Responsible Staff

Dr. Benedetta Albani
Benedetta Albani
Head of a Max Planck Research Group

Phone: +49 (69) 789 78 - 158
Fax: +49 (69) 789 78 - 169

Members of the Research Group

Anna Clara Lehmann Martins
Anna Clara Lehmann Martins
Doctoral Student Max Planck Research Group

Phone: +49 (69) 789 78 - 148
Fax: +49 (69) 789 78 - 169

Previous Members of the Research Group

Brendan Röder
(until September 2016)

Research Projects in this Research Group

Cooperating Partners

Max Planck Research Group

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Governance of the Universal Church after the Council of Trent

Papal Administrative Concepts and Practices as exemplified by the Congregation of the Council between the Early Modern Period and the Present

The Research Group investigates the emergence and long-term development of the Catholic Church’s post-Tridentine global governance from an interdisciplinary perspective. In particular, it analyses the activities of the Congregation of the Council, the Dicastery founded in 1564. This body was responsible for the proper implementation of the Council decisions throughout the Catholic world and was delegated papal authority to authentically interpret disciplinary decrees.

The research focuses on specific aspects, including the role of the Congregation of the Council in the complex processes of translating the Tridentine normative order throughout the Catholic world; the internal decision-making processes and operational procedures of the Congregation as well as the authority and validity of its decisions in local churches; the significance of the Roman Curia as the global interpretative and judicial authority; the coexistence of post-Tridentine canon law with different and pre-existing normative orders in Europe and beyond; and the development of the concept of interpretatio authentica from the Council of Trent until today.


Scientific Activities

Seminar of the MPFG

The Seminar of the MPFG intends to offer its participants a series of activities closely related to the research of the group in the fields of history, legal history and other neighbouring disciplines. Particular emphasis will lie on the nature and interpretation of sources connected to the Congregation of the Council and the Roman Dicasteries more broadly. Each meeting will be devoted to a specific topic with regard to which we will invite a guest or prepare a close reading of a text. A short report will be published on our website following each seminar.

The Seminar takes place at the MPIeR every month and is designed especially for the group’s doctoral students. Guests are most welcome and may contact the head of the group, Dr. Benedetta Albani [more]

MPFG Scientific Events

This section describes the international conferences and workshops organized by the group since March 2013 as well as those that took place before and contributed to its establishment. [more]

Scientific Presentations by Members of the Group

This section lists the titles of presentations at conferences or seminars delivered by the group’s members starting from 2013. [more]


This section lists all publications by the group members thematically connected to the research project. [more]


This section lists guest researchers that worked together closely with the research group during their stay at the MPIeR in Frankfurt. [more]

News from the Group

This section presents news on the research group, its members and its scientific projects. [more]

News from the Archives

This section presents news on the findings and achievements of the group in the context of its activities in archives. In particular, it offers information on the progress of the inventory project “Reorganization of the Archive of the Congregation of the Council (Vatican Secret Archives)”. [more]

PhD Projects

This section contains a list of existing and completed doctoral projects. [more]
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