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The Organization of the Catholic Church

Learn about the institutional structure and organization of the Catholic Church. What role does the papacy play in uniting the Church? How is power divided between the Vatican, dioceses, and parishes? What are religious orders? What is the difference between a monk, a bishop, and a priest? Discover the diversity of the Catholic Church, the largest organization on earth.

Vatican Guidelines on Sexual Abuse Allegations
A text designed to help lay people understand the procedures that the Vatican enforces to investigate allegations of clerical sexual abuse.

Circular Letter Concerning Sexual Abuse of Minors
A summary and an analysis of the Vatican's May 2011 Circular Letter on Clerical Sexual Abuse.

Thank Pope Benedict XVI for His Years of Service to the Church
Leave a message of gratitude for all that Pope Benedict XVI has done, and tell us what prayers and other devotions you will offer for his years of service to the Church.

Differences Between Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism
What are the differences between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion? What might reunification of parts of the Anglican Communion with Rome mean for the broader question of Christian unity?

What Is an Ecclesiastical Province?
An ecclesiastical province is a little-known organizational structure in the Catholic Church. Learn more about the role of ecclesiastical provinces.

The Papacy of the Catholic Church
The papacy is the term for the office and the authority of the pope of Rome, the successor to Saint Peter as bishop of Rome and head of the universal Church.

The Office of Bishop in the Catholic Church
Learn more about the role and symbolism of the office of bishop in the Catholic Church.

The Papacy
What is the papacy? What are the two meanings of the papacy?

Motu Proprio
A document, signed personally by the pope, and issued solely on his authority and not in response to a request.

The Holy See
The official website of the Vatican.

Comprehensive information on the bishops and dioceses of the Catholic Church, both currently and historically.

Catholic Encyclopedia: Hierarchy
A comprehensive overview of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, and the particular jurisdiction of each member of the hierarchy.

Code of Canon Law
This is the authoritative text of the Code of Canon Law for the Roman Catholic Church. Canon law is the rules and regulations that govern the organization and operation of the Church. The Code of Canon Law applies only to the Latin Church; the Eastern (Oriental) Churches have their own canon law.

Code of Canons of Oriental Churches
The Eastern or Oriental Catholic Churches have their own code of canon law, which governs the organization and operations of the Eastern Churches.

General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar
The norms that govern the liturgical year in the modern calendar in the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.

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