Vatican City, Feb 2, 2021 / 09:00 am
The Vatican’s doctrinal chief has emphasized the Catholic Church’s duty to promote and protect her teachings as passed down by the Apostles.
Speaking to Vatican News on Monday, Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, S.J., prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), noted that “what was called ‘concern for right doctrine’” existed before the CDF was created in 1542 and has its roots in the New Testament.
“Our mission is to promote and protect the doctrine of the faith. A task that will always be necessary in the Church, which has the duty to transmit the teaching of the Apostles to new generations,” he said in the Feb. 1interview.
Ladaria noted that “the concrete way of completing this task has changed over the centuries and we can think that it will change again. But the concern for fidelity to the doctrine of the Apostles will always remain.”
When the office now known as the CDF was established by Pope Paul III in 1542, it was called the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition. It served as the final court of appeal in heresy trials.
Ladaria commented that the office is “no longer the Inquisition” and “the Index no longer exists.”
The Sacred Congregation of the Index was a former dicastery of the Roman Curia which produced the Index Librorum Prohibitorum: a list of publications judged immoral or heretical. The last Index was produced in 1948. It was formally abolished in 1966.
The CDF prefect explained that the past of that congregation, sometimes called the Holy Office, “still weighs, because we do not always realize the profound changes that have taken place in the Church and in the Roman Curia in recent times.”