Q. 1. What does "moto propio" mean?
A. 1. The Catholic interpretation of a "motu proprio" is that it consist of a document issued by the Pope on his own initiative and personally signed by him.
A motu proprio that is issued by a Pope may be addressed to the whole Church, to part of it, or to some individuals.
The first motu proprio was issued by Pope Innocent VIII in 1484. It continues to be a common form of Papal rescripts, especially when establishing institutions, making minor changes to law or procedure, and when granting favours to persons or institutions.
A motu proprio rescript begins by giving the reasons for issuing it, and then indicates the law or regulation made or the favour granted. It is less formal than a constitution and carries no papal seal. Its content may be instructional (e.g., on the use of chant), administrative (e.g., concerning a church law or the establishment of a commission), or merely to confer a special favour.