This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Pontifical council" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (October 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

A pontifical council is a mid-sized department or dicastery of the Roman Curia, the central organization responsible for assisting the pope in the governance and oversight of Catholic Church. Such a council has a cardinal or archbishop as its president and is restricted in its activities in comparison with the larger parts of the Curia.[1]

List of pontifical councils

The active pontifical councils are:[2]

Pope Francis has undertaken a reorganization of the Roman Curia that has eliminated several councils by incorporating their activities into parts of the curia with broader responsibilities. On 29 June 2016, the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, which was created on 30 January 1948, were assumed by the Secretariat for Communications.[3] On 1 September 2016, the Pontifical Council for the Family, established 9 May 1981, and the Pontifical Council for the Laity, established 6 January 1967, were assumed by the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life.[4] On 1 January 2017, these four pontifical councils were assumed by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.[5]


  1. ^ John-Peter Pham, Heirs of the Fisherman: Behind the Scenes of Papal Death and Succession (Oxford: OUP, 2004), 296.
  2. ^ "Pontifical Councils", The Holy See, accessed September 27, 2013,
  3. ^ Glatz, Carol (30 June 2015). "Pope creates new communications department to streamline Vatican media". Catholic Herald. Archived from the original on 12 April 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  4. ^ Wooden, Cindy (17 August 2016). "Pope names Dallas bishop head of new office for laity, family, life". National Catholic Reporter. Catholic News Service. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  5. ^ Arrocho Esteves, Junno (31 August 2016). "Pope establishes new office for promoting integral human development". Catholic News Service. Retrieved 10 January 2017.