Acta Apostolicae Sedis

Acta Apostolicae Sedis (Latin for "Register of the Apostolic See"), often cited as AAS, is the official gazette of the Holy See,[1] appearing about twelve times a year.[2] It was established by Pope Pius X on 29 September 1908 with the decree Promulgandi Pontificias Constitutiones, and publication began in January 1909.[2] It contains all the principal decrees, encyclical letters, decisions of Roman congregations, and notices of ecclesiastical appointments.[3] The laws contained in it are to be considered promulgated when published, and effective three months from date of issue, unless a shorter or longer time is specified in the law.[3][4][5]

1909 Acta Apostolicae Sedis
Cover page and leaf of Vol. 1, No. 1 of the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (1909)

It replaced a similar publication that had existed since 1865, under the title of Acta Sanctae Sedis. Though not designated as the official means of promulgating laws of the Holy See, this was on 23 May 1904 declared an organ of the Holy See to the extent that all documents printed in it were considered "authentic and official".[6] As indicated above, the Acta Sanctae Sedis ceased publication four years later.

Acta Apostolicae Sedis is published in Latin.

Since 1929, Acta Apostolicae Sedis carries a supplement in Italian, called Supplemento per le leggi e disposizioni dello Stato della Città del Vaticano, containing laws and regulations of Vatican City, the city-state founded in that year. In accordance with paragraph 2 of the Legge sulle fonti del diritto of 7 June 1929,[7] the laws of the state are promulgated by being included in this supplement.

Acta Apostolicae Sedis
TypeDaily official journal
PublisherVatican City
FoundedSeptember 29, 1908
HeadquartersVatican City

See also


  1. ^ New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law, pg. 60.
  2. ^ a b Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3), article Acta Apostolicae Sedis
  3. ^ a b Modern Catholic Dictionary, reproduced at Catholic Culture
  4. ^ 1917 Code of Canon Law, canon 9
  5. ^ 1983 Code of Canon Law, canon 8
  6. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Acta Sanctæ Sedis" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  7. ^ "Leggi sulle fonti del diritto" [Read about the sources of law] (in Italian). The Vatican. 1 October 2008. Art. 1, (item) 2.


  • Beal, John P., James A. Coriden, Thomas J. Green. New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law: Commissioned by the Canon Law Society of America (New York: Paulist Press, 2000).

External links

Acta Sanctae Sedis

Acta Sanctae Sedis (Latin for "Register of the Holy See") was a Roman monthly publication containing the principal public documents issued by the pope, directly or through the Roman Congregations.It was begun in 1865, under the title of Acta Sanctæ Sedis in compendium redacta etc., and on 23 May 1904 was declared an organ of the Holy See to the extent that all documents printed in it were considered "authentic and official".It continued to exist for four more years, until by the decree Promulgandi Pontificias Constitutiones (29 September 1908) Pope Pius X replaced it with the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, to which he gave the status of the official gazette of the Holy See, and which began publication in January 1909.

Christopher de Paus

Christopher Tostrup Paus, Count of Paus (10 September 1862 – 10 September 1943), usually known as Christopher Paus and also known as Christopher de Paus, was a Norwegian land owner, heir to the timber giant Tostrup & Mathiesen, papal chamberlain and count, known as philanthropist, art collector and socialite in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He gave large donations to museums in Scandinavia and to the Catholic Church. In the Acta Apostolicae Sedis and the Annuario Pontificio, his name is spelled (conte) Cristoforo de Paus.

Code of Rubrics

The Code of Rubrics is a three-part liturgical document promulgated in 1960 under Pope John XXIII, which in the form of a legal code indicated the rules governing the celebration of the Roman Rite Mass and Divine Office.

Pope John approved the Code of Rubrics by the motu proprio Rubricarum instructum of July 25, 1960. The Sacred Congregation of Rites promulgated the Code of Rubrics, a revised calendar, and changes (variationes) in the Roman Breviary and Missal and in the Roman Martyrology by the decree Novum rubricarum the next day. The official publication was in Acta Apostolicae Sedis 52 (1960), pp. 593–740.

