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Viewpoints

Vatican doctrinal office's new site offers decades of documents

041312-vatican-documents-onlineVATICAN CITY — The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has revised its website and launched a new Internet domain name to distribute all of its documents published since the Second Vatican Council.

"Wider distribution of the teaching of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is necessary in today's world," the congregation said March 16. "These texts treat significant questions for the life and mission of the Church and give important doctrinal responses to the challenges of our times."

The congregation added that making the documents more available will have "significant value" in communicating Church teaching around the world.

Pictured above: The Year of Faith, which runs from Oct. 11, 2012, to Nov. 24, 2013, is to help the Church focus its attention on "Jesus Christ and the beauty of having faith in him," said a Jan. 5 statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The congregation has recently launched a new website with all of its documents online in several languages, for greater access by the laity. Photo shows a crucifix in St. Albert's Chapel at the Dominican Sisters' motherhouse in Amityville, N.Y. (CNS, Gregory A. Shemitz)

The website organizes the doctrinal, disciplinary and sacramental documents both chronologically and by theme.

The congregation is in charge of theological matters within the Church. It issues authoritative, though not infallible, statements on theological questions and contemporary ethical controversies.

Documents of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith which have the express approval of the pope participate in his teaching authority as the successor of St. Peter, the congregation said. "Attentive reception" of these texts is important for all the faithful, particularly those engaged in theological and pastoral work.

The major documents of the congregation are available in Latin, English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, German and Polish. Some documents are also available in Hungarian, Slovak, Czech and Dutch. Other translations will be added in the future.

The website also provides information about the book series "Documents and Studies," individual printed volumes of major documents with commentaries by prominent theologians.

The site publishes various speeches and other publications by the congregation prefects, among whom were Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before his election as Pope Benedict XVI.

-- CNA/EWTN News

Comprehensive documents online

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: www.doctrinafidei.va

And also check out all of the documents of the Second Vatican Council: www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council

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