Pope Francis has restructured the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which in addition to promoting and defending Catholic doctrine is also responsible for dealing with cases of abuse within the Church.
From now on, there will be two instead of three departments, each of which will have a secretary, it said in the papal decree "Preserving the Faith" published on Monday.
With the decree, Francis has divided the Vatican authority into a doctrinal and a disciplinary section and distributed the leadership of the two departments to two instead of one person as before.
These are to support the prefect, who is the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a body originally set up to defend the Catholic Church from heresy and originally known as the Inquisition.
The disciplinary section also deals with the issue of abuse.
According to Ulrich Rhode, an expert in canon law, the restructuring is probably also related to the fact that it has become more important in recent years because of the preoccupation with cases of sexual abuse.