Motu Proprio

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.

Ecclesia Dei

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.

Ad tuendam fidem

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.

Apostolos Suos

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 Sea.

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."

Misericordia Dei 

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.

Dolentium Hominum

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 field.

Inde a Pontificatus

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 Culture.



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.

2.  Apostolic Letter 'Motu Proprio' promulgation of the definitive Statute establishing the Labour Office of the Holy See
30 September 1994

3.  Socialium Scientiarum
 January 1, 1994 - Motu Proprio establishing the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

4.  Europae Orientalis
15 January 1993

5.  Sollicita Cura
26 December 1987

6.  Quo Civium Iura
21 November 1987

7.  Tredecim Anni
6 August 1982 - Definitive statutes established for the International Theological Commission.

8.  Familia A Deo Instituta
9 May 1981 - The Pontifical Council for the Family is instituted.