A document issued Motu
Proprio is from the Pope on his own initiative, and not in response to a request or
at the initiative of others. Its legal determinations carry the full force of papal
authority, though it does not derogate from existing laws unless specifically stated. It
can be any category of document.
Apostolic letter of Pope John Paul II issued "Motu proprio" on
July 2, 1988. In this letter the Pope establishes a commission to facilitate the full
ecclesial communion of those who have been linked to Lefebvre's society. He declares
Archbishop Lefebvre and the four men that he consecrated as bishops excommunicated for
their disobedience. He encourages a wide and generous application of Vatican directives
for use of the Tridentine Mass.
Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Letter "Motu Proprio" Ad
Tuendam Fidem (To Protect the Faith) by which certain norms are inserted into the
"Code of Canon Law" and into the "Code of Canons of the Eastern
Churches." These changes reflect the content of the "Profession of Faith"
promulgated in 1989 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the obligation
of Catholics to believe "definitive teachings," and not just those defined by a
solemn exercise of papal infallibility.
Apostolic Letter issued "Motu proprio" on the theological and
juridical significance of episcopal conferences. It includes norms
concerning what is within the authority of the bishops' conferences
and what must be referred to Rome to be recognized as law.
On the Apostleship of the Sea
Apostolic Letter Stella Maris issued "motu proprio" on the Apostleship of
The Mystery of Life
Motu Proprio Vitae mysterium establishing the Pontifical Academy for
Life (February 11, 1994).
Three Co-Patronesses of Europe
On 1 October 1999, the Holy Father designated three
patronesses of Europe (in addition to the three patrons, St. Benedict, Sts.
Cyril and Methodius), Sts Bridget
of Sweden, Catherine of Siena, and Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.
St. Thomas More, Patron of Statesmen and Politicians
An Apostolic Letter, 31 October 2000, written of his own volition,
that is, Motu Proprio, by the Holy Father,
naming St. Thomas More Patron of Statesmen and Politicians, in response to the request
of "several Heads of State and of Government, numerous political figures, and some Episcopal
Conferences and individual Bishops."
Published 2 May 2002, an Apostolic Letter "In The Form Of
Motu Proprio On Certain Aspects of
the Celebration of the Sacrament of Penance." A primary theme of the Letter is that, since both
guilt and repentance are entirely personal, the only ordinary way to receive sacramental absolution
is after individual confession.
With this Apostolic Letter, issued Motu Proprio, 11
February 1985, the Holy Father established the Pontifical Commission for the
Apostolate of Health Care Workers. The Commission has the task of
stimulating and fostering the work of study, formation, and action carried
out by the various international Catholic organizations in the health care
Published 25 March 1993, this Apostolic Letter, issued
Motu Proprio, united the Pontifical Council for Culture with the
Pontifical Council for Non-Believers in a new Pontifical Council for
The following documents are not currently in the library, but
will be made available in English as we are able:
1. Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela
10 January 2002 - Norms are promulgated
concerning the more grave delicts reserved to the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith.
Letter 'Motu Proprio' promulgation of the definitive Statute establishing
the Labour Office of the Holy See
30 September 1994
January 1, 1994 - Motu Proprio establishing the Pontifical Academy
of Social Sciences.
4. Europae Orientalis
15 January 1993
26 December 1987
21 November 1987
6 August 1982 - Definitive statutes established for the International
Familia A Deo Instituta
9 May 1981 - The Pontifical Council for the Family is instituted.