Skip to main content

Apostolic Exhortation

APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION

In modern times, the form of "exhortation" was apparently first used by Pope Pius XII on Dec. 8, 1939 (Aspersis commitis anxietatibus ) on the occasion of the beginning of hostilities in World War II. It was an address to priests involved in the armed forces. Since then, the Roman pontiffs have used this form regularly to exhort various categories of persons to seek for greater perfection. For instance, the exhortation Menti Nostrae of 1950 on the holiness of priests (AAS, 42 [1950], 657702) was one of the first texts to make this form of document commonly known. As the name implies, exhortations are not legislative. Although not juridically binding, they are a significant expression of the magisterium of the Church, and are morally persuasive and quite influential because they are frequently the product of consensus. In the exhortation Redemptoris custos on the person and mission of St. Joseph (Aug. 15, 1989), Pope John Paul II speaks of this document as a means of fulfilling a "pastoral duty." More recently, a distinct form, the postsynodal apostolic exhortation, has been used to issue the papal document presenting the results of an ordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops; for instance, Vita consecrata (March 25, 1996) follows upon the synod on consecrated life. An exhortation can also be the base for further study and for special norms putting its teaching into effect. Thus, for instance, in Vita consecrata, no. 59, the pope calls for careful consideration of the norms regulating papal cloister; this led to the publication of the instruction Verbi sponsa (13 May 1999) which revised such norms and stated that the document was a direct consequence of the provisions of Vita consecrata.

See Also: pronouncements, papal and curial.

Bibliography: j. huels, "A Theory of Juridical Documents Based on Canons 2934," Studia canonica 32 (1998) 337370. f. g. morrisey, Papal and Curial Pronouncements: Their Canonical Significance in Light of the Code of Canon Law (Ottawa 1995), 13.

[f. g. morrisey]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Apostolic Exhortation." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 13 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Apostolic Exhortation." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 13, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/apostolic-exhortation

"Apostolic Exhortation." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved November 13, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/apostolic-exhortation

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.