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Citing Theological Sources: How to do a Bibliography: Church Documents

For general citations, this guide leads you to other guides prepared by UST Libraries' Reference Department . However, Bible and Church document examples may refer to the MLA Style Manual, Turabian, or the SBL Handbook of Style.

Citing online Church documents using Bibme.org

Bibme.com is a VERY simple, BASIC, free online source.

Citing Church Documents using the Harvard Style

            Identify the passage of the document to cite. Get "at least" the name of the pope who wrote the document, title of the document, publication date -- and for endnotes or in-text citations, get the paragraph or section number. Honorific titles such as "Pope" are not used, so Pope John Paul II would be cited as "John Paul II."  Alternate forms of citing popes: could also be listed as either "Catholic Church";  or "Catholic Church, & Francis".For an in text citation, put in the Latin name of the Document and paragraph number – e.g., to cite the first paragraph in the section on "Eternal Newness" in Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium  - paragraph 11:  The in-text citation is: (Evangelii Gaudium, §11)  - Try Neil's Toolbox link below - a free online bibliography generator just dealing with the Harvard Style...

Vatican II Documents

Citation Styles for Vatican II Documents:

Apostolic Constitutions:

Dei Verbum: "De Divina Revelatione: the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation of Vatican Council, Promulgated by Pope Paul VI, November 18, 1965."

MLA (7th ed.)

  • Tavard, George H. De Divina Revelatione: The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation of Vatican Council , Promulgated by Pope Paul Vi, November 18, 1965. Glen Rock, N.J: Paulist Press, 1966. Print.

Turabian (6th ed.)

  • Vatican Council, and George H. Tavard. De Divina Revelatione: The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation of Vatican Council , Promulgated by Pope Paul VI, November 18, 1965. Glen Rock, N.J.: Paulist Press, 1966.

Gaudiem et Spes: "Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World."

MLA (7th ed.)

  • Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World. Washington: United States Catholic Conference, 1965. Print.

Turabian (6th ed.)

  • Catholic Church. Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World. Washington: United States Catholic Conference, 1965.

Lumen Gentium:  “Dogmatic constitution on the Church: Lumen Gentium, Solemnly Promulgated by His Holiness, Pope Paul VI, on November 21, 1964.”

MLA (7th ed.)

  • Peters, Edward H, and Gregory Baum. De Ecclesia; the Constitution on the Church of Vatican Council Ii Proclaimed by Pope Paul Vi, November 21, 1964. Glen Rock, N.J: Paulist Press, 1965. Print.

Turabian (6th ed.)

  • Vatican Council, Edward H. Peters, and Gregory Baum. De Ecclesia; the Constitution on the Church of Vatican Council II Proclaimed by Pope Paul VI, November 21, 1964. Glen Rock, N.J.: Paulist Press, 1965.

 

Papal Encyclical Letters

Citation Styles for Encyclical Letters:

“Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae / Addressed by the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II to the Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, Men and Women Religious, Lay Faithful, and All People of Good Will on the Value and Inviolability of Human Life.”

MLA (7th ed.)

  • John, Paul II. Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae. Washington, D.C: United States Catholic Conference, 1995. Print.

More MLA Examples for your bibliography: 

First endnote/footnote:
12. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter, Evangelium Vitae. (Washington: United States Catholic Conference, 1995) 7; par. 13.

Subsequent reference:
If the actual copy you used does not include the Latin title on the title page, this Latin title can still be indicated by note or comment. 

Endnote or Footnote:
13.  Evangelium Vitae 24; par. 4. 

In-text citation: 
(Evangelium Vitae par. 4) or even cited as (EV 4) if clear to your reader.  

Turabian (6th ed.)

  • Catholic Church and John Paul II. Encyclical Letter Evangelium Vitae. Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference, 1995.

"Humanae Vitae : Encyclical Letter of His Holiness Pope Paul VI, on the Regulation of Births."

MLA (7th ed.)

  • Paul VI, and Marc Caligari. Humanae Vitae: Encyclical Letter of His Holiness Pope Paul VI, on the Regulation of Births. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1983. Print.

Turabian (6th ed.)

