Brazil the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 208 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the fifth most populous. Its capital is Brasília, its most populated city is São Paulo; the federation is composed of the union of the 26 states, the Federal District, the 5,570 municipalities. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas. Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of 7,491 kilometers, it borders all other South American countries except Ecuador and Chile and covers 47.3% of the continent's land area. Its Amazon River basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to diverse wildlife, a variety of ecological systems, extensive natural resources spanning numerous protected habitats; this unique environmental heritage makes Brazil one of 17 megadiverse countries, is the subject of significant global interest and debate regarding deforestation and environmental protection.
Brazil was inhabited by numerous tribal nations prior to the landing in 1500 of explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who claimed the area for the Portuguese Empire. Brazil remained a Portuguese colony until 1808, when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro. In 1815, the colony was elevated to the rank of kingdom upon the formation of the United Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves. Independence was achieved in 1822 with the creation of the Empire of Brazil, a unitary state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system; the ratification of the first constitution in 1824 led to the formation of a bicameral legislature, now called the National Congress. The country became a presidential republic in 1889 following a military coup d'état. An authoritarian military junta came to power in 1964 and ruled until 1985, after which civilian governance resumed. Brazil's current constitution, formulated in 1988, defines it as a democratic federal republic. Due to its rich culture and history, the country ranks thirteenth in the world by number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Brazil is considered an advanced emerging economy. It has the ninth largest GDP in the world by nominal, eight and PPP measures, it is one of the world's major breadbaskets, being the largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years. It is classified as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank and a newly industrialized country, with the largest share of global wealth in Latin America. Brazil is a regional power and sometimes considered a great or a middle power in international affairs. On account of its international recognition and influence, the country is subsequently classified as an emerging power and a potential superpower by several analysts. Brazil is a founding member of the United Nations, the G20, BRICS, Union of South American Nations, Organization of American States, Organization of Ibero-American States and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, it is that the word "Brazil" comes from the Portuguese word for brazilwood, a tree that once grew plentifully along the Brazilian coast.
In Portuguese, brazilwood is called pau-brasil, with the word brasil given the etymology "red like an ember", formed from brasa and the suffix -il. As brazilwood produces a deep red dye, it was valued by the European textile industry and was the earliest commercially exploited product from Brazil. Throughout the 16th century, massive amounts of brazilwood were harvested by indigenous peoples along the Brazilian coast, who sold the timber to European traders in return for assorted European consumer goods; the official Portuguese name of the land, in original Portuguese records, was the "Land of the Holy Cross", but European sailors and merchants called it the "Land of Brazil" because of the brazilwood trade. The popular appellation eclipsed and supplanted the official Portuguese name; some early sailors called it the "Land of Parrots". In the Guarani language, an official language of Paraguay, Brazil is called "Pindorama"; this was the name the indigenous population gave to the region, meaning "land of the palm trees".
Some of the earliest human remains found in the Americas, Luzia Woman, were found in the area of Pedro Leopoldo, Minas Gerais and provide evidence of human habitation going back at least 11,000 years. The earliest pottery found in the Western Hemisphere was excavated in the Amazon basin of Brazil and radiocarbon dated to 8,000 years ago; the pottery was found near Santarém and provides evidence that the tropical forest region supported a complex prehistoric culture. The Marajoara culture flourished on Marajó in the Amazon delta from 800 CE to 1400 CE, developing sophisticated pottery, social stratification, large populations, mound building, complex social formations such as chiefdoms. Around the time of the Portuguese arrival, the territory of current day Brazil had an estimated indigenous population of 7 million people semi-nomadic who subsisted on hunting, fishing and migrant agriculture; the indigenous population of Brazil comprised several large indigenous ethnic groups. The Tupí people were subdivided into the Tupiniquins and Tupinambás, there were many subdivisions of the other gro
Bolivia the Plurinational State of Bolivia is a landlocked country located in western-central South America. The capital is Sucre; the largest city and principal industrial center is Santa Cruz de la Sierra, located on the Llanos Orientales a flat region in the east of Bolivia. The sovereign state of Bolivia is a constitutionally unitary state, divided into nine departments, its geography varies from the peaks of the Andes in the West, to the Eastern Lowlands, situated within the Amazon Basin. It is bordered to the north and east by Brazil, to the southeast by Paraguay, to the south by Argentina, to the southwest by Chile, to the northwest by Peru. One-third of the country is within the Andean mountain range. With 1,098,581 km2 of area, Bolivia is the fifth largest country in South America, the 27th largest in the world and the largest landlocked country in the Southern Hemisphere; the country's population, estimated at 11 million, is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Europeans and Africans.
