Management posts in the Vatican now also for women

Released on 05.06.1988

  • Pope Francis arrives for an audience with pilgrims in the Vatican. Photo: Gregorio Borgia/AP/dpa

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Previously, only cardinals and archbishops – i.e. men – were allowed to hold the highest offices in the Curia. A roughly 50 page document written by Pope Francis is changing that.


Today the new Curia constitution comes into force in the Vatican, with which Pope Francis reorganizes the authorities of the Catholic Church.

Observers saw in the reform with the Latin title “Praedicate Gospel” (Preach the Gospel) a clear will to reform 85 year old head of the Catholic Church. Among other things, with the new constitution lay people and thus also women can lead dicasteries – something like ministries in the Vatican and thus the highest curia offices. Previously, this was only reserved for cardinals and archbishops and thus exclusively for men.

In addition, Francis placed the Curia more at the service of bishops in the world. In the approximately 50 page document with 19 Paragraphs he spoke of a “healthy decentralization” and of leaving competence to the “shepherds”.

The document appeared unannounced on 19. March this year. But it had been expected for a long time. A council had been working on the elaboration for years. The new constitution replaced the previous order “Pastor Bonus” (the good shepherd) of Pope John Paul II from the year 1988. .

Francis also reorganized the councils, congregations and dicasteries and unified their names. They all now run under the Dicastery category. First and foremost is the Dicastery for Evangelization, headed by the Pope himself, which is also a sign from Francis to give more weight to the spread of the faith. The pontifex also upgraded the alms office, which takes care of the needs of the needy, to a dicastery. (dpa)

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