  • Paul VI, and Marc Caligari. Humanae Vitae: Encyclical Letter of His Holiness Pope Paul VI, On the Regulation of Births. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1983.

 "Encyclical Letter Ut Unum Sint of the Holy Father, John Paul II   on Commitment to Ecumenism."

MLA (7th ed.)

  • John Paul II. Encyclical Letter Ut Unum Sint of the Holy Father, John Paul II on Commitment to Ecumenism. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995. Print.

Turabian (6th ed.)

  • Catholic Church and John Paul II. Encyclical Letter Ut Unum Sint of the Holy Father, John Paul II on Commitment to Ecumenism. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995.

 

MLA (7th ed.)

  • Benedict XVI. God Is Love: Deus Caritas Est, Encyclical Letter. Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2006. Print.

Turabian (6th ed.)

  • Catholic Church and Benedict XVI. God Is Love: Deus Caritas Est, Encyclical Letter. Washington, DC: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2006.

Anniversary documents commenting on and celebrating previous encyclical letters:

Citation Styles for documents commenting on and celebrating the anniversaries of previous encyclical letters:

"Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis of the Supreme Pontiff, John Paul II, to the Bishops, Priests, Religious Families, Sons and Daughters of the Church and All People of Good Will for the Twentieth Anniversary of Populorum Progressio."

MLA (7th ed.)

  • John, Paul II. Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis of the Supreme Pontiff, John Paul II , to the Bishops, Priests, Religious Families, Sons and Daughters of the Church and All People of Good Will for the Twentieth Anniversary of Populorum Progressio. Washington, D.C: Office of Publishing and Promotion Services, United States Catholic Conference, 1988. Print.

Turabian (6th ed.)

  1. Catholic Church and John Paul II. Encyclical Letter Sollicitudo Rei Socialis of the Supreme Pontiff, John Paul II  , to the Bishops, Priests, Religious Families, Sons and Daughters of the Church and All People of Good Will for the Twentieth Anniversary of Populorum Progressio. Washington, D.C.: Office of Publishing and Promotion Services, United States Catholic Conference, 1988.  

"On the hundredth anniversary of Rerum novarum = Centesimus annus : encyclical letter, May 1, 1991"

MLA (7th ed.)

  • On the Hundredth Anniversary of Rerum Novarum =: Centesimus Annus : Encyclical Letter, May 1, 1991. Washington, D.C: Office for Pub. and Promotion Services, United States Catholic Conference, 1991. Print.

Turabian (6th ed.)

  • Catholic Church. On the Hundredth Anniversary of Rerum Novarum = Centesimus Annus : Encyclical Letter, May 1, 1991. Washington, D.C.: Office for Pub. and Promotion Services, United States Catholic Conference, 1991.

Papal Instructions

Citation Styles for Papal Instructions:

"Instruction on respect for human life in its origin and on the dignity of procreation: replies to certain questions of the day"

MLA (7th ed.)

  • Instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation: Replies to Certain Questions of the Day. Washington, D.C: Office of Pub. and Promotion Services, United States Catholic Conference, 1987. Print.

Turabian (6th ed.)

  • Catholic Church. Instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation: Replies to Certain Questions of the Day. Washington, D.C.: Office of Pub. and Promotion Services, United States Catholic Conference, 1987.

Citation Styles for "Instruction on certain aspects of the "theology of liberation.”

MLA (7th ed.)

  • Instruction on Certain Aspects of the "theology of Liberation". Washington, D.C: United States Catholic Conference, 1984. Print.

Turabian (6th ed.)

  • Catholic Church. Instruction on Certain Aspects of the "Theology of Liberation". Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference, 1984.

 

CLICnet and Worldcat "Cite This" feature

A CLICnet or a WorldCat record includes the ability to generate bibliographic citations for the displayed work the "Cite this" imbedded hyperlink in the bibliographic record that launches a pop-up window with citations for the five most common citation styles (APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA and Turabian) that users can copy and paste into a document or e-mail. A citation can also be exported, either to a file formatted for EndNote bibliographic software, or directly to the RefWorks online bibliography service.

General Guidelines

These "general guidelines' are based on MLA style. Always follow your instructor's requirements, advice, or suggestions, however.

