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Pope Francis meets Sacred Roman Rota, marks start of year

Highest Catholic appellate court judged 400 cases in last year

24 January, 17:27
Pope Francis meets Sacred Roman Rota, marks start of year (ANSA) - Vatican City, January 24 - Pope Francis met with representatives of the Sacred Roman Rota, the highest appellate tribunal of the Roman Catholic Church, at an event Friday marking the opening of the Vatican City's judicial year. The Catholic Church has its own legal system and the highest appellate court is called Rota to reflect the round room in which judges originally met to hear the cases.

It was likely founded in the 1100s.

The Sacred Roman Rota deacon, Monsignor Pio Vito Pinto, told the pontiff that in the last year the Rota has issued 400 rulings, more than double those of previous years. The pontiff urged the Catholic magistrates not to forget their pastoral roles while carrying out their judgements. "Behind each proceeding, each position, each cause, there are people that are attending justice", he told the magistrates.

The Rota "ministry" is a "particular service carried out for the God of love, Who is close to every person".

In some instances, an appeal may end up in front of the pope himself, as he is the supreme ecclesiastical judge within the Catholic Church.