Congregation of Sacred Rites

A department of the Curia responsible for the liturgy of the Latin Rite and the canonization of saints. It was created on 22 January 1588, when Sixtus V issued his famous bull Immensa aeterni Dei, reorganizing the church's central government into fifteen commissions of cardinals. These commissions replaced the ancient use of consistories in regulating church affairs. The Congregation is presently composed of some twenty cardinals and oversees its two areas of responsibility by means of three subsections dealing respectively with theological questions concerning sainthood, the commission for liturgical emendations, and historical questions concerning both liturgy and sainthood. Following the will of Vatican Council II, Paul VI de-Italianized and liberalized this and the other Congregations of the Curia, issuing his radical Apostolic Constitution Regimini Ecclesiae Universae.