Roman Curia

Congregation for Divine Worship

Instruction on the Eucharist

Instruction on the Eucharist
Artist: Unknown 1

The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments is the congregation of the Roman Curia that handles most affairs relating to liturgical practices of the Latin Church as distinct from the Eastern Catholic Churches and also some technical matters relating to the Sacraments. Its functions were originally exercised by the Sacred Congregation of Rites, set up in January 1588 by Pope Sixtus V.

The apostolic constitution Pastor bonus, issued by Pope John Paul II on 28 June 1988, established the congregation's functions:

  1. Regulation and promotion of the liturgy, primarily of the sacraments
  2. Regulation of the administration of the sacraments, especially regarding their valid and licit celebration
  3. Promoting liturgical pastoral activity, especially regarding the celebration of the Eucharist
  4. Drawing up and revision of liturgical texts
  5. Reviewing particular calendars and proper texts for the Mass and the Divine Office
  6. Granting the recognitio to translations of liturgical books and their adaptations
  7. Promoting the liturgical apostolate or sacred music, song or art
  8. Ensuring that liturgical norms are accurately observed, and that abuses are avoided and eliminated where they are found to exist.
  9. Examining the fact of non-consummation in a marriage and the existence of a just cause for granting a dispensation.
  10. Examining cases concerning the nullity of ordination.
  11. Regulating the cult of relics, the confirmation of heavenly patrons in diocese or locality
  12. The authorisation of Canonical Coronations for venerated Catholic images
  13. The elevation of sanctuaries to the title of Minor Basilica.
  14. Giving assistance to bishops so that the prayers and pious exercises of the Christian people may be fostered and held in high esteem

On 30 August 2011, Pope Benedict XVI transferred jurisdiction over unconsummated marriages and the nullification of ordinations to the Roman Rota to relieve the Congregation of administrative burdens and allow it to focus on liturgy, its principal responsibility. In 2012, the Congregation added an office devoted to liturgical architecture and music.

On 9 September 2017, Pope Francis weakened the congregation's authority with his motu proprio titled Magnum principium, ensuring that starting 1 October 2017, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments the Congregation will ensure that a nation's Conference of Bishops will manage the local liturgical translations. Since 2001, the Congregation had greater authority over a nation's liturgical translations. On October 22, 2017, the Vatican released a letter that Pope Francis had sent to the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacrament, Cardinal Robert Sarah, clarifying that the Vatican and its departments would have limited authority to confirm liturgical translations recognized by a local Conference of Bishops, thus retracting a commentary which Cardinal Robert Sarah had published on October 13, 2017.1



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