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Apostolicam Actuositatem is the Second Vatican Council's Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity. It was approved by a vote of 2,340 to 2 of bishops assembled at the Council, and promulgated by Pope Paul VI on 18 November 1965. The title is Latin for "Apostolic Activity," which is from the first line of the decree, as is customary with significant Catholic documents.

The decree acknowledges the central importance of the laity in the mission of the Catholic Church. The purpose of this document was to encourage and guide lay people in their Christian service.

The decree defines the mission of the lay Christian faithful to both "lead non-believers to the faith and to instruct, strengthen, and encourage the faithful to a more fervent life". [6].

"God's plan for the world is that men should work together to renew and constantly perfect the temporal order." [7].


The numbers given correspond to the section numbers within the text.

  1. Introduction (1)
  2. The Vocation of the Laity to the Apostolate (2-4)
  3. Objectives (5-8)
  4. The Various Fields of the Apostolate (9-14)
  5. The Various Forms of the Apostolate (15-22)
  6. External Relationships (23-27)
  7. Formation for the Apostolate (28-32)
  8. Exhortation (33)