Definition of motu proprio in English:

motu proprio

Syllabification: mo·tu pro·pri·o
Pronunciation: /ˈmōto͞o ˈprōprēˌō

noun (plural motu proprios)

An edict issued by the pope personally to the Roman Catholic Church or to a part of it.
More example sentences
  • Almost all the motu proprios are incomplete, even the encyclicals.
  • First, if you are among that marginal group of Catholics who understand the significance of the motu proprio and are grateful for it, write to thank our Holy Father for it.
  • What with all the rumored motu proprios waiting in the wings, I have a feeling this Pope is about to disappoint some significant numbers of Catholics in any case.


Latin, literally 'of one's own volition'.

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