Catholic Church. Congregatio Studiorum

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After the restoration of the Papal States in 1814, Pius VII appointed a commission of cardinals to organize all the courses of study in the papal territory (motu proprio Quando per ammirabile disposizione, 6 Jul. 1816), and drew up a plan for the "reorganization of the public administration and the tribunals of the papal regions." The pontiff's death in 1823, however, prevented the proposed reorganization from being carried out.

During the following year Leo XII put the reorganization into effect (constitution Quod divina sapientia, 28 Aug 1824). The constitution provided that a Congregatio Studiorum would have authority over all the public and private, lay and ecclesiastical schools both in Rome and throughout the Papal States, and that all universities within the papal territory were to be subject to this congregation. In 1841 Gregory XVI conferred increased powers on the congregation. With Pius IX's motu proprio Quando coi due (29 Dec 1847) the congregation was transformed into what was, in effect, a new juridical body, a "ministero dell'istruzione pubblica" (ID VATV796-A) for the Papal States.

Unique among the ministries, it was returned to being a congregation after the restoration of 1849. The prefect of studies was never made a part of the Council of Ministers.

With the motu proprio L'uniformita di regime (28 Dec 1852) Pius IX made some minor changes including a reduction of the power of the College of Consistorial Advocates (ID VATV096-A) which still held the rectorship of the congregation; the pope himself was henceforth to nominate the rector. The Congregation of Studies retained these powers until the Papal States were dissolved on Sept. 20, 1870. With the loss of temporal power the congregation ceased to exist civilly. A State Minister of Public Instruction took over the function of the congregation and confiscated its archives. Over the protest of the cardinal prefect, the new state forced the congregation to have nothing further to do with public instruction or with the University of Rome. Nevertheless the congregation carried on, though its activity was greatly diminished.

After 1870 the Congregation of Studies began to assert influence over all the Catholic universities in the world that depended on the authority of the Church, including those administered by the members of religious societies.

Shortly before he died (in 1878) Pius IX decreed that henceforth the conferral of academic degrees would belong exclusively to the competence of the Congregation of Studies. Leo XIII (1878-1903) also entrusted to it the direction of a number of Roman institutions.

Meanwhile the seminaries were being brought more and more under the control of the Holy See. They had never been subject to the Congregation of Studies but had been originally under the authority of the Congregation of the Council (ID VATV011-A) and then under the jurisdiction of the Congregation of Bishops and Regulars (ID VATV004-A).

On 29 Jun 1908 Pius X issued his constitution Sapienti consilio revising the whole schema of the Roman Curia and assigning distinct tasks to each congregation. The Congregation of Studies was given authority over universities and faculties dependent on the Church, including those that were administered by religious. It was to approve new institutions, grant the faculties to confer degrees, and to confer them itself, if it wished, on men of outstanding knowledge, as well as to confer honorary degrees on persons of unusual merit. Seminaries were entrusted to the Consistorial Congregation (ID VATV003-A), in which a special office was erected to care specifically for them.

The Congregatio Studiorum was superseded in 1915 by the Congregatio de Seminariis et Studiorum Universitatibus (ID VATV022-A) established by Benedict XV (motu proprio Seminaria clericorum, 4 Nov 1915).

To see a general agency history for the Curia Romana, enter "FIN ID VATV214-A"

From the description of Agency history record. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 145567122

Relation Name
associatedWith Catholic Church. Secretariatus Status. corporateBody
associatedWith Catholic Church. Secretariatus Status. corporateBody
associatedWith Catholic Church. Secretariatus Status. corporateBody
associatedWith Catholic Church. Secretariatus Status. corporateBody
associatedWith Catholic Church. Secretariatus Status. corporateBody
associatedWith Catholic Church. Secretariatus Status. corporateBody
associatedWith Università di Roma. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Italy--Papal States
Italy--Papal States
Catholic theological seminaries
Catholic universities and colleges

Corporate Body

Active 1745

Active 1833





Ark ID: w6wd9zj6

SNAC ID: 68716052