On October 31, 2000, Pope John Paul II issued an Apostolic Letter Issued Motu Proprio Proclaiming St. Thomas More Patron of Statesmen and Politicians:
The life and martyrdom of Saint Thomas More have been the source of a message which spans the centuries and which speaks to people everywhere of the inalienable dignity of the human conscience, which, as the Second Vatican Council reminds us, is "the most intimate centre and sanctuary of a person, in which he or she is alone with God, whose voice echoes within them" (Gaudium et Spes, 16). Whenever men or women heed the call of truth, their conscience then guides their actions reliably towards good. Precisely because of the witness which he bore, even at the price of his life, to the primacy of truth over power, Saint Thomas More is venerated as an imperishable example of moral integrity. And even outside the Church, particularly among those with responsibility for the destinies of peoples, he is acknowledged as a source of inspiration for a political system which has as its supreme goal the service of the human person.
Although he was issuing this on his own initiative (motu proprio), the Pope mentioned the encouragement he had received:
Recently, several Heads of State and of Government, numerous political figures, and some Episcopal Conferences and individual Bishops have asked me to proclaim Saint Thomas More the Patron of Statesmen and Politicians. Those supporting this petition include people from different political, cultural and religious allegiances, and this is a sign of the deep and widespread interest in the thought and activity of this outstanding Statesman.
After tracing More's political history, the cause for which he died, and his canonization, Pope John Paul offered reasons for this proclamation:
There are many reasons for proclaiming Thomas More Patron of statesmen and people in public life. Among these is the need felt by the world of politics and public administration for credible role models able to indicate the path of truth at a time in history when difficult challenges and crucial responsibilities are increasing. Today in fact strongly innovative economic forces are reshaping social structures; on the other hand, scientific achievements in the area of biotechnology underline the need to defend human life at all its different stages, while the promises of a new society — successfully presented to a bewildered public opinion — urgently demand clear political decisions in favour of the family, young people, the elderly and the marginalized.
And he concluded with the proclamation itself:
Therefore, after due consideration and willingly acceding to the petitions addressed to me, I establish and declare Saint Thomas More the heavenly Patron of Statesmen and Politicians, and I decree that he be ascribed all the liturgical honours and privileges which, according to law, belong to the Patrons of categories of people.