Congregation for Bishops - Profile

Dicastery for Bishops

The Dicastery for Bishops is responsible for all matters pertaining to the establishment and provision of particular Churches and to the exercise of the episcopal office in the Latin Church, without prejudice to the competence of the Dicastery for Evangelization.


The Dicastery, after collecting the necessary information and in cooperation with the Bishops and Episcopal Conferences, deals with all matters concerning the constitution, division, union, suppression, and any other changes of particular Churches and of their groupings.  It is also responsible for erecting military Ordinariates as well as personal Ordinariates for the Anglican faithful who enter into full communion with the Catholic Church within the territory of a given Episcopal Conference, after having consulted the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Conference involved.


§ 1. The Dicastery deals with all matters concerning the appointment of diocesan and titular Bishops, Apostolic Administrators and, in general, the provision of the particular Churches. It does so by considering the proposals presented by the particular Churches, the Episcopal Conferences and the Pontifical Representations, and after having consulted the executive officers of the respective Episcopal Conference and the Metropolitan. In appropriate ways, it also engages in this process the members of the people of God of the dioceses in question.

§ 2. The Dicastery, in consultation with the Episcopal Conferences and their regional and continental groupings, determines the criteria for the selection of candidates. These criteria must take into account differing cultural needs and are to be periodically evaluated.

§ 3. The Dicastery also deals with the resignation of Bishops from their office, in conformity with the canonical norms.


Whenever discussions with civil governments are required, either for the establishment or modification of particular Churches and their groupings or the provision of those Churches, the Dicastery will proceed only after consultation with the Section for Relations with States and International Organizations of the Secretariat of State and the Episcopal Conferences involved.


§ 1.  The Dicastery readily cooperates with the Bishops in all matters concerning the correct and fruitful exercise of the pastoral office entrusted to them.

§ 2. In cases where the correct exercise of the episcopal function of governance calls for a special intervention, and the Metropolitan or the Episcopal Conferences are not able to resolve the problem, it falls to the Dicastery, if necessary in accord with other competent Dicasteries, to decide upon fraternal or apostolic visitations and, proceeding in like manner, to evaluate their outcome and to propose to the Roman Pontiff the measures deemed appropriate.


The Dicastery handles everything dealing with the ad limina Apostolorum visits of the particular Churches assigned to its care. To this end, it studies the reports submitted by the Bishops in accordance with art. 40; it assists the Bishops during their stay in Rome, arranging their meeting with the Roman Pontiff, their pilgrimages to the Papal Basilicas and other meetings. When the visit is completed, the Dicastery communicates in writing its conclusions, suggestions and proposals for the respective particular Churches and Episcopal Conferences.


§ 1. The Dicastery, without prejudice to the competence of the Dicastery for Evangelization, is responsible for the formation of new Bishops, with the help of Bishops of proven wisdom, prudence and experience, as well as experts from various parts of the universal Church.

§ 2. The Dicastery periodically offers to the Bishops occasions for permanent formation and courses of continuing education.


The Dicastery carries out its work in a spirit of service and in close cooperation with the Episcopal Conferences and their regional and continental groupings. It seeks to do likewise with regard to the celebration of particular Councils, the establishment of Episcopal Conferences and the recognitio of their statutes. The Dicastery receives the acts and decrees of the above-mentioned bodies. It examines them in consultation with the other Dicasteries involved, and grants the required recognitio to the decrees. It also carries out everything prescribed by the canonical norms concerning ecclesiastical provinces and regions.


§ 1. Established within the Dicastery is the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, which is responsible for studying questions regarding the life and growth of those particular Churches as a means of assisting the Dicasteries that deal with them by reason of their competence, and to help those Churches with advice and economic resources.

§ 2. It is also responsible for fostering relations between international and national ecclesiastical institutions working in the regions of Latin America and with the institutions of the Curia.


§ 1. The President of the Commission is the Prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops, assisted by one or more Secretaries. They have as counsellors Bishops chosen from both the Roman Curia and the Churches of Latin America. The Secretary and the counsellors are appointed by the Roman Pontiff for a term of five years.

§ 2. The members of the Commission are chosen from the institutions of the Curia, the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), Bishops from the regions of Latin America, and the institutions mentioned in the preceding article. They are appointed by the Roman Pontiff for a term of five years.

§ 3. The Commission has its own officials.

(Apostolic Constitution Praedicate Evangelium, 19 March 2022)


Prefect: H. Em. Card. Marc Ouellet

Secretary: H. E. Msgr Ilson de Jesus Montanari