was President of the Pontifical Council for the Family from 2012 to 2016 and Bishop of Terni-Narni-Amelia, Italy, from 2000 to 2012. He was a co-founder of the Community of Sant'Egidio in 1968.
The Pontifical Academy for Life or Pontificia Accademia Pro Vita is a Pontifical Academy of the Roman Catholic Church dedicated to promoting the Church's consistent life ethic. It also does related research on bioethics and Catholic moral theology.
Pope Francis had announced that he intended to establish the new dicastery and replace two existing pontifical councils at the Synod of Bishops on the Family on 22 October 2015. The Council of Cardinals that he formed in April 2013 to advise him on the reform of the Roman curia had discussed the idea extensively and recommended it following a study by Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, Archbishop emeritus of Milan.
The Fourteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, popularly referred to as the Synod on the Family, took place from 4 to 25 October 2015 with the theme of "the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world." It was "reflect[ing] further on the points discussed" at the 2014 Third Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops "so as to formulate appropriate pastoral guidelines" for the pastoral care of the person and the family. The 2014 assembly of the Synod, called to define the status quaestionis and to collect the participants' experiences and proposals, can be understood as a preparation for the 2015 assembly, but they are meant to "form a single organic unity." It took place in the Synod Hall in the Paul VI Audience Hall in Vatican City.
Dionigi Tettamanzi was an Italian prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, who was named a cardinal in 1998. He was Archbishop of Genoa from 1995 to 2002 and Archbishop of Milan from 2002 to 2011.
In 31 May 2017, Pope Francis named Alexandre Awi Mello the Dicastery's Secretary.On 7 November he appointed Gabriella Gambino Sub-Secretary of the section on life and Linda Ghisoni Sub-Secretary of the section on laity. Both academics and laywomen, they became the highest ranking in the Vatican.
The Pontifical Council for the Family was part of the Curia of the Roman Catholic Church from 1981 to 2016. It was established by Pope John Paul II on 9 May 1981 with his motu proprio Familia a Deo Instituta, replacing the Committee for the Family that Pope Paul VI had established in 1973. The Council fostered "the pastoral care of families, protects their rights and dignity in the Church and in civil society, so that they may ever be more able to fulfill their duties."
Jean Clément Marie Gérard Joseph Françoise Georges Laffitte is a French prelate of the Catholic Church. A bishop since 2009, he has had an academic career and served in several positions in the Roman Curia. He has been Prelate of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta since 4 July 2015.
A pontifical council is a mid-sized department or dicastery of the Roman Curia, the central organization responsible for assisting the pope in the governance and oversight of Catholic Church. Such a council has a cardinal or archbishop as its president and is restricted in its activities in comparison with the larger parts of the Curia.
Francesco Coccopalmerio is an Italian cardinal. He was president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts from his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI on 15 February 2007 until his resignation was accepted by Pope Francis on 7 April 2018. He spent his early years in the Archdiocese of Milan and became an auxiliary bishop in 1993. He moved to the Roman Curia in 2000.
Pastor bonus is an apostolic constitution promulgated by Pope John Paul II on 28 June 1988. It instituted a number of reforms in the process of running the central government of the Roman Catholic Church, as article 1 states "The Roman Curia is the complex of dicasteries and institutes which help the Roman Pontiff in the exercise of his supreme pastoral office for the good and service of the whole Church and of the particular Churches. It thus strengthens the unity of the faith and the communion of the people of God and promotes the mission proper to the Church in the world".
Brian Farrell, LC, is an Irish prelate of the Catholic Church. He was named a bishop and the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in December 2002.
Stanisław Ryłko is a Polish Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He held positions in the Roman Curia beginning in 1987 and was president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity from 2003 to 2016. He was made a cardinal in 2007. He has been Archpriest of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore since 28 December 2016.
The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People was a dicastery of the Roman Curia. The Council, established by Pope John Paul II on 28 June 1988, was dedicated to the spiritual welfare of migrant and itinerant people.
The Pontifical Council for the Laity was a unit of the Roman Catholic Curia from 1967 to 2016. It had the responsibility of assisting the Pope in his dealings with the laity in lay ecclesial movements or individually, and their contributions to the Church. Its last Cardinal President from 4 October 2003 to 31 August 2016 was Cardinal Stanisław Ryłko. Its undersecretary from 1967 to 1976 was Professor Rosemary Goldie, the first woman to be the Undersecretary of a Pontifical Council and the highest-ranking woman in the Roman Curia at the time. Another layman, Professor Guzman Carriquiry Lecour, was undersecretary from 1991 to 2011.
Paul Tighe is an Irish prelate of the Catholic Church. He has been the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture since his appointment on 28 October 2017. He is the joint highest-ranking Irishman in the Roman Curia, along with Bishop Brian Farrell. He was consecrated a bishop on 27 February 2016. He previously served as adjunct secretary of the same dicastery from December 2015 and as secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications from 30 November 2007. Before that he was director of the Office for Public Affairs for the Dublin diocese.
Catholic laity are the ordinary members of the Catholic Church who are neither clergy nor recipients of Holy Orders or vowed to life in a religious order or congregation. The laity forms the majority of the estimated over one billion Catholics in the world.
Lorenzo Baldisseri is an Italian cardinal. He has been the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops since 21 September 2013. He previously served as Secretary of the Congregation for Bishops after more than twenty years in the diplomatic service of the Holy See.
The Council of Cardinal Advisers, formally the Council of Cardinals (C9), is a group of Catholic cardinals appointed by Pope Francis to serve as his advisers. Announced on 13 April 2013, one month after his election, it was formally established on 28 September of the same year. The Council currently has six members, following the decision by Pope Francis to remove three of its members in late 2018.
The Dicastery for Communications is a division (dicastery) of the Roman Curia with authority over all communication offices of the Holy See and the Vatican City State, including the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Holy See Press Office, Vatican Internet Service, Vatican Radio, Vatican Television Center, L'Osservatore Romano, Vatican Press, Photograph Service, and Vatican Publishing House.
The Vatican announced the creation of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development on 31 August 2016 and it became effective 1 January 2017. Cardinal Peter K. A. Turkson was named its first prefect. The Prefect is to be assisted by a Secretary and at least one Undersecretary.