Pontifical Oriental Institute

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Pontifical Oriental Institute
Type Pontifical institute
Established 1917; 99 years ago (1917)
Founder Pope Benedict XV
Academic affiliation
Gregorian University
Chancellor Cardinal Leonardo Sandri
Rector R.P. David Nazar, SJ
Administrative staff
Society of Jesus
Postgraduates 350
Location Piazza of St. Mary Major, 7
00185 Rome, Italy
Website Orientale

The Pontifical Oriental Institute (Latin: Pontificium Institutum Orientalium Studiorum, Italian: Pontificio Instituto Orientale) or "Orientale" is the premier center for the study of Eastern Christianity in Rome, Italy.


The pontifical institute was established in 1917 by Pope Benedict XV. Pope Pius XI entrusted the Institute to the Society of Jesus in 1922, and with the 1928 encyclical "Rerum Orientalium" encouraged bishops to send students to the Institute to be formed as future professors in Oriental studies. In that same year, Pius XI associated the Institute with the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Pontifical Biblical Institute, thus forming the Gregorian Consortium.[1]

In 1971, the Faculty of Oriental Canon Law was erected alongside the already existing Faculty of Oriental Ecclesiastical Studies. The Faculty of Oriental Canon Law had a crucial role in the production of Code of Canon Law for the Oriental Churches.[1]

The Institute has been located across from the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore since 1926. It is separated from the Collegium Russicum by the Church of Saint Antony. According to article 16 of the Lateran Treaty, signed in 1929 between Italy and the Holy See, the property of the Oriental Institute enjoys a certain level of extraterritoriality, with the Holy See having all rights over the infrastructure without interference from the Italian State, and free from all Italian taxation.

Since 1993, the Grand Chancellor of the Oriental Institute has been the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, and in 2016 was Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, while the Rector was Fr. David Nazar, S.J.[2]

Library & publications[edit]

The library of the Orientale includes one of the most extensive collections on Eastern Christianity, including 180,000 volumes and used for research work by scholars worldwide.[1] Its collection on Christian oriental literature includes a rare collection of Old Slavonic manuscripts.

  • Orientalia Christiana Analecta publishes book-length works by experts on Eastern Christianity.
  • Orientalia Christiana Periodica contains articles and book reviews.
  • Kanonika covers topics on canon law.
  • Anaphorae Orientales prints Eucharistic prayers of the Christian East.
  • Edizioni Orientalia Christiana also publishes single works.

Prominent associates & alumni[edit]


Coordinates: 41°53′50″N 12°29′59″E / 41.89722°N 12.49972°E / 41.89722; 12.49972