Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
The whole ensemble of administrative and judicial offices through which the Pope directs the operations of the Catholic Church. Since the Second Vatican Council the Roman Curia has been extensively changed, with the merger of certain offices, the suppression of others, and the creation of entirely new ones. More than once in postconciliar statements the Pope has defended the Curia against critics who would distinguish between the papacy and the curial officials. Pope John XXIII spoke of the Curia as his right hand, through which the Vicar of Christ mainly exercises his primacy over the universal Church.