The racial and social segregation that arose from Spanish colonialism has continued to the modern era. Spanish is the official and predominant language, although 36 indigenous languages have official status, of which the most spoken are Guarani and Quechua languages. Before Spanish colonization, the Andean region of Bolivia was part of the Inca Empire, while the northern and eastern lowlands were inhabited by independent tribes. Spanish conquistadors arriving from Cuzco and Asunción took control of the region in the 16th century. During the Spanish colonial period Bolivia was administered by the Royal Audiencia of Charcas. Spain built its empire in large part upon the silver, extracted from Bolivia's mines. After the first call for independence in 1809, 16 years of war followed before the establishment of the Republic, named for Simón Bolívar. Over the course of the 19th and early 20th century Bolivia lost control of several peripheral territories to neighboring countries including the seizure of its coastline by Chile in 1879.
Bolivia remained politically stable until 1971, when Hugo Banzer led a coup d'état which replaced the socialist government of Juan José Torres with a military dictatorship headed by Banzer. Banzer's regime cracked down on leftist and socialist opposition and other forms of dissent, resulting in the torture and deaths of a number of Bolivian citizens. Banzer was ousted in 1978 and returned as the democratically elected president of Bolivia from 1997 to 2001. Modern Bolivia is a charter member of the UN, IMF, NAM, OAS, ACTO, Bank of the South, ALBA and USAN. For over a decade Bolivia has had one of the highest economic growth rates in Latin America, it is a developing country, with a medium ranking in the Human Development Index, a poverty level of 38.6%, one of the lowest crime rates in Latin America. Its main economic activities include agriculture, fishing and manufacturing goods such as textiles, refined metals, refined petroleum. Bolivia is rich in minerals, including tin and lithium. Bolivia is named after Simón Bolívar, a Venezuelan leader in the Spanish American wars of independence.
The leader of Venezuela, Antonio José de Sucre, had been given the option by Bolívar to either unite Charcas with the newly formed Republic of Peru, to unite with the United Provinces of Rio de la Plata, or to formally declare its independence from Spain as a wholly independent state. Sucre opted to create a brand new state and on 6 August 1825, with local support, named it in honor of Simón Bolívar; the original name was Republic of Bolívar. Some days congressman Manuel Martín Cruz proposed: "If from Romulus comes Rome from Bolívar comes Bolivia"; the name was approved by the Republic on 3 October 1825. In 2009, a new constitution changed the country's official name to "Plurinational State of Bolivia" in recognition of the multi-ethnic nature of the country and the enhanced position of Bolivia's indigenous peoples under the new constitution; the region now known as Bolivia had been occupied for over 2,500 years. However, present-day Aymara associate themselves with the ancient civilization of the Tiwanaku culture which had its capital at Tiwanaku, in Western Bolivia.
The capital city of Tiwanaku dates from as early as 1500 BC when it was a small, agriculturally based village. The community grew to urban proportions between AD 600 and AD 800, becoming an important regional power in the southern Andes. According to early estimates, the city covered 6.5 square kilometers at its maximum extent and had between 15,000 and 30,000 inhabitants. In 1996 satellite imaging was used to map the extent of fossilized suka kollus across the three primary valleys of Tiwanaku, arriving at population-carrying capacity estimates of anywhere between 285,000 and 1,482,000 people. Around AD 400, Tiwanaku went from being a locally dominant force to a predatory state. Tiwanaku expanded its reaches into the Yungas and brought its culture and way of life to many other cultures in Peru and Chile. Tiwanaku was not a violent culture in many respects. In order to expand its reach, Tiwanaku exercised great political astuteness, creating colonies, fostering trade agree
Mecca spelled Makkah, is a city in the Hejazi region of the Arabian Peninsula, the plain of Tihamah in Saudi Arabia, is the capital and administrative headquarters of the Makkah Region. The city is located 70 km inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of 277 m above sea level, 340 kilometres south of Medina, its resident population in 2012 was 2 million, although visitors more than triple this number every year during the Ḥajj period held in the twelfth Muslim lunar month of Dhūl-Ḥijjah. As the birthplace of Muḥammad, the site of Muhammad's first revelation of the Quran, Mecca is regarded as the holiest city in the religion of Islam and a pilgrimage to it known as the Hajj is obligatory for all able Muslims. Mecca is home to the Kaaba, by majority description Islam's holiest site, as well as being the direction of Muslim prayer. Mecca was long ruled by Muhammad's descendants, the sharifs, acting either as independent rulers or as vassals to larger polities, it was conquered by Ibn Saud in 1925.
