The pastoral council was first recommended in the Vatican II Decree on Bishops.
Five of the documents of Vatican II refer to councils either for the pastoral or for the lay apostolate. For pastoral councils, the key document is Cbristus Dominus, the Decree on Bishops. This document provided the original definition of the pastoral council.
- Lumen gentium, Constitution on the Church, 1964
- Christus Dominus, Decree on Bishops, 1965
- Apostolicam actuositatem, Decree on the Laity, 1965
- Ad gentes divinitus, Decree on Missionary Activity, 1965
- Ecclesiae sanctae I, Implementation of Christus Dominus, 1966