·          A first citation must be complete. Subsequent references are abbreviated in standard forms. Many well known texts are then cited (in the text of your paper even using endnotes) simply by the customary Latin title (first few words) like Divino Afflante Spiritu. 

·          A work issued by the overall Church (like the Catechism, or any Vatican II document) is cited ONLY by its title from the publication information. No need to precede the cite with Catholic Church as author. If in doubt, ask.  Still, some variations are common in church document citation, depending on the audience and sources being cited, or the advice of the instructor. 

·          In MLA style, honorific titles like "Pope," "Father" or "Cardinal" or "D.D." are not added after, or before, a name.  

·          If a document is issued by a constituted church body or organization (rather than by an individual as ecclesiastical authority) use the title page information as far as practicable. Also cite the group's name from the title page, preferring an English version if given (this is often not the case in CLICnet records).

·           In theology and church writings, citing the paragraph or section number of a work is regular practice.  This is often preferred over MLA style of page number citation in the actual edition consulted. Nonetheless, it is usually acceptable to use paper numbers from the publication. Check with your instructor - he or she may ask you to cite by paragraphs or section numbers alone and not page numbers. Always follow your instructor's requirements in every case. Be sure to ask if in doubt.  

   In theological research, simply citing paragraph or section numbers is a standard practice, often preferred over the page number in the actual edition "in hand."  Still, it is usually perfectly acceptable to use the publication page numbers.

The Catechicsm and other first use models


Other first use bibliography citations:

Document you want to cite:

Catechism of the Catholic Church: Revised in Accordance with the Official Latin Text Promulgated by Pope John Paul II. 2nd ed. [Vatican City]: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1997.  

MLA (7th ed.)

  • . Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1997. Print. Catechism of the Catholic Church: Revised in Accordance with the Official Latin Text Promulgated by Pope John Paul II

Turabian (6th ed.)

  • Catholic Church. Catechism of the Catholic Church: Revised in Accordance with the Official Latin Text Promulgated by Pope John Paul II. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1997.
  • Citing a paragraph or section number: Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed., 336.

As a general rule, you need only identify the edition you are using and the specific entry number(s).

Document you want to cite:

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of Christian Meditation. Washington: United States Catholic Conference, 1989.  

MLA (7th ed.)

  • . Vatican City: United States Catholic Conference, Office for Pub. and Promotion Services, 1989. Print. Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of Christian Meditation

Turabian (6th ed.)

  • Catholic Church. . Vatican City: United States Catholic Conference, Office for Pub. and Promotion Services, 1989. Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of Christian Meditation

"The invalid marriage"

MLA (7th ed.)

  • Wrenn, Lawrence G. . Washington, D.C: Canon Law Society of America, 1998. Print. The Invalid Marriage

Turabian (6th ed.)

  • Wrenn, Lawrence G. . Washington, D.C.: Canon Law Society of America, 1998. The Invalid Marriage

 

"Pastoral care of the sick and dying"

MLA (7th ed.)

  • . Washington, D.C: Office of Pub. Services, U.S. Catholic Conference, 1984. Print. Pastoral Care of the Sick and Dying

Turabian (6th ed.)

  • Catholic Church. . Washington, D.C.: Office of Pub. Services, U.S. Catholic Conference, 1984. Pastoral Care of the Sick and Dying

"Mary in ecumenical perspective"

MLA (7th ed.)

  • . Washington, D.C: USCCB Publishing, 2008. Print. Mary in Ecumenical Perspective

Turabian (6th ed.)

  • . Washington, D.C.: USCCB Publishing, 2008. Mary in Ecumenical Perspective

for "Marriage : love and life in the divine plan"

MLA (7th ed.)

  • . Washington, D.C: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2009. Print. Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan

Turabian (6th ed.)

  • . Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2009. Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan

"A pledge of commitment for Economic justice."

MLA (7th ed.)

  • . Washington, D.C: United States Catholic Conference, 1980. Print. A Pledge of Commitment for Economic Justice

Turabian (6th ed.)

  • United States Catholic Conference. . Washington, D.C.: United States Catholic Conference, 1980. A Pledge of Commitment for Economic Justice

"Nova Vulgata Bibliorum Sacrorum editio"

MLA (7th ed.)

  • . Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1986. Print. Nova Vulgata Bibliorum Sacrorum Editio

Turabian (6th ed.)

  • . [Vatican City]: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1986. Nova Vulgata Bibliorum Sacrorum editio

 

Item from a collection of documents in a multi-volume work

Book you want to cite:

Decrees of the ecumenical councils / edited by Norman P. Tanner. 2 vols. London : Sheed & Ward ; Washington, DC : Georgetown University Press, 1990.


MLA (7th ed.)

  • Tanner, Norman P. Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils. 2 vols. London: Sheed & Ward, 1990. Print.

Here is a further example, using the Tanner example in your footnotes/endnores. Your bibliography MUST provide a full citation to the Tanner volumes--like:

Footnote/endnote:

Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, Tanner 2 869-870; sec. 7.

Canon Law

It is very difficult to find citation guides that deal with Canon Law citations.  Here are some websites created by other schools that may help you:

  • This is in Turabian

When citing a canon of church law, lower case is used: canon 15 § 3 3o   

[In MS Word: To find the font for the above symbols, first choose the “Insert” tab.  Then at the far right is the symbols tab (an Omega Greek letter with the word “Symbol” under it.) You will find them in this collection of symbols.]

 [Or you can press the Alt key, press (on the numeric keypad) the 2 key, press the 1 key, lift the Alt key. The § appears]

  • Hauser Global Law School Program, New York University School of Law:

http://www.nyulawglobal.org/Globalex/Canon_Law1.htm

  •  CanonLaw.info

http://www.canonlaw.info/canonlaw_cites.htm

  •   Kenrick-Glennon Seminary (go to page 11 of this guide).

http://gwc.kenrickparish.com/KenrickStyleSheet2011.pdf

If any of you know of more sites or information on citing Canon Law documents - I'd love to hear from you....

Papal Decrees

Citation Styles for Papal Decrees:

"Decree on ecumenism, November 21, 1964"

MLA (7th ed.)

  • Decree on Ecumenism, November 21, 1964. Washington: National Catholic Welfare Conference, 1964. Print.

Turabian (6th ed.)

  • Vatican Council. Decree on Ecumenism, November 21, 1964. Washington: National Catholic Welfare Conference, 1964.

Apostolic Letters:

Citation Styles for Apostolic Letters:

"An Apostolic Letter Issued "Motu Proprio", Determining Norms for Mixed Marriages."

MLA (7th ed.)

  • Paul VI. An Apostolic Letter Issued "motu Proprio", Determining Norms for Mixed Marriages. Washington, D.C: National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1970. Print.

Turabian (6th ed.)

  • Paul VI. An Apostolic Letter Issued "Motu Proprio", Determining Norms for Mixed Marriages. Washington, D.C.: National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1970.

Apostolic Exhortations

Citation Styles for Apostolic Exhortations:

"On the family : apostolic exhortation, Familiaris consortio, of His Holiness Pope John Paul II   to the episcopate, to the clergy and to the faithful of the whole Catholic Church regarding the role of the Christian family in the modern world."

MLA (7th ed.)

  • John, Paul II. On the Family: Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris Consortio, of His Holiness Pope John Paul II   to the Episcopate, to the Clergy and to the Faithful of the Whole Catholic Church Regarding the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World. Washington, D.C. (1312 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Washington 20005: Office of Pub. Services, United States Catholic Conference, 1982. Print.

Turabian (6th ed.)

  • Catholic Church, and John Paul II . On the Family: Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris Consortio, of His Holiness Pope John Paul II   to the Episcopate, to the Clergy and to the Faithful of the Whole Catholic Church Regarding the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World. Washington, D.C. (1312 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Washington 20005): Office of Pub. Services, United States Catholic Conference, 1982.

How to Cite Papal Documents in Turabian

How to use the "paragraph" symbol in your citation

To get the paragraph symbol (§) when using MS Word 13 – go to "Insert" Tab – then to "Symbol" tab on right with blue omega on it – once you've drilled down a level - on right side - change "Subset" to "Latin-1 Supplement" and the paragraph symbol is in the 7th box in the third row….