In its modern period, Mecca has seen tremendous expansion in size and infrastructure, home to structures such as the Abraj Al Bait known as the Makkah Royal Clock Tower Hotel, the world's fourth tallest building and the building with the third largest amount of floor area. During this expansion, Mecca has lost some historical structures and archaeological sites, such as the Ajyad Fortress. Today, more than 15 million Muslims visit Mecca annually, including several million during the few days of the Hajj; as a result, Mecca has become one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the Muslim world, although non-Muslims are prohibited from entering the city. "Mecca" is the familiar form of the English transliteration for the Arabic name of the city, although the official transliteration used by the Saudi government is Makkah, closer to the Arabic pronunciation. The word "Mecca" in English has come to be used to refer to any place that draws large numbers of people, because of this some English speaking Muslims have come to regard the use of this spelling for the city as offensive.
The Saudi government adopted Makkah as the official spelling in the 1980s, but is not universally known or used worldwide. The full official name is Makkah al-Mukarramah or Makkatu l-Mukarramah, which means "Mecca the Honored", but is loosely translated as "The Holy City of Mecca"; the ancient or early name for the site of Mecca is Bakkah. An Arabic language word, its etymology, like that of Mecca, is obscure. Believed to be a synonym for Mecca, it is said to be more the early name for the valley located therein, while Muslim scholars use it to refer to the sacred area of the city that surrounds and includes the Ka‘bah; this form is used for the name Mecca in the Quran in 3:96, while the form Mecca is used in 48:24. In South Arabic, the language in use in the southern portion of the Arabian Peninsula at the time of Muhammad, the b and m were interchangeable. Other references to Mecca in the Quran call it Umm al-Qurā, meaning "Mother of All Settlements"/"mother of villages". Another name of Mecca is Ṫihāmah.
Another name for Mecca, or the wilderness and mountains surrounding it, according to Arab and Islamic tradition, is Faran or Pharan, referring to the Desert of Paran mentioned in the Old Testament at Genesis 21:21. Arab and Islamic tradition holds that the wilderness of Paran, broadly speaking, is the Tihamah and the site where Ishmael settled was Mecca. Yaqut al-Hamawi, the 12th century Syrian geographer, wrote that Fārān was "an arabized Hebrew word, one of the names of Mecca mentioned in the Torah." Mecca is governed by the Municipality of Mecca, a municipal council of fourteen locally elected members headed by a mayor appointed by the Saudi government. As of May 2015, the mayor of the city was Dr. Osama bin Fadhel Al-Bar. Mecca is the capital of the Makkah Region; the provincial governor was prince Abdul Majeed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud from 2000 until his death in 2007. On 16 May 2007, prince Khalid bin Faisal Al Saud was appointed as the new governor; the early history of Mecca is still disputed, as there are no unambiguous references to it in ancient literature prior to the rise of Islam.
The Roman Empire took control of part of the Hejaz in 106 CE, ruling cities such as Hegra, located to the north of Mecca. Though detailed descriptions were established of Western Arabia by Rome, such as by Procopius, there are no references of a pilgrimage and trading outpost such as Mecca; the first direct mention of Mecca in external literature occurs in 741 CE, in the Byzantine-Arab Chronicle, though here the author places it in Mesopotamia rather than the Hejaz. Given the inhospitable environment and lack of historical references in Roman and Indian sources, historians including Patricia Crone and Tom Holland have cast doubt on the claim that Mecca was a major historical trading outpost; the Greek historian Diodorus Siculus writes about Arabia in his work Bibliotheca historica, describing a holy shrine: "And a temple has been set up there, holy and exceedingly revered by all Arabians". Claims have been made. However, the geographic location Diodorus describes is located in northwest Arabia, around the area of Leuke Kome, closer to Petra and within the form
Nicaragua the Republic of Nicaragua, is the largest country in the Central American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the northwest, the Caribbean to the east, Costa Rica to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. Managua is the country's capital and largest city and is the third-largest city in Central America, behind Tegucigalpa and Guatemala City; the multi-ethnic population of six million includes people of indigenous, European and Asian heritage. The main language is Spanish. Indigenous tribes on the Mosquito Coast speak English. Inhabited by various indigenous cultures since ancient times, the Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century. Nicaragua gained independence from Spain in 1821; the Mosquito Coast followed a different historical path, with the English colonizing it in the 17th century and coming under the British rule, as well as some minor Spanish interludes in the 19th century. It became an autonomous territory of Nicaragua in 1860 and the northernmost part of it was transferred to Honduras in 1960.
