Secretariat of State, Competencies of Dicasteries of the Roman Curia for Dioceses and other Ecclesiastical Circumscriptions in Europe, 4 January 2006.


The new situation, which has taken shape in Europe in these last years, has highlighted that it is opportune to reorder the competencies of the of the various dicasteries of the Roman curia as regards the establishment and the provision of the numerous ecclesiastical circumscriptions existing in this continent.

Therefore, the Supreme Pontiff, Benedict XVI, bearing in mind what has been established in the Code of Canon Law and by Pope John Paul II, of venerable memory, in the apostolic constitution Pastor bonus (28 June 1988), and after having heard the opinion of the prefects in charge of the dicasteries concerned, has determined to establish the following:

1. The Congregation for Bishops has the competence for the establishment, modification, and provision of all the particular Churches of the Latin rite existing in Europe, with the exception of what is established in the following nn. 2 and 4 of this rescript itself.

2. The particular Churches of the Latin rite existing in Bulgaria, Greece, and European Turkey continue to be assigned to the jurisdiction of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, as was established by Pope Pius XII with the motu proprio Sancta Dei Ecclesia (25 March 1938, in AAS__, 1938, pp. 154-159).

3. The Congregation for the Eastern Churches has competence for all the ecclesiastical jurisdictions of the Eastern rite existing in Europe, with the exception of what is established in the following n. 4 of this rescript itself.

4. The Secretariat of State – Section for Relations with States will continue for now and donec aliter provideatur to maintain competence concerning the establishment, provision, and modification of particular Churches, both of the Latin rite and the Eastern rite, in the following European countries from the former Soviet Union: Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, in addition to the countries of the former Soviet Union which are found in Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajiki¬stan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan). Also the reservation donec aliter provideatur is established for all the ecclesiastical jurisdictions, both of the Latin rite and the Eastern rite, existing in the Balkans, namely, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia-Montenegro, Macedonia, and Albania.

5. In all the cases mentioned in the preceding n. 4, the Secretariat of State – Section for Relations with States will take care to proceed collatis consiliis with the interested congregation, as the congregation will proceed collatis consiliis with the Secretariat of State – Section for Relations with States, for the jurisdictions which for now have been assigned to its competence.

6. Consistent with these provisions, the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples will transfer to the interested dicasteries the competence which, for various historical reasons, it had had until now for some particular Churches in Europe.

7. The undersigned Cardinal Secretary of State has been instructed by the Supreme Pontiff to execute these norms, issuing the appropriate instructions to the dicasteries concerned.

From the Vatican, 4 January 2006

+ANGELO CARDINAL SODANO

Secretary of State




Secretariat of State, Rescript ex audientia Competencies of Dicasteries of the Roman Curia for Dioceses and other Ecclesiastical Circumscriptions in Europe La nuova situazione, 4 January 2006, AAS 98 (2006) 65-66. English by: John A. Renken.