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The Congregation for the Oriental Churches (Congregatio pro Ecclesiis Orientalibus) is the congregation of the Roman Curia responsible for contact with the Eastern Catholic Churches for the sake of assisting their development, protecting their rights and also maintaining whole and entire in the one Catholic Church, alongside the liturgical, disciplinary and spiritual patrimony of the Latin Rite, the heritage of the various Oriental Christian traditions. It has exclusive authority over the following regions: Egyptmarker and the Sinai Peninsulamarker, Eritreamarker and northern Ethiopiamarker, southern Albaniamarker and Bulgariamarker, Cyprusmarker, Greecemarker, Israelmarker, Iranmarker, Iraqmarker, Lebanonmarker, the Palestinian territoriesmarker, Syriamarker, Jordanmarker, Turkeymarker, and Ukrainemarker.

The Congregation for the Oriental Churches has its origins in the "Congregatio de Propaganda Fide pro negotiis ritus orientalis" founded by Pope Pius IX on January 6, 1862. Included in the Congregation's membership are all Eastern Catholic patriarchs and major archbishops, as well as the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. It was formally set up by Pope Benedict XV on 1 May 1917. The title of Prefect was held by the Popes from 1917 until 1967, with the head of the Congregation titled as Secretary.

Cardinal Secretaries (to 1967)

Note: From 1917 to 1967, the Pope served also as Prefect of the Congregation.

Cardinal Prefects

Secretaries Emeritus

External links


  1. Pope John Paul II (1998), Apostolic constitution Pastor Bonus

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