Selected Apostolic Letters of JP II

Of less solemn authority than an encyclical, Apostolic Letters may be written on a doctrinal matter. They may also announce a papal act such as declaring a person Venerable (heroic virtue) or declaring a church a basilica Ecclesia

Rosarium Vignis Mariae
In an Apostolic Letter marking the 24th anniversary of his pontifrcate, Pope John Paul II examined the history and meaning ofthe Rosary. He proclaimed a Year of the Rosary (October 2002- October 2003) for world peace and the family, and encouraged meditation on five additional mysteries, called “luminous” (to be prayed on Thursdays).

Apostolic letter of Pope John Paul II issued on July 2, 1988. In this letter the Pope establishes a commission to facilitate the fiill 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 ofthe Tridentine Mass.

Ad tuendam fidem
Apostolic Letter To Protect the Faith issued “Motu Proprio” and by which certain norms are inserted into the Code of Canon Law and into the Code of Canons ofthe 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 extraordinary exercise of papal infallibility.

Dies Domini
Apostolic letter, signed 31 May 1998, on Sunday The Day ofthe Lord. Bishop Marini, pointing out that this letter “has its reference point in Vatican Council II, in particular on the conciliar liturgical reform,” said: `”Dies Domm1‘ on making Sunday holy, is placed above all in the framework of the preparation for the Great Jubilee ofthe Year 2000.

On the Diggig of Women
Apostolic Letter Mulierzls Dignitatem, issued on August 15, 1988. John Paul deals with the question of understanding the reason for and the consequences of the Creator‘s decision that the human being should always and only exist as a woman or a man. He speaks of the greatness ofthe dignity and vocation of women and her active presence in the Church and in society.

Reserving Priestly Ordination
Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis on Resewing Priestly Ordination to Men Alone, dated 22 May 1994 and released to the public on May 29th. This is an infallible pronouncement stating that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women.

On Human Suffering
Apostolic Letter “Salvyici Doloris.” Issued on February 11, 1984. This reflection is a meditation on the mystery of suffering. John Paul expresses a special respect for every form of human suffering and builds upon the deepest need ofthe human heart and the imperative of faith.

Misericordia Dei Published 2 May 2002,
Apostolic Letter “In The Form Of Motu Proprio On Certain Aspects of the Celebration of the Sacrament of Penance.” A primary theme ofthe Letter is that, since both guilt and repentance are entirely personal, the only ordinary way to receive sacramental absolution is after individual confession.

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