Pontifical Council for Culture

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The Pontifical Council for Culture (Latin: Pontificium Consilium de Cultura) is a department of the Roman Curia charged with fostering the relationship of the Catholic Church with different cultures. Pope John Paul II founded it on 20 May 1982.[1] He later merged the Pontifical Council for Dialogue with Non-Believers (founded in 1965) with it.[2]


Following on the emphasis placed by the Second Vatican Council[3] and by Pope Paul VI[4] on the importance of culture for the full development of the human person, the Pontifical Council was established to foster the relationship between the Gospel and cultures, and to study the phenomenon of indifference in matters of religion. It also fosters relationships between the Holy See and exponents of the world of culture and promotes dialogue with the various contemporary cultures.[5][6]

The Council has two sections: the Faith and Culture section concentrates on the work the Council did before the Council for Non-Believers was merged with it, while the Dialogue with Cultures section continues the work of the latter Council,[5] establishing dialogue with those who do not believe in God or profess no religion, but who are open to genuine cooperation.[5]

The Council cooperates with episcopal conferences, universities and international organizations such as UNESCO with regard to its field of interest.

The permanent staff at the Council's headquarters consists of little more than a dozen people, including the President (currently Gianfranco Ravasi, the Secretary and the Under-Secretary. The Council has a slightly larger number of members, who are usually cardinals and bishops appointed by the Pope for five-year terms, who come together for the three-yearly plenary assemblies to evaluate the day-to-day running of the Council and to consider matters of special importance. The Pope also appoints consultors, who are yet more numerous (priests, religious, and laity predominate in this group), who can be called on at any time for advice and assistance.[7]


Under the Council's patronage , Liana Marabini launched the International Catholic Film Festival known as "Mirabile Dictu", an independent film festival to promote films covering Roman Catholic topics. The event has been held annually since 2010 in Rome.[8][9]

Pope Benedict XVI gave the Council new impetus in his desire to build "a dialogue with contemporary artists". It has plans to mount a Holy See pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale, the premiere international contemporary art festival.[10]

On 19 December 2015, Paul Tighe was appointed the Council's first Adjunct Secretary.[11]

Presidents of the Pontifical Council for Culture

See also


  1. Personal Letter to the Cardinal Secretary of State, 20 May 1982
  2. Apostolic letter given motu proprio Inde a Pontificatus, article 1 (25 March 1993)
  3. Gaudium et Spes, chapter II. The proper development of culture
  4. Pope Paul VI (1975-12-08). "Evangelii Nuntiandi". Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Retrieved 2008-07-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Motu proprio Inde a Pontificatus
  6. Pontifical Council for Culture, Profile
  7. Annuario Pontificio 2009
  8. staff. "Mirabile Dictu - International Catholic Film Festival". Mirabile Dictu. Retrieved July 7, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Catholic 'Oscars' announce their nominees". Rome Reports. 21 June 2014. Retrieved 20 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Pope Benedict XVI wants 'dialogue' with contemporary artists: The Holy See plans to revive Vatican's cultural role with a pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennial", Salt Lake Tribune, 04/16/2009
  11. O'Connell, Gerard (19 December 2015). "Pope Appoints Msgr. Paul Tighe as Bishop and Adjunct-Secretary to the Pontifical Council for Culture". America. Retrieved 20 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links