Dicastery for the Eastern Churches

The Dicastery deals with those matters involving persons or things, that affect the Eastern Catholic Churches sui iuris.

Since some of these Churches, especially the ancient patriarchal Churches, are of ancient tradition, the Dicastery will examine on a case-by-case basis, after having consulted, if necessary, other Dicasteries involved, questions that deal with matters related to internal governance that can be left to the higher authorities of those Churches, derogating from the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.


The Patriarchs and Major Archbishops of Eastern Churches sui iuris, and the Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, are members of the Dicastery by law.

To the extent possible, its consultors and officials are to be chosen from both Eastern rite faithful of the various Churches sui iuris and from Latin rite faithful.


The Dicastery is competent in all matters pertaining to the Eastern Churches that must be referred to the Apostolic See regarding the structure and organization of those Churches; the exercise of the functions of teaching, sanctifying and governing; and the status, rights, and obligations of persons. It also handles the procedures involving quinquennial reports and visits ad limina Apostolorum.

With regard to ยง 1, the proper and exclusive competence of the Dicasteries for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Causes of Saints, and Legislative Texts, as well as that of the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura and the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, always remains intact.

In matters that also affect the faithful of the Latin Church, before proceeding, the Dicastery will consult, if the importance of the matter requires it, the Dicastery competent in the same matters for the faithful of the Latin Church.


The Dicastery pays close attention to communities of Eastern faithful living within the circumscriptions of the Latin Church, and attends to their spiritual needs by providing visitators and, insofar as is possible, a proper hierarchy in cases where numbers and circumstances demand it, following consultation with the Dicastery competent for the establishment of particular Churches in that territory.


In regions where Eastern rites have been more numerous from ancient times, the apostolate and missionary activity depend solely on this Dicastery, even if they are carried out by missionaries belonging to the Latin Church.

The Dicastery carries out its work in cooperation with the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity in those matters involving relations with non-Catholic Eastern Churches and with the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue and the Dicastery for Culture and Education in matters that concern these.

[Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium, 19 March 2022]