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Pope splits CDF into doctrinal, disciplinary sections

February 14, 2022

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CWN Editor's Note: Pope Francis has divided the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) into two sections: one to deal with doctrinal issues, the other to handle disciplinary matters.

With a motu proprio entitled Fidem Servare, the Pontiff changed the structure of the CDF, allowing for the two sections each to have a deputy, working under the prefect of the CDF. The motu proprio was issued February 14, to take effect immediately—although no new deputy was named.

The doctrinal section of the CDF will be responsible for “matters pertaining to the promotion and protection of faith and morals.” The disciplinary section will handle serious canonical crimes that are reserved for the judgment of the CDF.

The resources of the CDF have been strained since 2001, when, under then-Cardinal Ratzinger, the office took over the handling of disciplinary cases involving charges of sexual abuse by clerics. Such cases now account for most of the disciplinary trials handled by the CDF.

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