Vatican Publishing House

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Vatican Publishing House
Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Officina libraria editoria Vaticana
Founded1926; 92 years ago (1926)
Country of originItaly
Headquarters locationVatican City
Publication typesBooks, papal bulls, encyclicals
Official websiteOfficial website

The Vatican Publishing House (Italian: Libreria Editrice Vaticana; Latin: Officina libraria editoria Vaticana; LEV) is a publisher established by the Holy See in 1926. It is responsible for publishing official documents of the Roman Catholic Church, including Papal bulls and encyclicals.[1] On 27 June 2015, Pope Francis decreed that the Vatican Publishing House would eventually be incorporated into a newly established Secretariat for Communications in the Roman Curia.[2][3]

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In 1926, the library was separated from the printing and transformed into autonomous body that was entrusted with the sale of books that were being made to print by the Holy See.

The Apostolic constitution Pastor bonus of Pope John Paul II (28 June 1988) classified the LEV as an institution affiliated with the Holy See.[4]


It has its own constitution and its own rules. The statutes of LEV 'Article 2 states: "The Libreria Editrice Vaticana has the fundamental aim of publishing the documents of the Supreme Pontiff and the Holy See."

The company owns the copyright to all the writings of the Pope, but did not start enforcing the copyright until the accession of Pope Benedict XVI.[5] The policy was announced on 31 May 2005.[6] La Stampa was the first to pay royalties to the Vatican publisher, and the Union of Catholic Booksellers and Publishers protested the Vatican policy, which applied to texts no older than fifty years.[7] The LEV's policy has been summarized as:[8]

[N]ews organizations can quote from the pope's speeches, encyclicals and other writings without charge. They can also publish full texts free provided they cite Vatican copyright ... but if a text is published separately ... payment is due.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Anniversaries and Exhibitions". The Catholic Historical Review. 92 (2): 470–481. April 2007. doi:10.1353/cat.2007.0153. Retrieved 1 May 2008.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Pope John Paul II. "Pastor Bonus" Article 191.
  5. ^ Owen, Richard (23 January 2006). "Vatican 'cashes in' by putting price on the Pope's copyright". The Times. London. Retrieved 1 May 2008. (Subscription required (help)).
  6. ^ "Copyrights" (Press release). Vatican Publishing House. 31 May 2005. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  7. ^ McMahon, Barbara (22 January 2006). "Vatican invokes papal copyright". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  8. ^ D'Emilio, Frances (25 February 2006). "Vatican's demand for copyright fees engenders debate among publishers". Houston Chronicle. Associated Press. Retrieved 5 January 2017.

External links[edit]