Pope Paul VI Apostolic Letter
Motu Proprio
Progrediente Concilio


In perpetual memory while the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council is proceeding, it has seemed useful to institute a special council or Secretariat with the task of turning its healthy attention to those who are deprived of the Christian religion, and to whom the Lord’s words seem to refer:

“And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold: these also I must lead “(Jn 10:16).

This ardor of divine charity must stimulate the Church, which carries forward the work of Christ, above all in these times when among the men of every race, language and religion many relationships are developing.

Therefore, of Our initiative, with sure awareness and mature deliberation and in the fullness of Our Apostolic power, by virtue of this Letter we erect and constitute a special Council or Secretariat for non-Christians, of which we elect and declare President our beloved son Card. Paolo Marella, particularly recommended for his prudence and very expertise in the doctrine of religions, giving him all the necessary and opportune faculties to fulfill this office fruitfully in the Lord.

Anything to the contrary notwithstanding.

Given in Rome, at St. Peter’s, under the ring of the Fisherman, on May 19, 1964, the first year of our Pontificate.

Amleto I. Card. CICOGNANI
Secretary of State