A papal bull is a specific kind of public decree, letters patent, or charter issued by a pope of the Roman Catholic Church. It is named after the leaden seal (bulla) that was traditionally appended to the end in order to authenticate it[1].  A bulla is an inscribed clay or soft metal (such as lead or tin) or bitumen or wax token used in commercial and legal documentation as a form of identification and for tamper-proofing whatever is attached to it[2].

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  1. Wikipedia: Papal bull
  2. Wikipedia: Bulla (seal)
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