Links to Church Documents


We have included below links to documents from local bishops’ conferences from around the globe.  Please be aware that you should look to the documents from the bishops’ conference of your country/area for particular guidance.  Documents from bishops’ conferences of other countries are offered for interesting reading and a diversity of perspectives.

Documents of the Second Vatican Council
The Vatican
Papal Writings
Bishops' Conferences
    United States
    England and Wales
Diocesan Building Guidelines

The Documents of the Second Vatican Council


Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium) (1964)

    [Español]  [Français]

Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum) (1965)

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Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (Sacrosanctum Concilium) (1963)

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Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (Gaudium et Spes) (1965)

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Declaration on Christian Education (Gravissimum Educationis) (1965)


Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions (Nostra Aetate) (1965)

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Declaration on Religious Freedom (Dignitatis Humanae) (1965)



Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church (Ad Gentes Divinitus) (1965)

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Decree on the Life and Ministry of Priests (Presbyterorum Ordinis) (1965)

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Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity (Apostolicam Actuositatem) (1965)

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Decree on Priestly Training (Optatam Totius) (1965)

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Decree on the Adaptation and Renewal of Religious Life (Perfectae Caritatis) (1965)


Decree Concerning the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church (Christus Dominus) (1965)

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Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratio) (1964)


Decree on the Catholic Churches of the Eastern Rite (Orientalium Ecclesiarum) (1965)

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Decree on the Media of Social Communications (Inter Mirifica) (1963)

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Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism (1993)


Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy: Principles and Guidelines (2001)

    [Español]  [Français]

Fourth Instruction "For the Right Implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council," Varietates Legitimae on Inculturation & the Roman Liturgy

Fifth Instruction "For the Right Implementation of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council," Liturgiam authenticam (Latin version) on the use of vernacular languages with the publication of the books of the Roman liturgy (2001)

    Press Release:  [English]  [Español]

    Supplement to the Press Release:  [English]  [Español] [Français]

Instruction, Redemptionis Sacramentum (2004)


The Eucharist: Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church (Instrumentum Laboris) (2005)   

    [Español]   [Français]

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United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Norms for Distribution and Reception of Holy Communion under Both Kinds in the Dioceses of the United States of America (2001)

Bendición al cumplir quince años (Order for the Blessing on the Fifteenth Birthday) (2007)

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United States Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy

Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship (2007)

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Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (May 2007)

Statement of Principles: Language and the Liturgy (2001)

National Liturgical Commission

Appeals and Special Intentions in the Sunday Liturgy (rev. 1998)

Australian Consultation On Liturgy

Guidelines for Multi-Faith Worship (1995)

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Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

At Worship with the Disabled (1981; rev. 2002)

Celiac Disease and Communion (1999)

Our Place of Worship.  Ottawa, Canada:  CCCB Publications Services, 1999.

Canadian Episcopal Commission for Liturgy and the National Liturgy Office

Communion from the Cup (1996)

Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference

Architectual Heritage Protection for Places of Public Worship, Guidelines for Planning Authorities (12 November 2003).  Issued by the Department of the Environment, Heritage, and Local Government on Places of Worship.  

The Planning Acts and Their Implications (2002).  From the Advisory Committee on Sacred Art and Architecture (Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference).  

A Guide to Liturgical Requirements (2001).  From the Advisory Committee on Sacred Art and Architecture (Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference).

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Diocesan Building Guidelines

Many Catholic dioceses around the globe have building guidelines and/or policies.  Listed below are the links we found to such documents.  If you know of others or know of updated versions of the ones listed, please e-mail us.

»    United States:

Diocese of Austin (Texas): "General Policy for Parish Construction Projects" (Revised 2006)

Archdiocese of Baltimore (Maryland): "Policies and Procedures for New Construction, Renovations and Maintenance Projects" (2003)

Diocese of Charleston (South Carolina):  "Guidelines for the Building and Renovating of Church Edifices in the Diocese of Charleston" (post-2000; exact date unknown) and "Directives to to be Followed in Selecting an Architect" (date unknown)

Diocese of Cleveland (Ohio): "Understanding Diocesan Renovation & Construction Guidelines and Policies" (August 2001)

Diocese of Davenport (Iowa):  "Policies Relating to Building and Renovation Projects in Parishes" (June 1, 2006)

Archdiocese of Denver (Colorado): "Building, Property and Construction Project Guidelines" (October 4, 2007)

Diocese of La Crosse (Wisconsin): "Norms for the Construction and Ordering of Church Buildings" (2006)

Diocese of Lexington (Kentucky):  "Building Commission Construction Process" (2005)

Archdiocese of Milwaukee (Wisconsin):  "Building a Home, Gathering the Assembly: Norms for Building and Renovating Churches" (post-2000 but exact date unknown)

Diocese of Raleigh (North Carolina):  "Planning and Construction Manual" (2005)

Diocese of San Bernardino (California):  "Policy Manual for Construction and Real Estate" (December 1, 2003)

Diocese of San Diego (California):  "Building and Renovation Guidelines for Worship Space" (September 1, 2004)

Archdiocese of Seattle: "Renovation & Construction Project Flowchart"; "Materials, Preparation & Presentation Outline"; "Budget Worksheet"; "Small Construction Projects Contract"

Diocese of Tuscon (Arizona):  "Policies and Procedures Manual for New Construction, Renovations, Additions, and Maintenance Projects" (August 1, 2006)

Diocese of Venice (Florida):  "Building and Renovation Process Policy" (Revised April 1991)

»    Australia

Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney:  "Procedure of Consultation"

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