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(1) In ancient Rome, an association of certain patrician families (gentes) that was analogous to the Greek phratry. According to tradition there were 30 curiae, ten in each tribe. Originally the curia was part of the clan organization—possibly, a men’s group connected with coming-of-age ceremonies. (There is evidence for this hypothesis in the worship of the goddess Juno, which was associated with initiations—rituals during which a youth was consecrated as a man.) During the period when the state was formed the curiae became extremely important military and political cells in Roman society. Evidently, each curia was headed by an elected curio who had priestly functions. Each curia had its own place for holding assemblies (which was also called the curia), as well as its own sanctuaries.

The curiate assembly (comitia curiata)— that is, assembly of male soldiers—elected kings during the royal period and magistrates in the early stages of the republic. But with the establishment of the centuriate assembly (comitia centuriata), the curiae confirmed elected officials and entrusted the symbols of authority to them. Under the republic all the curiae were headed by a grand curio, and plebeians were allowed to vote in the curiate assembly. During the imperial period the curiae came to be known as municipal councils.

(2) In Western Europe during the Middle Ages the feudal curia was a council consisting of a lord and his vassals. The royal curia (Curia Regis)—a feudal curia made up of the king’s direct vassals—was an advisory assembly of feudal magnates convoked by the king and granted broad but not strictly defined functions, most of which were judicial. As the royal power grew stronger, this curia became a more limited council of the king’s closest advisers (the Royal Council). Moreover, financial and judicial affairs were assigned to special offices.

(3) The Roman curia (Curia Romana) is made up of a number of institutions that are subordinate to the pope.

(4) In bourgeois countries and in prerevolutionary Russia curiae were separate categories into which voters were divided according to property, nationality, and other criteria (electoral curiae).


The council house in a Roman municipality.
References in periodicals archive ?
If Francis lasts long enough to replace all the curial officials, then progressives would want those votes in the synod.
The newly elected pope talked about the reform of the institution, with a promise made to curial officials that it would be a shared process and not a reprisal against the ecclesiastical bureaucracy that had promoted/expelled him to Milan just nine years before.
One conservative curial cardinal complained of the "schoolboy theology" being presented in episcopal speeches.
Most of the new Curial Cardinal are in their mid seventies.
Some say monsignors should be addressed as "The Very Right Reverend," although distinctions between "Right Reverend" and "Very Reverend" types of monsignors were eliminated after the Second Vatican Council, except for some members of the papal household or those who serve in some curial offices in the Vatican.
Open top curial positions to women and appoint qualified women to 25% of senior positions within the Vatican.
Many of the essays attempt to untangle and explicate the intricacies of the papal administration and the subtle shape-shifting of curial factions.
And there's no question papal encyclicals get vetted by various curial offices and certain other theologians and even some bishops before they're published.
also quotes from the early writings of two curial cardinals who may well prefer he not do so: Walter Kasper on infant baptism ("not the only and certainly not the ideal form of baptism") (261) and Josef Ratzinger on Jesus' divine sonship ("not a biological matter" [99] which in no way precludes Jesus' having an earthly father).
In a departure from the usually careful and diplomatic curial style, this rejection letter contained some of the strongest language I have ever read in a letter coming from the Holy See.
Irene Fosi and Maria Antonietta Visceglia draw important links between the marriage alliances of curial and papal families and the securing of curial appointments in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Rome.
Discussion of religious habits dominated the meeting, with curial officials saying U.