Congregation for the Clergy - Profile

Dicastery for the Clergy

§ 1. The Dicastery for the Clergy deals with all matters relating to priests and deacons of the diocesan clergy, with regard to their persons and pastoral ministry, and everything needed for the fruitful exercise of the latter. In these matters, it provides suitable assistance to the Bishops.

§ 2. The Dicastery expresses and implements the solicitude of the Apostolic See with regard to the training of candidates for Holy Orders.


§ 1. The Dicastery assists diocesan Bishops in promoting vocations to the ordained ministry in their Churches and in ensuring that, in seminaries established and conducted in accordance with the law, students are suitably trained and receive a solid human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral formation.

§ 2. For those matters that by law are the competence of the Holy See, the Dicastery ensures that community life and the governance of seminaries conform to the requirements of seminary formation and that the Superiors and educators make every effort to contribute by their example and sound doctrine to forming the character of future ordained ministers.

§ 3. The Dicastery is responsible for promoting all that concerns the training of future clerics by issuing appropriate norms, such as the Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis and the Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Diaconorum Permanentium, as well as other documents regarding ongoing formation.

§ 4. The Dicastery is competent to confirm the Ratio Institutionis Sacerdotalis Nationalis issued by the various Episcopal Conferences, and to confirm the erection of inter-diocesan seminaries and their statutes. 

§ 5. In order to ensure and improve the quality of priestly formation, the Dicastery promotes the establishment of inter-diocesan seminaries in places where diocesan seminaries cannot offer an adequate formation with a sufficient number of candidates, properly qualified formators, instructors and spiritual directors, as well as other structures necessary for supporting them.


§ 1. The Dicastery offers assistance to diocesan Bishops and Episcopal Conferences in their respective activities of governance with regard to the life, discipline, rights and obligations of clerics, and it cooperates with them concerning the permanent formation of clerics. It ensures, furthermore, that diocesan Bishops or Episcopal Conferences provide for the sustenance and social welfare of the clergy in accordance with the law.

§ 2. It is competent to examine through an administrative process the disputes and hierarchical recourses presented by clerics, including members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, where the exercise of ministry is concerned, without prejudice to the prescriptions of art. 28 § 1.

§ 3. It studies, with the help of the competent Dicasteries, problems resulting from the shortage of priests in various parts of the world, which on the one hand deprives the people of God from the possibility of participating in the Eucharist and on the other weakens the sacramental structure of the Church. It therefore encourages Bishops and Episcopal Conferences to provide for a more adequate distribution of clergy.


§ 1. The Dicastery is responsible for handling, in conformity with the canonical norms, matters having to do with the clerical state as such, for all clergy, including members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and for permanent deacons, in cooperation with the competent Dicasteries whenever circumstances so demand.

§ 2. The Dicastery is competent for cases of dispensation from the obligations assumed by ordination to the diaconate and priesthood involving diocesan clerics and members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life from the Latin Church and from the Eastern Churches.


The Dicastery has competence for all matters that pertain to the Holy See with regard to Personal Prelatures.


The Dicastery deals with those matters in which the Holy See is competent regarding:

1. the general discipline governing diocesan finance councils, presbyteral councils, colleges of consultors, chapters of canons, diocesan pastoral councils, parishes and churches;

2. associations of clerics and public clerical associations; to the latter it can grant the faculty to incardinate, after having consulted the competent Dicasteries and having received the approval of the Roman Pontiff;

3. ecclesiastical archives;

4. the extinction of pious wills in general and of pious foundations.


The Dicastery carries out everything that pertains to the Holy See regarding the regulation of ecclesiastical goods, especially their correct management, and it grants the necessary permissions and approvals, without prejudice to the Dicasteries for Evangelization, the Eastern Churches and Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.


Established within the Dicastery are the Pontifical Work for Priestly Vocations and the Permanent Interdicasteral Commission for the formation for Holy Orders, presided over ex officio by the Prefect.

(Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium, 19 March 2022)