The Congregation for Catholic Education gives practical expression to the concern of the Apostolic See for the promotion and organization of Catholic education. (Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus, Art. 112)
The Dicastery is responsible for:
- all Universities, Faculties, Institutes and Schools of ecclesiastical studies (which have a direct link with the Congregation and form the Holy See’s Higher Education System) or civil (like Catholic Universities, colleges or institutions and associations established for academic purposes) that depend on physical or moral ecclesiastical persons (Bishop, Religious communities);
- all schools and pre-university level educational institutions of any kind (except those that depend on the Congregations for the Oriental Churches and for the Evangelization of Peoples) that depend on Ecclesiastical Authority, that from young people.
The structure of the Dicastery.
The Congregation for Catholic Education currently has two offices that deal with the above mentioned responsibilities:
- the University Office, which deals with matters concerning Catholic Higher Education. Its work includes two areas of expertise.
One area of work concerns the establishment or approval of universities and ecclesiastical institutions over which it exercises direct authority. It also deals with matters that regard Catholic Universities and that fall under the responsibility of the Holy See.
It also fosters collaboration and mutual help among universities, and assists academic institutions in the fields of its competence.
Another has to do with the recent developments in the world of Higher Education. It concerns the involvement of the Holy See in various international initiatives in this regard, such as the Bologna Process, as well as the ratification of the four regional conventions of UNESCO for recognition of studies and Diplomas.
These involvements on the international level mean that the Congregation now maintains stable relations with international bodies that organize developments. Those developments have meant that the Dicastery has started working on various transparency instruments (such as the National Qualifications Framework, Diploma Supplement, etc.) and promotion of their correct application. In other words, the Dicastery ensures that the commitments undertaken, due to the involvement of the Holy See in various international initiatives in the field of Education, are maintained and fulfilled.
- The Schools Office, which deals with matters pertaining to Catholic schools.