Since its independence, Nicaragua has undergone periods of political unrest, dictatorship and fiscal crisis, leading to the Nicaraguan Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s and the Contra War of the 1980s. The mixture of cultural traditions has generated substantial diversity in folklore, cuisine and literature the latter given the literary contributions of Nicaraguan poets and writers, such as Rubén Darío. Known as the "land of lakes and volcanoes", Nicaragua is home to the second-largest rainforest of the Americas; the country has set a goal of 90% renewable energy by the year 2020. The biological diversity, warm tropical climate and active volcanoes make Nicaragua an popular tourist destination. There are two prevailing theories on; the first is that the name was coined by Spanish colonists based on the name Nicarao, the chieftain or cacique of a powerful indigenous tribe encountered by the Spanish conquistador Gil González Dávila during his entry into southwestern Nicaragua in 1522. This theory holds that the name Nicaragua was formed from Nicarao and agua, to reference the fact that there are two large lakes and several other bodies of water within the country.
However, as of 2002, it was determined that the cacique's real name was Macuilmiquiztli, which meant "Five Deaths" in the Nahuatl language, rather than Nicarao. The second theory is that the country's name comes from any of the following Nahuatl words: nic-anahuac, which meant "Anahuac reached this far", or "the Nahuas came this far", or "those who come from Anahuac came this far". Paleo-Americans first inhabited what is now known as Nicaragua as far back as 12,000 BCE. In pre-Columbian times, Nicaragua's indigenous people were part of the Intermediate Area, between the Mesoamerican and Andean cultural regions, within the influence of the Isthmo-Colombian area. Nicaragua's central region and its Caribbean coast were inhabited by Macro-Chibchan language ethnic groups, they had coalesced in Central America and migrated to present-day northern Colombia and nearby areas. They lived a life based on hunting and gathering, as well as fishing, performing slash-and-burn agriculture. At the end of the 15th century, western Nicaragua was inhabited by several different indigenous peoples related by culture to the Mesoamerican civilizations of the Aztec and Maya, by language to the Mesoamerican Linguistic Area.
The Chorotegas were Mangue language ethnic groups who had arrived in Nicaragua from what is now the Mexican state of Chiapas sometime around 800 CE. The Pipil-Nicarao people were a branch of Nahuas who spoke the Nahuat dialect, like the Chorotegas, they too had come from Chiapas to Nicaragua in 1200 CE. Prior to that, the Pipil-Nicaraos had been associated with the Toltec civilization. Both the Chorotegas and the Pipil-Nicaraos were from Mexico's Cholula valley, had migrated southward. Additionally, there were trade-related colonies in Nicaragua, set up by the Aztecs starting in the 14th century. In 1502, on his fourth voyage, Christopher Columbus became the first European known to have reached what is now Nicaragua as he sailed southeast toward the Isthmus of Panama. Columbus explored the Mosquito Coast on the Atlantic side of Nicaragua but did not encounter any indigenous people. 20 years the Spaniards returned to Nicaragua, this time to its southwestern part. The first attempt to conquer Nicaragua was by the conquistador Gil González Dávila, who had arrived in Panama in January 1520.
