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How to Cover the Catholic Church

vacate a Rota decision. Typically a marriage case is first decided in a diocesan

tribunal. If it finds a marriage null, its decision is then reviewed by the met-

ropolitan or regional tribunal that has appellate jurisdiction over that diocese,

because the church requires two concordant decisions for a declaration of nul-

lity. If the second court reverses the first court’s verdict, the case goes to the

Rota for a final decision. Sometimes, however, a party in the case may appeal

the diocesan verdict directly to the Rota. Certain cases, such as those involving

a governor or head of state, are automatically reserved to the Rota’s jurisdic-

tion as the court of first trial; in those cases, a second panel of judges on the

Rota reviews the decision of the first panel.

The dean of the Rota is Father Pio Vito Pinto. Phone 06-6988-7502.

Pontifical Council for the Laity

This council was formed after Vatican II to promote the participation of lay-

people in the life and mission of the church. It oversees preparations for

World Youth Day, an annual event that typically draws hundreds of thousands

of Catholic young people from many nations, and a wide range of lay Catholic

movements devoted to spiritual renewal or various apostolic works. A layper-

son is a Catholic who is not ordained.

The council’s president is Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko. Its secretary is Bishop

Josef Clemens. Phone 06-6988-7322, 7141, 7396, 7333 or 7296. E-mail .

Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

The Christian unity council was created as a Vatican secretariat by Pope John

XXIII in 1960 in preparation for the Second Vatican Council, and it played

a central role in formulating the council’s

Decree on Christian Unity

and its

Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions


The council—its name was changed from



Pontifical Council


1988—is the Vatican agency directly responsible for Catholic representation

in numerous international bilateral theological dialogues with other Christian

churches or ecclesial communities, and for multilateral Catholic relations

with the World Council of Churches and other multi-denominational groups

such as the Lutheran World Federation and the World Alliance of Reformed

Churches. It also monitors and collaborates in the work of many national or

regional ecumenical dialogues and fosters a variety of other forms of commu-

nication and collaboration with other Christian churches and ecclesial com-