Apostolic Letter issued “Motu Proprio” of the Supreme Pontiff Francis modifying the internal structure of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

‘Fidem Servare’

 ‘Fidem Servare’  ING-007
18 February 2022

Apostolic Letter
Issued “Motu Proprio”
of the Supreme Pontiff
Fidem Servare
modifying the internal structure of the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

“To keep the faith” (cf. 2 Tim 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 is charged with this important responsibility and possesses both doctrinal and disciplinary areas of competence, as assigned 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 areas of competence.

In view of the experience gained by the Congregation over these years in the various sectors of its work, and the need to give it a structure better suited to the fulfilment of its proper functions, I have now deemed it fitting 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 cooperation of the Under-Secretary and the respective Heads of Office.

2. The Doctrinal Section, through the Doctrinal Office, deals with matters concerning the promotion and protection of teaching on faith and morals. It also encourages studies aimed at increasing the understanding and transmission of the faith in the service of evangelization, so that the light of faith may be a criterion for understanding the meaning of existence, especially with regard to questions posed by the progress of the sciences and the development of society.

With regard to faith and morals, the Section provides for the examination of documents to be published by other Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, as well as writings and opinions that appear problematic in terms of sound doctrine, favouring dialogue with their authors and proposing suitable remedies, in accordance with the norms of the Agendi ratio in doctrinarum examine.

This Section is entrusted with the task of studying matters related to the Personal Ordinariates established by the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus.

The Doctrinal Section includes the Matrimonial Office, which was 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 delicts reserved to the Congregation and handled by it through the jurisdiction of the Supreme Apostolic Tribunal established therein. Its task is to prepare and carry out 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 cases of delicta graviora), may promote a correct administration of justice.

To this end, the Section promotes the timely training programmes that the Congregation offers to Ordinaries and legal practitioners, in order to foster a correct understanding and application of the canonical norms related to its proper area of competence.

4. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith maintains a current Archive for the safekeeping and consultation of documents; this also manages the Historical Archives of the former Congregations of the Holy Office and of the Index.

I order that what has been laid down by this Apostolic Letter issued Motu Proprio have firm and stable effect, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, even if worthy of special mention, and that it be promulgated by publication in L’Osservatore Romano, taking effect on 14 February 2022, and that it be published thereafter in the official commentary Acta Apostolicae Sedis.

Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on the 11th day of February, Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes, in the year 2022, the ninth of my Pontificate.