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Motu proprio
(73 words)

Motu proprio (Lat. “by one’s own impulse”) is a canonical ruling (Polity, Ecclesiastical) issued by the pope on his own accord. Along with the apostolic constitution it is an important form of proclamation in papal legislation. A favorable ruling (rescript) has great force when issued in this form (CIC 1983).


R. R. Gaillardetz, Teaching with Authority: A Theology of the Magisterium in the Church (Collegeville, Minn., 1997).

Cite this page
Drössler, Bernd T., “Motu proprio”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 04 October 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_M891>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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