The Code of Rubrics replaced the rules previously given in the Roman Breviary. In the Roman Missal, it replaced the sections, Rubricae generales Missalis (General Rubrics of the Missal) and Additiones et variationes in rubricis Missalis ad normam Bullae "Divino afflatu" et subsequentium S.R.C. Decretorum (Additions and alterations to the Rubrics of the Missal in line with the Bull Divino afflatu and the decrees of the Sacred Congregation of Rites that followed it). As Pope Pius X himself declared in his Apostolic Constitution Divino afflatu, by which he revised the Psalter of the Roman Breviary, the change of the Roman Breviary was intended to be followed up by a revision of the Roman Missal. Accordingly, while awaiting that revision, the first of the two sections of the Roman Missal mentioned continued to be printed as before, although the second rendered some of its provisions invalid. This anomalous situation was remedied in the 1962 typical edition of the Roman Missal, which printed in their place the parts of the Code of Rubrics that concerned the Missal. In its turn, the Code of Rubrics was superseded by the General Instruction of the Roman Missal of 1970, but it remains in force for celebrations of the Roman Rite Mass in accordance with the 1962 Missal, as authorized by the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of 7 July 2007.

Decree on the Attempted Ordination of Some Catholic Women

Decree on the Attempted Ordination of Some Catholic Women is a canonical decree issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, and approved by Pope John Paul II on December 21, 2002. It can be found in Acta Apostolicae Sedis 95 (2003). The decree is in response to Romulo Antonio Braschi ordaining seven Catholic women to the priesthood of his movement, the Catholic Apostolic Charismatic Church of Jesus the King, on June 29, 2002, and is a follow up to a decree of excommunication of Braschi and the women issued on August 5, 2002.

Ethiopian Catholic Archeparchy of Addis Abeba

The Ethiopian Catholic Archeparchy of Addis Ababa, officially the Metropolitan sui iuris Archeparchy of Addis Ababa (Latin: Metropolitana sui iuris archieparchia Neanthopolitana) is the metropolitan see of the Ethiopian Catholic Church, a sui iuris metropolitan Eastern Catholic Church.

The cathedral of the see is the Cathedral of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the national capital Addis Ababa.It has three suffragan eparchies. Also in Ethiopia are nine Latin jurisdictions (Apostolic Vicariates and Apostolic Prefectures), which, not being of diocesan rank, are not organized as parts of an ecclesiastical province and are instead immediately subject to the Holy See. The Ethiopian Catholic Church reports to the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, while the Latin jurisdictions depend on the missionary Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. The Catholics in the Latin jurisdictions are about six times as numerous as those in the Ethiopic jurisdictions.Unlike some other countries, where jurisdictions of the Latin Church and of one or more Eastern Catholic Churches overlap, all ecclesiastical jurisdictions in Ethiopia are geographically distinct and each territory has a single hierarch or ordinary. All the hierarchs and ordinaries are members of the interritual Episcopal Conference, which until the foundation of the Eritrean Catholic Church in 2015 also counted the Eritrean hierarchy as members and, from the 1993 declaration of the independence of Eritrea until 2015, was called the Episcopal Conference of Ethiopia and Eritrea. The episcopal conference is now again named without mention of Eritrea.The Metropolitan Archeparch of Addis Ababa is Cardinal Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel, who is also president of the episcopal conference.

Eucharistic Minister

A Eucharistic minister, also known as a communion steward, is an individual that assists in the distribution of Holy Communion to the congregation of a Christian church.

Fundamental Law of Vatican City State

The Fundamental Law of Vatican City State, promulgated by Pope John Paul II on 26 November 2000, is the main governing document of the Vatican's civil entities. It obtained the force of law of 22 February 2001, Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, Apostle, and replaced in its entirety law N. I (the Fundamental Law of Vatican City of 7 June 1929). All the norms in force in Vatican City State which were not in agreement with the new Law were abrogated and the original of the Fundamental Law, bearing the Seal of Vatican City State, was deposited in the Archive of the Laws of Vatican City State and the corresponding text was published in the Supplement to the Acta Apostolicae Sedis. The law consists of 20 Articles.

Holy Hour

Holy Hour is the Roman Catholic devotional tradition of spending an hour in Eucharistic adoration in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. A plenary indulgence is granted for this practice. The practice is also observed in some Anglican churches.

