What Is Motu Proprio AKA “The Pope Code”?

Statute of Pope John XXIII
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Anti-Vaxxers recently served an NHS hospital in Colchester with “Legal Documents”

I’ve already covered the Nuremberg Code that they cite, and broken down why these documents probably aren’t as legal as they think they are but one of the things that they mentioned was Motu proprio – which a few of us have nicknamed the “pope code”

What Is Motu Proprio?

Is it a valid argument against COVID vaccines and why am I putting myself though this?

Just to warn you, this article is over 1300 words so you might want to go and grab yourself a cup of tea and make sure you’re sitting comfortably.

Are you ready?

Let’s find out what they were blathering on about!

In the footage (that I won’t link to because I don’t want to promo these idiots) one of them states they are serving papers under Motu Proprio and that The Pope has removed personal liability and has been “head of all businesses since 2013”


That’s a lot to unpack so let’s take it slowly

So actually is Motu Proprio?

Motu Proprio is Latin for “on his own impulse” and describes an act that you can take autonomously without having to rely on someone else to sign it off, basically you can make your own laws

This is where it starts to get a little bit interesting

The term “Motu Proprio” is used under Catholic canon law and Canadian Civil Law

In the US, Motu Proprio is rarely used as they prefer “Sua sponte” (of his or her own accord)

BUT the papers were “served” in the UK so what do we use?

Ex Proprio Motu

So he wasn’t even quoting an act recognised under UK law

Okay, I might be being a little petty so let’s dive a little deeper, shall we?

What If Motu Proprio Was A Legal UK Act?

If we assume that Motu Proprio is validly used, what does that even mean?

Well in the UK it’s used in civil law, for example a Tribunal might make recommendation for something to happen without having to use legal precedent or enact a law in order to do so

Really hard read here: arbitrationblog.kluwerarbitration.com/2013/02/04/arb…


The guys in the video expressly mention The Pope and 2013 so I’m assuming they’re not referring to the UK Civil law but Canon Catholic law – which doesn’t hold any legal weight in the UK but who cares about that, right?

They proved they didn’t by trying to invoke the Nuremberg Code so….

So what’s the importance of 2013?

Jump in my time machine with me and let’s go take a look

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Why Is 2013 Important to Motu Proprio?

The Pope in 2013 was Benedict XVI – well until February 28th when he became the first pope to renounce the Papacy on his own initiative since Celestine V (1294)

Now that is a conspiracy in itself but outside the scope of this thread (maybe I’ll cover it later)

They guy that took over is the current pope, Francis

Now bear with me for a little bit, the following might seem like I’m going off on a tangent but it’s relevant

The 2000s was a turbulent time, we had 9/11, 7/7 and there was the financial crisis.

The Catholic Church really wasn’t keeping up with the times so in 2010, Benedict XVI enacted Motu proprio and brought in a “Law concerning the prevention and countering of the proceeds from criminal activities and of the financing of terrorism”

Why did they do this?

Vatican finances are shady AF – who knows where the money comes from or goes, so by using Motu Proprio, the then Pope was basically saying “Whoops! We won’t fund bad guys or let them use our bank any more, sorry about that”.

Source: https://www.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/motu_proprio/documents/hf_ben-xvi_motu-proprio_20101230_attivita-illegali.html

This was then further amended in 2013 by Pope Francis, so what did he have to say and why did they mention it when serving “legal papers”?

Pope Francis issued his Motu Proprio on the 11th of July 2013 and it came into force on the 1st of September the same year.

As with his predecessor, his Motu Proprio declaration covered terrorism, organised crime, and expanded it to messing about with the stock market and f*cking up the economy

Source: https://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/motu_proprio/documents/papa-francesco-motu-proprio_20130711_organi-giudiziari.html

There were a couple of other Motu Proprios issued in 2013 but these were to do with how the Church was run so I’m going to assume that the protesters didn’t mean those ones as how a Pope is elected isn’t really relevant to COVID responses by the NHS

Source: https://www.vatican.va/content/vatican/en/search.html?q=Motu+proprio&from=2013%2F01%2F01&to=2013%2F12%2F31&in=all&sorting=relevance

For completeness, you can view a full list of Papal Motu Proprio’s here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motu_proprios

Speaking of the NHS why are this group of people invoking Motu proprio and how is it relevant to the Health Service?

Well, the thing is, it isn’t.

The NHS aren’t (as far as I know) a terrorist organisation, nor are they money launders or stock brokers (and please don’t @ me about NHS financial “waste” – not the point of this thread)

I don’t think that the NHS has WMDs either and if these guys are trying to argue that the vaccine is a WMD they really need to look up the definition of that

So what the heck are they referring to?

I have no idea.

The nearest I could come to “removing personal liability” is a new law that criminalised ab*se by priests & anyone connected to the church, but this was enacted in 2021 so can’t be linked to their “head of all businesses 2013” claim

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The only mention of liability linked to Motu Proprio in 2013 was the following:

“The jurisdiction referred to in paragraph 1 comprises also the administrative liability of juridical persons arising from crimes, as regulated by Vatican City State laws. ”

As much as I have looked and I cannot find any papal decree that he has made himself the head of every business in the world or removed liability and protection of workers rights.

But, for fun and arguments sake, let’s say he had.

Invoking The Pope

Imagine Pope Francis, newly installed in the Vatican in 2013 downs too much communal wine and announces that he’s in charge of everything – what then?

Still wouldn’t matter.

Vatican Laws and edicts only apply to The Catholic Church and are not legally binding in UK civil or criminal proceedings – irrespective of the fact that we’ve not been governed by the Pope since the days of Henry VIII

In fact, UK law would supersede Vatican law in criminal and civil cases

Vatican Law is overseen by The Holy See which provides guidance on the Catholic Cannon but it cannot supersede the laws of a country where a law is in question.

If these guys wanted to use Motu Proprio they would have to travel to the Vatican to have their case heard. Do we really think the Pope is going to get involved? I mean he’s urging people to get the Vaccine (which is probably why they brought him up)

Pope Francis urges people to get vaccinated against Covid-19 – Vatican News Pope Francis launches a powerful appeal for people to get vaccinated with approved Covid-19 vaccines, calling it “an act of love.”

So, yet again as we saw with mentioning the Nuremberg Code and “serving” “Legal” documents, they were once more using terminology that they didn’t understand the meaning behind.

If anyone know any different, please let me know – I am happy to be corrected but you can’t just say “You’re wrong” I’ll need to see credible sources.

I would absolutely love to get my hands on the papers that Colchester Hospital was served with – I wonder if I could put in a Freedom Of Information request XX?

At the end of the clip, the “server” says that they will be chasing up with Lawyers, I wonder which lawyer would want to take this case?

Anyway, thank you for sticking with me on another one of my deep dives into the actual truth behind what certain nincompoops are trying to pass off as scary legal facts.

Remember to be kind to each other in the replies, thank you for sticking with me this far and I hope you all have a wonderful day/night

Now I’m I am off for a lie down in a dark room

P.S If you are a glutton for punishment, you can read all of Canon Law here:

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally a Twitter thread posted on the 22nd October 2021. You can view the full series of tweets here

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