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Church Documents: On the Web

Locating documents of the Roman Catholic Church.

Papal Documents

Provides papal encyclicals and other Catholic Church documents from 1226 to the present. Papal encyclicals and other documents may be browsed by Pope or searched by keyword. Includes the full text of papal encyclicals, apostolic letters, apostolic constitutions, apostolic exhortations, and other Papal communications

Early Church Documents Web sites

The Didache

Treatise from late first century or early 2nd century


First line: "Teaching of the Lord to the Gentiles (or Nations) by the Twelve Apostles"


Oldest surviving written catechism;



Christian ethics

Rituals such as baptism and Eucharist

Church organization


Church Fathers: Some considered it as part of the New Testament; others rejected it as non-canonical.

Church Documents and the News

For Church Documents and other ecclesiastical news/info

Misc. web sites

  • Medieval Handbooks of Penance [UCSD Only]
    "The documents translated in this book were employed in administering a religious discipline to our forefathers during their transition from paganism to Christianity and from barbarism to civilization."
  • Monastic Matrix*
    Excellent site dedicated to the study of women's religious communities from 400 to 1600CE. Includes a separate section of primary sources, which can be browsed by title/author/community/region/century. Search function also available.
  • Nag Hamadi Library
    Collection of 13 ancient codices containing over 50 texts discovered in upper Egypt in 1945. The texts provide insight into early Christianity in general and Gnosticism in particular.
  • Papal Documents
    Letters, speeches and other writings from Pope Leo XIII (1878) through Pope Benedict XVI (current).
  • Primary Source Material in Religion and Politics
    Extensive list of primary source documents on issues relating to the interaction of religion and politics, categorized by era from ancient times to the present.
  • Vatican Archive
    Presents texts of the Bible (New American), Catechism of the Catholic Church, Code of Canon Law, II Vatican Council, and documents of the Jubilee 2000. Most texts are presented in multiple languages.

Search Google

  • Use Google to find church documents by subject/topic
    Eaxmple: "church documents" abortion
Google Web Search

Documenta Catholica Omnia

For the experienced searcher only!

Documenta Catholica Omnia

This intimidating and difficult site provides the full text of many very hard to find church documents, like a full set of council documents known as Mansi


Convocate is a database which connects international human rights documents to Catholic Social Teaching.