A Public International Association of the Christian faithful is a religious association erected by the Holy See. Only a public association can receive a mission to teach Christian doctrine in the name of the Church, promote public worship or pursue a purpose which by nature is reserved to ecclesiastical authority (canon 301 §1). Public associations are able on their own initiative to undertake endeavours in keeping with their own character. These endeavours are governed according to the norm of the statutes, though under the higher direction of the competent ecclesiastical authority. As a public association, the members act in the name of the Church when fulfilling the purpose of the association.
The World Apostolate of Fatima is an association of the faithful that has as its general purpose «the promotion of the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church and the strict adherence to the tenets of the Gospel; the personal sanctification of the adherents through faithful adherence to the message of Fatima and the promotion of the common good by the spreading of the message of Fatima» (Statutes, art. II,1-3).
In the apparitions of 1917, the Blessed Virgin reaffirmed to the three little shepherds -Lucia dos Santos and the blessed brothers Francisco and Jacinta Marto- the perennial Christian message of conversion, prayer and penance in reparation for sins and for the conversion of sinners, together with a more genuine devotion to the Eucharist, the devotion to the Rosary and the consecration to her Immaculate Heart. At the same time, «the World Apostolate has the specific purpose of promoting the Pledge given by each member of the World Apostolate of Fatima» (Statutes, art. II, 4).
The members of the World Apostolate of Fatima, spread throughout numerous countries of the world, commit themselves to become faithful witnesses of the Catholic faith in their own families, at work, in the parishes and communities, participating in this way in the "New Evangelisation". The Second Vatican Council, together with the post-conciliar teaching, has given special attention to the new forms of aggregation of the Christian faithful and their participation in the life of the Church. Deep esteem and consideration has been shown to them (cf. Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity Apostolicam actuositatem, 18, 19 and 21; John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, 29).
In his Apostolic Letter, Novo millennio inuente, His Holiness John Paul II wrote about the great importance of «the promotion of forms of associations, whether of the more traditional kind or the newer ecclesial movements which continue to give the Church a vitality that is God's gift and a true "Springtime of the Spirit"» (46).
Consequently: Considering that the Pontifical Council for the Laity, with a decree dated October 7, 2005, erected the World Apostolate of Fatima as a public association of the faithful, with a juridical personality, and approved its Statutes for a period of five years ad experimentum;
After such a period of time has elapsed, and having examined the request presented to this Dicastery by Prof. Américo Pablo López Ortiz, President of the World Apostolate of Fatima, asking for the definitive approbation of the Statutes;
Considering the opportunity of approving definitively the Statutes of the World Apostolate of Fatima, and keeping in mind that no proposal of modification to its text has been presented;
In light of articles 131-134 of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus for the Roman Curia and according to canon 312, §1, 1° of the Code of Canon Law, the Pontifical Council for the Laity decrees: 1°) The confirmation of the erection of the World Apostolate of Fatima as a public international association of the faithful, with a juridical personality, according to canons 298-320 and 327-329 of the Code of Canon Law. 2°) The definitive approbation of the Statutes of this association, duly authenticated by this Dicastery and deposited in our Archives.
From the Vatican, October 7, 2010, commemorative feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.