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The Dicastery for Legislative Texts, formerly named Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, is a dicastery of the Roman Curia. It is distinct from the highest tribunal or court in the Church, which is the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, and does not have law-making authority to the degree the Pope and the Holy See's tribunals do. Its charge is the interpretation of existing canon laws, and it works closely with the Signatura and the other Tribunals and the Pope. Like the Signatura and the other two final appellate Tribunals, the Roman Rota and the Apostolic Penitentiary, it is led by a prefect who is a bishop or archbishop.
Pope Benedict then established the Pontifical Commission for Authentic Interpretation of the Code of Canon Law on 5 September 1917. On 28 March 1963, Pope John XXIII replaced it with the Pontifical Commission for the Revision of the Code of Canon Law, a revision called for by the Second Vatican Council. On 11 July 1967, Pope Paul VI established the Pontifical Commission for Interpretation of the Decrees of the Second Vatican Council and, two years later, extended its mandate to the interpretation of the documents issued by the Holy See to implement those decrees.
After promulgating a new version of the Code of Canon Law in January 1983, Pope John Paul II erected the Pontifical Commission for Authentic Interpretation of the Code of Canon Law once again on 2 January 1984. Its competence included with the universal laws for the Latin Rite within its purview. This Commission replaced those set up by his two predecessors. On 28 June 1988, the body was given its present name and its jurisdiction in the apostolic constitution Pastor Bonus.
^ abcTwo self-published websites provide inconsistent data for the succession to this office between 1930 and 1936, either self-contradictory or in conflict with official sources. A third appears the most reliable. The idea that Sincero became president in 1930 is contradicted by both Gasparri's identification as president at his death 1934 in the AAS necrology and the fact that Sincero was named a member of this Commission on 3 December 1930 The only date not documented by AAS is that of Serafini's appointment.
^Felici was also named President of the Pontifical Commission for the Interpretation of the Decrees of the Second Vatican Council. The creation of that body and his presidency appeared in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis undated in November 1967.