In 1522, González Dávila ventured into the area that became known as the Rivas Department of Nicaragua. It was there that he encountered an indigenous Nahua tribe led by a chieftain named Macuilmiquiztli, whose name has sometimes been erroneously referred to as "Nicarao" or "Nicaragua". At the time, the tribe's capital city was called Quauhcapolca. González Dávila had brought along two indigenous interpreters, taught the Spanish language, thus he was able to have a discourse with Macuilmiquiztli. After exploring and gathering gold in the fertile western valleys, González Dávila and his men were attacked and driven off by the Chorotega, led by the chieftain Diriangen; the Spanish attempted to convert the tribes to Christianity. The first Spanish permanent settlements were founded in 1524; that year, the conquistador
Colonialism is the policy of a nation seeking to extend or retain its authority over other people or territories with the aim of opening trade opportunities. The colonizing country seeks to benefit from the colonized land mass. In the process, colonizers imposed their religion and medicinal practices on the natives; some argue this was a positive move toward modernization, while other scholars counter that this is an intrinsically Eurocentric rationalization, given that modernization is itself a concept introduced by Europeans. Colonialism is regarded as a relationship of domination of an indigenous majority by a minority of foreign invaders where the latter rule in pursuit of its interests. Early records of colonization go as far back as Phoenicians, an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean from 1550 BC to 300 BC and the Greeks and Persians continued on this line of setting up colonies; the Romans would soon follow, setting up colonies throughout the Mediterranean, Northern Africa, Western Asia.
In the 9th century a new wave of Mediterranean colonization had begun between competing states such as the Islamic Ottomans and the Venetians and Amalfians, invading the wealthy Byzantine or Eastern Roman islands and lands. Venice began with the conquest of Dalmatia and reached its greatest nominal extent at the conclusion of the Fourth Crusade in 1204, with the declaration of the acquisition of three octaves of the Byzantine Empire. In the 15th century some European states established their own empires during the European colonial period; the Belgian, Danish, French, Russian and Swedish empires established colonies across large areas. Imperial Japan, the Ottoman Empire and the United States acquired colonies, as did imperialist China and in the late 19th century the German and the Italian. At first, European colonizing countries followed policies of mercantilism, in order to strengthen the home economy, so agreements restricted the colonies to trading only with the metropole. By the mid-19th century, the British Empire gave up mercantilism and trade restrictions and adopted the principle of free trade, with few restrictions or tariffs.
Christian missionaries were active in all of the colonies because the Colonialists were Christians. Historian Philip Hoffman calculated that by 1800, before the Industrial Revolution, Europeans controlled at least 35% of the globe, by 1914, they had gained control of 84%. In the aftermath of World War II, the archetypal European colonial system ended between 1945–1975, when nearly all Europe's colonies gained political independence. Collins English Dictionary defines colonialism as "the policy and practice of a power in extending control over weaker peoples or areas". Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary defines colonialism as "the system or policy of a nation seeking to extend or retain its authority over other people or territories"; the Merriam-Webster Dictionary offers four definitions, including "something characteristic of a colony" and "control by one power over a dependent area or people". The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy "uses the term'colonialism' to describe the process of European settlement and political control over the rest of the world, including the Americas and parts of Africa and Asia".
It discusses the distinction between colonialism and imperialism and states that "given the difficulty of distinguishing between the two terms, this entry will use colonialism as a broad concept that refers to the project of European political domination from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries that ended with the national liberation movements of the 1960s". In his preface to Jürgen Osterhammel's Colonialism: A Theoretical Overview, Roger Tignor says "For Osterhammel, the essence of colonialism is the existence of colonies, which are by definition governed differently from other territories such as protectorates or informal spheres of influence." In the book, Osterhammel asks, "How can'colonialism' be defined independently from'colony?'" He settles on a three-sentence definition: Colonialism is a relationship between an indigenous majority and a minority of foreign invaders. The fundamental decisions affecting the lives of the colonized people are made and implemented by the colonial rulers in pursuit of interests that are defined in a distant metropolis.
Rejecting cultural compromises with the colonized population, the colonizers are convinced of their own superiority and their ordained mandate to rule. Historians distinguish between various overlapping forms of colonialism, which are classified into four types: settler colonialism, exploitation colonialism, surrogate colonialism, internal colonialism. Settler colonialism involves large-scale immigration motivated by religious, political, or economic reasons, it pursues to replace the original population. Here, a large number of people emigrate to the colony for the purpose of staying and cultivating the land. Australia, Israel, South Africa, the United States are all examples of current settler colonial societies. Exploitation colonialism involves fewer colonists and focuses on the exploitation of natural resources or population as labor to the benefit of the metropole; this category includes trading posts as well as larger colonies where colonists would constitute much of the political and economic administration.
