The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul is an autonomous entity, with its own Rules and procedures, but, as any religious entity, has a close relationship with the Catholic Church, acting together for the evangelization of the poor, for our personal sanctification, and for the construction of a more just and brotherly world.
To achieve these goals, the Council General International represents the SSVP at three Vatican Dicasteries. Here is a summary of each of these bodies.
Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development
- It was created in 2016 by Pope Francis to replace many Pontifical Councils (such as “Cor Unum”, Justice and Peace, Pastoral Care of Migrants, Pastoral of Displaced Persons, and Pastoral Care of Health Services).
- All the PGIs of the Society were formerly part of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”, founded in 1971 by Pope Paul VI and suppressed in January 2017 by Pope Francis. SSVP’s membership in “Cor Unum” goes back a long time, since 1983.
- This attendance continues today in the new Dicastery, since on November 11, 2020, when brother Renato Lima was appointed member of this Dicastery.
- Brother Renato or other representatives, like Antonio Gianfico or Sebastian Gramajo, take part in lots of virtual and in-person meetings on behalf of the CGI/SSVP.
- Card. Peter A. K. Turkson is the prefect.
Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life
- It was created in 2016 by Pope Francis to replace two Pontifical Councils: “Council for the Laity” and “Council for the Family” (both were abolished).
- The SSVP was already invited to join the former Pontifical Council for the Laity in 1974 and it was always invited to participate in the meetings. PGI participated and represented us in many meetings and events.
- In this Dicastery, CGI is considered a guest and President General attended all the gatherings he was invited for.
- The prefect is Cardenal Kevin Farrell.
Dicastery for Communication
- The Dicastery for Communication was initially established under the name “Secretariat for Communication”, by Pope Francis in the Apostolic Letter “L’attuale Contesto Comunicativo”, published on June 27, 2015.
- This institution of the Roman Curia was entrusted with the task of restructuring “the whole reality of which, in different ways, to date, have dealt with communication”.
- The Prefect Paolo Rufino, who is a layman, invited the President General as an observer since 2019.