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Ad Tuendam Fidem
is an apostolic letter of Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...
issued motu proprio
A motu proprio is a document issued by the Pope on his own initiative and personally signed by him....
on May 18, 1998.
The apostolic letter made modifications to the Oriental and Latin codes of canon law
Canon law is the body of laws & regulations made or adopted by ecclesiastical authority, for the government of the Christian organization and its members. It is the internal ecclesiastical law governing the Catholic Church , the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches, and the Anglican Communion of...
defining penalties for public dissent by public ministers of the Church.
In an unusual move, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith , previously known as the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition , and after 1904 called the Supreme...
simultaneously issued an instruction on Ad Tuendam Fidem
identifying examples of the ordinary magisterium
In the Catholic Church the Magisterium is the teaching authority of the Church. This authority is understood to be embodied in the episcopacy, which is the aggregation of the current bishops of the Church in union with the Pope, led by the Bishop of Rome , who has authority over the bishops,...
that must be accepted with obsequium religiosum
Obsequium religiosum is a Latin phrase meaning religious submission or religious assent, particularly in the theology of the Catholic Church.-Second Vatican Council:...
, "religious assent." Among those examples, to the surprise of many, was the papal bull, Apostolicae Curae
Apostolicae Curae is the title of a papal bull, issued in 1896 by Pope Leo XIII, declaring all Anglican ordinations to be "absolutely null and utterly void"...
which defined Anglican Holy Orders
The term Holy Orders is used by many Christian churches to refer to ordination or to those individuals ordained for a special role or ministry....