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Pope Reforms Organization of the Vatican Basilica

In August 2021 Pope Francis established some transitory norms, which came to an end on June 29 of this year.

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(ZENIT News / Vatican City, 29.06.2024).- After the reform of the Chapter of the Pontifical Basilica of Saint Mary Major on March 20, 2024, it’s now the turn of the Vatican Basilica.

The new Statute and Regulation of the Chapter of Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican was made known on Saturday, June 29. A “Chapter” refers to an association of clergymen in a specific church, in this case that of Saint Peter’s. These clergymen form part of a moral entity and are called “Canons.” In general, the objective of a Chapter is to promote and solemnize divine worship in that church, often forming a choir. In Saint Peter’s, moreover, they are concerned with the  Sacraments (Masses and Confessions, for instance), and cultural, charitable and pastoral life.

In August 2021 Pope Francis established some transitory norms, which came to an end on June  29 of this year.

Among the most noteworthy aspects of the new Statutes is that the Chapter is now made up of 24 Canons, an Archpriest and the latter’s Vicar (a. 1,2), who can be one of the Canons or someone from outside. The Chapter now has four areas of activity, namely, liturgical, pastoral, charitable and cultural, and theological (a. 3,1). The Statutes establish more detailed specifications on occupations for each area.

Article 10 states that Canons are appointed for a five-year period, with the possibility of renewal, proposed by the Archpriest through the Secretariat of State. They are obliged to live in Rome (a. 13), have the right annually to 30 days of vacation (a. 14,1) and allocate six days annually for Spiritual Exercises (a. 14,2).

The Regulation addresses in greater detail the performance of the Statute, specifically for each of the four areas in which the Basilica is organized. It includes two additional regulations, one for the charitable area (a. 10,2) and the other for the “Studium Petri,” an entity within the theological-cultural area, whose objective is to promote further reflection, publication and release of studies and research on the Basilica of Saint Peter and Saint Paul (a. 16,3).

In regard to Canons, it also specifies that they can be priests or Bishops, even if they also work in other areas of the Holy See. Article 25 addresses salaries and article 26 medical insurance.

Made known as well on June 29 was the new Statute and Regulation for the Fabric of Saint Peter, which is concerned with the maintenance, care, preservation, vigilance and assessment of Saint Peter’s Basilica (a. 2,1 of the Statute). The new Statutes establish that the President of the Fabric is the Archpriest of the Basilica (a. 6). Finally, also made known on June 29 was the new Regulation for the personnel of the Fabric of Saint Pete, which has a different regulation as it is not personnel of the Roman Curia (a. 1,2). In this Regulation there is a detailed list of the skills to hire as well as rights and obligations.

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Jorge Enrique Mújica

Licenciado en filosofía por el Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum, de Roma, y “veterano” colaborador de medios impresos y digitales sobre argumentos religiosos y de comunicación. En la cuenta de Twitter:, habla de Dios e internet y Church and media: evangelidigitalización."

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