L'Osservatore Romano

L'Osservatore Romano (pronounced [losservaˈtoːre roˈmaːno]; Italian for "The Roman Observer") is the daily newspaper of Vatican City State which reports on the activities of the Holy See and events taking place in the Church and the world. It is owned by the Holy See but is not an official publication, a role reserved for Acta Apostolicae Sedis. The views expressed in the Osservatore are those of individual authors unless they appear under the specific titles "Nostre Informazioni" or "Santa Sede".Available in nine languages, the paper prints two Latin mottoes under the masthead of each edition: Unicuique suum ("To each his own") and Non praevalebunt ("[The gates of Hell] shall not prevail"). The current editor-in-chief is Giovanni Maria Vian.

On 27 June 2015, Pope Francis, in an apostolic letter, established the Secretariat for Communications, a new part of the Roman Curia, and included L'Osservatore Romano under its management.

Languages of Vatican City

Vatican City is a city state that came into existence in 1929. It is therefore to be clearly distinguished from the Holy See, which already was in existence for many centuries before that date.

The Vatican Constitution has established no official language. However, in accordance with paragraph 2 of the Legge sulle fonti del diritto ("Law on the sources of law") of 7 June 1929, it promulgates its laws and regulations by publishing them in the Italian-language Supplemento per le leggi e disposizioni dello Stato della Città del Vaticano attached to the Acta Apostolicae Sedis. On its official website Vatican City uses English, Italian, French, German, Spanish, Latin, Portuguese, and Arabic, which are found on the official website of the Holy See.

Magisterium of Pius XII

The Magisterium of Pope Pius XII consists of some 1,600 mostly non-political speeches, messages, radio and television speeches, homilies, apostolic letters, and encyclicals of Pope Pius XII. His magisterium has been largely neglected or even overlooked by his biographers, who center on the policies of his pontificate.

The dates of the list may vary in accuracy. The list uses the official dates of the Discorsi and Acta Apostolicae Sedis, published by the Holy See. However, not all speeches are included there. Some were published in the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, and those dates reflect the date of publication since the articles often did not indicate a different time. Therefore, there may be a difference of a day or two in some instances. The sources are listed below.

Of the 1600 papal addresses, this list includes the last fifty during the last five months of his pontificate. They also illustrate the papal work load, up to the very last days of his life. "He was the last Pope, who wrote most of his speeches alone" said Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Pius, who did not have a staff of speechwriters or permanent assistants, worked largely alone, assisted only by occasional help and proofreaders from professors of the Pontifical Gregorian University. The combined length and scope of these 50 speeches, written within only 150 days, suggest a brutal work load for Pius, which may have contributed to his death. His physician, Professor Gasparini, commented: "The Holy Father did not die because of any specific illness. He was completely exhausted. He was overworked beyond limit. His heart was healthy, his lungs were good. He could have lived another 20 years, had he spared himself."

Notification (Holy See)

A notification by the Holy See is an official announcement by a department of the Holy See, the leadership of the Catholic Church in Rome.

The term used in Latin is notitiae, and in Italian it is notificazione. English translations most frequently use the similar word "notification", but sometimes use the word "note" or, as is more common for similar announcements by English-speaking entities, the word "notice".A notification is issued "by one with executive authority, which usually serves as a reminder of something contained in the law, or explains more clearly the meaning of a law".Notifications are one of the many forms of documents issued by the Holy See. Apart from the more solemn declarations on matters such as doctrine, religious freedom or Christian education, and the legislative, judicial and administrative decrees supplementing or implementing a law, there are instructions, circular letters, directories, notifications, statutes, norms and ordinances.As for the many other documents of the Holy See, the subject matter determines the department that issues a notification. For instance, a notification regarding copyright governing voice recordings of Pope Benedict XVI was issued by Vatican Radio in September 2005 and notifications concerning liturgical celebrations by the Pope are regularly issued by the office in charge of such celebrations.Notifications by any department of the Holy See are usually published on L'Osservatore Romano (The Roman Observer), the semi-official newspaper of the Holy See. If the notification is of sufficient importance, it is also included in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (Acts of the Apostolic See), the official gazette of the Holy See.

