DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY     September 29, 1999     vol. 10, no. 185


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      Every day we present a short point that helps bring into focus the treasures of the Roman Catholic Church that comprise the great Deposit of Faith.

      It is no secret that over the past thirty years fewer and fewer know their Faith and it shows with the declining number of vocations, parish participation and attendance at Holy Mass. We have the new Catechism of the Catholic Church but for the common man, the one brought up on sound bites and instant gratification, it is more of a text book and that in itself prompts them to shy away from such a tome. So what's a loyal Catholic to do in evangelizing to fellow Catholics and understand their Faith? Our answer: go back to basics - to the great Deposit of Faith. We have the Baltimore Catechism which, for unknown and ridiculous reasons, was shelved after Vatican II. We have the Holy Bible but there are so many newer versions that the Douay-Rheims and Confraternity Latin Vulgate in English versions, the ones used for so long as the official Scriptural text authorized by the Church, seem lost in a maze of new interpretations that water down the Word. This is further complicated by the fact there are so few Douay-Rheims editions in circulation though it is available on the net at DOUAY-RHEIMS BIBLE. We have so many Vatican documents available at the Vatican web site and other excellent Catholic resource sites that detail Doctrine, Dogma and Canon Law. We have the traditions, and the means of grace but how do we consolidate all these sources into one where it is succinct and easy to understand? We have the perfect vehicle. It is called "My Catholic Faith", now out of print, that was compiled by Bishop Louis Laravoire Morrow and published by My Mission House. This work ties in Scriptural references, the Sacraments, Dogmas, Doctrines, Traditions, Church documents, Encyclical and Papal decrees to clearly illustrate the Faith in simple, solid and concise terms that all can understand and put into practice. We will quote from this work while adding in more recent events and persons when applicable since the book was written in the late forties during the pontificate of Pope Pius XII. We also quote from the Catholic Almanac published by Our Sunday Visitor for the Roman Curial offices.

    Nothing in Holy Mother Church's teaching has changed and therefore we feel confident that these daily "points of enlightenment" will help more Catholics better understand their faith, especially those who were not blessed with early formation of the faith in the home and their parish school. Regardless of where any Catholic is in his or her journey toward salvation, he or she has to recognize that the Faith they were initiated into at the Sacrament of Baptism is the most precious gift they have been given in life.



        Having covered the nine Sacred Congregations, the three Tribunals, and eleven Pontifical Councils in the Roman Curia, today we cover the Offices of the Apostolic Chamber, the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, and the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.

  • Apostolic Chamber

       The responsibilities of this office, headed by Cardinal Eduardo Martinez Somalo of Spain as Chamberlain or Camerlengo, are to tend to the temporal goods and rights of the Church during the vacancy between the death of one Pope and the election of the next. It corresponds to the Treasury of the Church. The Camerlengo assumes the regency upon the death of a Pope and makes arrangements for the conclave and papal election.

        This office dates back to the 11th century and was virtually untouched until 1934 when Pope Pius XI reorganized it. Subsequently Pope Pius XII did the same in 1945, Pope John XXIII in 1962 and Pope Paul VI in 1975.

  • Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See

       This office is strictly financial, coordinating and supervising administration of the temporal goods of the Holy See. Bishop Sergio Sebastiani is the current pro-president.

        With the scandal of the Vatican Bank in the sixties, Paul VI established this office on August 15, 1967 to monitor finances. It was reorganized by Pope John Paul II and functions redefined in his Motu Proprio Pastor Bonus on June 28, 1988.

  • Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See

       The primary responsibilities of this office are to handle the estate of the Apostolic See under the direction of papal delegates acting with ordinary or extraordinary authorization. The President of this office is Italy's Cardinal Lorenzo Antonetti.

        This office (APSA) has its origins dating back to Pope Leo XIII in 1878 but it was not fully defined until August 15, 1967 by Paul VI.

      Tomorrow: the Roman Curia: Other Curia Agencies part one

September 29, 1999       volume 10, no. 185


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