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Catholic Dictionary

Term

BULL, PAPAL

Definition

The most solemn and weighty form of papal letter. The name is derived from the Latin bulla, the dislike leaden seal attached to such a document. It is used by the Pope in appointing a bishop. Formerly all papal letters of major importance, including canonization decrees, were called bulls, but the current Acta Apostolicae Sedis gives some of these papal letters various names.