Oriental canon law

Oriental canon law is the law of the 23 Catholic sui juris particular churches of the Eastern Catholic tradition. Oriental canon law includes both the common tradition among all Eastern Catholic Churches, now chiefly contained in the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, as well as to the particular law proper to each individual sui juris particular Eastern Catholic Church. Oriental canon law is distinguished from Latin canon law, which developed along a separate line in the remnants of the Western Roman Empire, and is now chiefly codified in the 1983 Code of Canon Law.

Pontifical council

The pontifical councils are a group of several mid-sized dicasteries, each led by a cardinal or archbishop as president, which are part of the larger organization called the Roman Curia. The Roman Curia is charged with helping the Pope in his governance and oversight of the Roman Catholic Church.

Pontifical secret

The pontifical secret or pontifical secrecy or papal secrecy is the code of confidentiality that, in accordance with the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church, applies in matters that require greater than ordinary confidentiality:

"Business of the Roman Curia at the service of the universal Church is officially covered by ordinary secrecy, the moral obligation of which is to be gauged in accordance with the instructions given by a superior or the nature and importance of the question. But some matters of major importance require a particular secrecy, called 'pontifical secrecy', and must be observed as a grave obligation."Pontifical secrecy is the subject of the instruction Secreta continere of 4 February 1974 issued by the Secretariat of State. The text is published in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 1974, pages 89–92.

Pope Pius XII and Poland

Pope Pius XII and Poland includes Church relations from 1939–1958. Pius XII became Pope on the eve of the Second World War. The invasion of predominantly Catholic Poland by Nazi Germany in 1939 ignited the conflict and was followed soon after by a Soviet invasion of the Eastern half of Poland, in accordance with an agreement reached between the dictators Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler. The Catholic Church in Poland was about to face decades of repression, both at Nazi and Communist hands. The Nazi persecution of the Catholic Church in Poland was followed by a Stalinist repression which was particularly intense through the years 1946–1956. Pope Pius XII's policies consisted in attempts to avoid World War II, extensive diplomatic activity on behalf of Poland and encouragement to the persecuted clergy and faithful.

In Poland, Pius XII made "one of his most controversial decisions" regarding the reorganization of dioceses during World War II.

Promulgation (canon law)

Promulgation in the canon law of the Catholic Church is the publication of a law by which it is made known publicly, and is required by canon law for the law to obtain legal effect. Universal laws are promulgated when they are published in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, and unless specified to the contrary, obtain legal force three months after promulgation. Particular laws are promulgated in various ways but by default take effect one month after promulgation.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Riga

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Riga is an archdiocese administered from the capital city of Riga in Latvia. Its cathedral is Svētā Jēkaba Katedrāle. It is a metropolitan archdiocese which also helps to administer three suffragan dioceses in the Ecclesiastical province of Riga in Latvia.

Tomasz Peta

Tomasz Bernard Peta (Russian: Томаш Бернард Пэта; born on 20 August 1951 in Inowrocław, Poland) is the current Catholic Archbishop of the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Saint Mary in the city of Astana, and the President of the Bishops' Conference of Kazakhstan from May 19, 2003. He speaks Polish, Russian and Kazakh language and he is citizen of Kazakhstan.

On 5 June 1976, he was ordained to the priesthood from the diocese of Gniezno. He began his work in Kazakhstan on 21 August 1990 as the parish of Mary - Queen of Peace in the village of Lakeside Tayynshinsky region of North Kazakhstan region. On 6 August 1999 Pope John Paul II appointed him Apostolic Administrator in Astana. On 19 March 2001 by decision of the Holy See, Peta was ordained bishop. On 17 May 2003 the Pope lifted the Apostolic Administration in Astana to the level of archdiocese titled Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana. Then, on June 16, 2003, Tomasz Peta was appointed Archbishop, Metropolitan Archdiocese of St. Mary in Astana. On 19 May 2003, he was elected President of the Conference of Bishops of Kazakhstan. On 1 April 2008 Pope Benedict XVI entered the Metropolitan Tomasz Peta in the Congregation for the Clergy, dealing with life and work of the priests.

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