|The term decretal, epistola decretalis, littera decretalis is used to describe a papal ruling, especially on ruling on ecclesiastical discipline, or a rescript (rescriptum) in response to an appeal. A decretal may be distinguished from a privilege.||The first known papal decretal
was issued by Pope Siricius in 385 English
|Decretals were collected into
collections and placed on an equal footing with conciliar canons ca. 500.
Sankt Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek 671, fol. 220
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