Office, Holy, Congregation of The

Office, Holy, Congregation Of The.

In the article INQUISITION SEE INQUISITION (q.v.) it has been explained that that tribunal is sometimes called by the name Holy Office This title, however, properly belongs to the "Congregation" at Rome, to which the direction of the Roman tribunal of the Inquisition is subject. This Congregation was established by Paul III in 1542, and its organization was completed by Sixtus V. It consists of twelve cardinals, a commissary a number of "theologians" and canonists who are styled "consulters," and of another class of officials styled "qualifiers," whose duty it is to report on each case for the information of the cardinals. In the most solemn sessions of the Holy Office the pope himself presides in person. The action of the Holy Office, in addition to the questions of heresy and crimes against faith, also extends to ecclesiastical offenses, especially in 'connection with the administration of the sacraments.

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