Prior to the end of the slave trade and widespread abolition, when indigenous labor was unavailable, slaves were imported to the Americas, first by the Portuguese Empire, by the Spanish, Dutch and British. Surrogate colonialism involves a set
The Roman Curia comprises the administrative institutions of the Holy See and the central body through which the affairs of the Catholic Church are conducted. It acts in the Pope’s name and with his authority for the good and for the service of the particular Churches and provides the central organization for the Church to advance its objectives; the structure and organization of responsibilities within the Curia are at present regulated by the apostolic constitution Pastor bonus, issued by Pope John Paul II on 28 June 1988, which Pope Francis has decided to revise. Other bodies that play an administrative or consulting role in Church affairs are sometimes mistakenly identified with the Curia, such as the Synod of Bishops and regional conferences of bishops. Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote in 2015 that "the Synod of Bishops is not a part of the Roman Curia in the strict sense: it is the expression of the collegiality of bishops in communion with the Pope and under his direction.
The Roman Curia instead aids the Pope in the exercise of his primacy over all the Churches." Curia in medieval and Latin usage means "court" in the sense of "royal court" rather than "court of law". The Roman Curia is sometimes anglicized as the Court of Rome, as in the 1534 Act of Parliament that forbade appeals to it from England, it assists the Pope in carrying out his functions. The Roman Curia can be loosely compared to cabinets in governments of countries with a Western form of governance, but only the Second Section of the Secretariat of State, known as the Section for Relations with States, the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and the Congregation for Catholic Education, can be directly compared with specific ministries of a civil government, it is normal for every Latin Catholic diocese to have its own curia for its administration. For the Diocese of Rome, these functions are not handled by the Roman Curia, but by the Vicariate General of His Holiness for the City of Rome, as provided by the apostolic constitution Ecclesia in Urbe.
The Vicar General of Rome, traditionally a cardinal, his deputy the vicegerent, who holds the personal title of archbishop, supervise the governance of the diocese by reference to the Pope himself, but with no more dependence on the Roman Curia, as such, than other Catholic dioceses throughout the world. A distinct office, the Vicar General for Vatican City, administers the portion of the Diocese of Rome in Vatican City; until there still existed hereditary officers of the Roman Curia, holding titles denominating functions that had ceased to be a reality when the Papal States were lost to the papacy. A reorganization, ordered by Pope Pius X, was incorporated into the 1917 Code of Canon Law. Further steps toward reorganization were begun by Pope Paul VI in the 1960s. Among the goals of this curial reform were the modernization of procedures and the internationalization of the curial staff; these reforms are reflected in the 1983 Code of Canon Law. The offices of the Vatican City State are not part of the Roman Curia, composed only of offices of the Holy See.
The following organs or charges, according to the official website of the Holy See, comprise the Curia. All members of the Curia except the Cardinal Camerlengo and the Major Penitentiary resign their office after a papal death or resignation. See sede vacante. Sr. Luzia Premoli, superior general of the Combonian Missionary Sisters, was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in 2014, becoming the first woman to be appointed a member of a Vatican congregation; the principal departments of the Roman Curia are called dicasteries. The most recent comprehensive constitution of the church, Pastor bonus, provides this definition: "By the word "dicasteries" are understood the Secretariat of State, Tribunals and Offices"; those remain the five principal categories of departments, with the noteworthy change in that there is now more than a single Secretariat. Two new departments announced to begin functioning on 1 August 2016 and 1 January 2017 have been identified only as dicasteries–Dicastery for the Laity and Life and Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
Both are headed by a prefect. The Secretariat of State is the oldest dicastery in the Roman Curia, the government of the Roman Catholic Church, it is headed by the Secretary of State, since 15 October 2013 by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, responsible for all the political and diplomatic functions of the Holy See. The Secretariat is divided into two sections, the Section for General Affairs and the Section for Relations with States, known as the First Section and Second Section, respectively; the Secretariat of State was created in the 15th century and is now the department of the curia most involved in coordinating the Holy See's activities. Matters not within the competence of another dicastery are dealt with by the Secretariat of State; the Secretariat for the Economy was established by Pope Francis in 2014, with the Australian Cardinal George Pell the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, as its Cardinal Prefect. Pell's appointment was terminated on 12 December 2018. Two departments of the Roman Curia established by Pope Francis in 2016 have been identified as "dicasteries" rather than as one of the traditional department types.
A third dicastery was named on 23 June 2018. Pope Francis announced on 15 August 2016 the creation of the Dicastery for the Laity and Life, effective 1 September 2016, it took over the responsibilities of the Pontifical Council for the Laity and the Pontifical Council for the Family. As its first Prefect, Francis named Bishop Kevin Farrell