The "pontifical yearbook" is the official directory of the Roman Catholic Church throughout the world. Published annually by the Libreria Editrice Vaticana, the Annuario is a reference tool that lists the members of the College of Cardinals, patriarchates, residential and titular bishoprics, abbeys and prelatures nullius dioeceses, apostolic administrations ad nutum S. Sedis, eastern rite prelates with ordinary jurisdiction, apostolic vicariates and prefectures, missions sui juris, and the custody of the Holy Land. It includes the Orders, Congregations and Religious and Secular Institutes, the Sacred Congregations, the tribunals and offices that make up the Roman Curia, the diplomatic representatives of the Holy See and the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, as well the members of the papal household, the administration of the Vatican State, and the vicariate of Rome. It has historical notes on many offices and agencies, addresses and telephone numbers, and a lengthy appendix containing statistics and other useful information.
Origins. Although the title, Annuario Pontificio, dates only from 1860 its origins are traceable to the printers Luca and Giovanni Cracas who in 1716 published Notizie per l'anno. Although it varied in completeness, the Notizie served as a directory of the hierarchy, the Curia, and the papal court; it appeared annually with some interruptions between 1798 and 1817, until 1859. In addition, Cracas published in 1802–1803 the Elenco degli eminentissimi signori Cardinali, delle Congregazioni e Tribunali e della Famiglia pontificia. Beginning in 1851 the Camera Apostolica annually published the Gerarchia della Santa Chiesa cattolica apostolica romana in tutto l'orbe ed in ogni rito con cenni storici (1851–59). In 1860 this became the Annuario Pontificio, whose publication was suspended in 1870 with the loss of the papal states. In 1872, however, a new directory, which was to continue until 1911, appeared. Originally entitled La Gerarchia Cattolica e la Famiglia Pontificia per l'anno con appendice di altre norizie riguardanti la S. Sede, it began under the direction of a family of printers, the Monaldi brothers. In 1885 the Typographia Vaticana took over this publication. From 1899 to 1904 the annual volume was designated as the edizione ufficiale. In 1912 the name Annuario Pontificio was revived, and from 1912 to 1924 some brief notes were added on the offices of the Curia. The present format dates from 1940. Since 1967 the Annuario Pontificio has been under the direction of the Ufficio Centrale di Statistica della Chiesa. During the pontificate of John Paul II the publication has shown an increasing awareness of the importance of women in the Church's ministry and governance. Since the 1996 edition of the Annuario, the names of mothers general of women's orders and congregations are now included. Previously it mentioned the names of all male generals but not those of the women.
Bibliography: l. n. lorenzoni, "The Annuario Pontificio: The Vatican's Pontifical Year Book and a Recent Editorial Decision," Review for Religious 58, no. 3 (1999) 261–265.
[r. b. miller]