Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Theological Citations

Citations for documents such as Papal Encyclicals or Apostolic Exhortations require information such as the author, title, accessed date (month date, year) and database. Typically, online encyclicals and papal documents are accessed through the Holy See’s website ( In lieu of page numbers, cite the enumerated paragraph. Since these URLs are not stable, the full URL is not necessary. In place of the URL, use an abbreviated title of the website (e.g. 


¹ Francis. Laudato Si’, accessed January 5, 2017,, para. 6.

² Francis, Laudato Si’, 6.


Francis. Laudato Si’. Accessed January 5, 2017.

Documents from an Ecumenical Council, because they are not written by a single author and come from a single primary source, are typically cited as e-books accessed through a database ( Include the accessed date, database, and enumerated paragraph number. Subsequent footnotes after the first citation may be abbreviated.


¹ Vatican Council II, Sacrosanctum Concilium, accessed January 5, 2017,, para. 27.

² SC 27.


Vatican Council II. Sacrosanctum Concilium. Accessed January 5, 2017.