Though it has gone by different names over the centuries, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has long been one of the most influential and important offices within the Vatican. Entrusted with explaining and defending Catholic teaching, the CDF regularly releases documents that authoritatively and clearly explain Catholic teaching in light of various questions, objections, or false theology. Joseph Ratzinger served as the head of the CDF for more than 20 years before he was named Pope Benedict XVI.
This collection gathers together many of the most recent texts of the CDF. Always with the aim of speaking the truth in charity, the CDF lucidly presents the Catholic position on a number of today’s most pressing issues within the church—including pastoral care for homosexual persons, Communion for the divorced and remarried, and many other moral, theological, sacramental, and pastoral issues.
For more from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, see here.
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Founded in 1542 by Pope Paul III, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) is the oldest of the Curia’s nine congregations. Its mandate has been to investigate and address emergent doctrines, to determine measures to be taken against doctrinal error or malpractice of the Sacraments, and to safeguard the faith and morality of the people of the Catholic Church. It has four unique offices: the doctrinal office, the disciplinary office, the matrimonial office, and the office for the priesthood. Its advisory board consists of cardinals, bishops, priests, lay theologians, and canon lawyers.
Since 1968, the CDF has been headed by prefects. The Congregation is now headed by Gerhard Ludwig Müller. From 2005 to 2012 it was led by William Levada, and prior to that it was headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger from 1981 to 2005. Prior to 1968, the prefect position of the CDF was symbolically held by the pope.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith oversees the Vatican Secret Archives and has been responsible for releasing content from that massive library, which has taken form in the shape in the publications of the Catholic Church and Modern Science series and the History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages.