Deliver Such an One unto Satan

Scripsi in epistola: Ne commisceamini fornicariis: non utique fornicariis hujus mundi, aut avaris, aut rapacibus, aut idolis servientibus: alioquin debueratis de hoc mundo exiisse. Nunc autem scripsi vobis non commisceri: si is qui frater nominatur, est fornicator, aut avarus, aut idolis serviens, aut maledicus, aut ebriosus, aut rapax, cum ejusmodi nec cibum sumere. Quid enim mihi de iis qui foris sunt, judicare? nonne de iis qui intus sunt, vos judicatis? nam eos qui foris sunt, Deus judicabit. Auferte malum ex vobis ipsis.

1. Cor. v. 9-13.

Because N., at the suggestion of the devil, disregarding through apostasy the Christian promise which he made in baptism, does not fear to lay waste the Church of God, to plunder the Church’s goods, and violently to oppress Christ’s poor; therefore we, anxious, lest he perish through pastoral neglect, for which we may have to give account at the tremendous judgment before the Chief Shepherd our Lord Jesus Christ, according to the terrible threat which our Lord himself utters: If thou shalt not have announced to the unrighteous his unrighteousness, his blood will I require at thy hand; we admonish him canonically, for the first, second, third, and also the fourth time to convince him of his wickedness, inviting him to amendment, satisfaction, and penance, and taking hold of him with paternal affection. But he himself, Oh sorrow! spurning wholesome admonitions, puffed up with a spirit of pride, disdains to make satisfaction to the Church of God, which he has injured. Well are we informed by the teachings of the Lord and of his apostles, what we ought to do in respect to prevaricators of this sort. For the Lord says: If thy hand or thy foot cause thee to offend, cut it off, and cast it from thee. And the apostle says: Take away the evil one from among you. And again: If he, who is called a brother, is a fornicator, or covetous, or a server of idols, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner, with such a one not so much as to eat. And John, best-beloved disciple of Christ, forbids to salute such an impious man, saying: Receive him not into the house, nor say to him, God save you. For he that saith to him, God save you, communicateth with his wicked works. Therefore fulfilling the precepts of the Lord and of his apostles, we cut off from the body of the Church with the sword of excommunication a rotten limb, that can not be healed, that does not bear medicine, lest the remaining limbs of the body be infected with so deadly a disease as with poison. Therefore because he has despised our admonitions and frequent exhortations, because, having been for the third time, according to the Lord’s precept, called, he has disdained to come to amendment and penance, because he has neither considered his own fault, nor confessed it, nor by sending an embassy alleged any excuse, nor asked forgiveness, but, the devil hardening his heart, perseveres in the wickedness begun, as the apostle says: According to his own hardness and impenitent heart he treasures up to himself wrath against the day of wrath: therefore, by the judgment of Almighty God, Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit, and of blessed Peter the prince of the apostles, and of all the Saints, also by the authority of our own mediocrity, and by the power, divinely placed in us, of binding and loosing in heaven and in earth, we do separate him, with all his accomplices and favorers, from the perception of the precious Body and Blood of the Lord, and from the fellowship of all Christians, and we exclude him from the limits of holy mother Church in heaven and in earth, and we pronounce him to be excommunicated and anathematized; and we adjudge him condemned with the devil and his angels and all the reprobate to eternal fire: until he may recover himself from the snares of the devil, and return to amendment and penance, and make satisfaction to the Church, which he has injured: delivering him to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of judgment.

And all answer, “Be it done, be it done, be it done.”

When this is done, both the pontiff and the priests ought to throw down to the ground the burning candles which they hold in their hands. Then let a letter be sent to the priests through the parishes, and also to neighboring bishops, containing the excommunicate’s name and the cause of excommunication.

— Roman Pontifical, Ordo excommunicandi et absolvendi.

Romana Ecclesia a Solo Domino Sit Fundata

St. Peter's Square, Vatican City.
St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City.
  1. That the Roman church was founded by God alone.
  2. That the Roman pontiff alone can with right be called universal.
  3. That he alone can depose or reinstate bishops.
  4. That, in a council his legate, even if a lower grade, is above all bishops, and can pass sentence of deposition against them.
  5. That the pope may depose the absent.
  6. That, among other things, we ought not to remain in the same house with those excommunicated by him.
  7. That for him alone is it lawful, according to the needs of the time, to make new laws, to assemble together new congregations, to make an abbey of a canonry; and, on the other hand, to divide a rich bishopric and unite the poor ones.
  8. That he alone may use the imperial insignia.
  9. That of the pope alone all princes shall kiss the feet.
  10. That his name alone shall be spoken in the churches.
  11. That this title [Pope] is unique in the world.
  12. That it may be permitted to him to depose emperors.
  13. That he may be permitted to transfer bishops if need be.
  14. That he has power to ordain a clerk of any church he may wish.
  15. That he who is ordained by him may preside over another church, but may not hold a subordinate position; and that such a one may not receive a higher grade from any bishop.
  16. That no synod shall be called a general one without his order.
  17. That no chapter and no book shall be considered canonical without his authority.
  18. That a sentence passed by him may be retracted by no one; and that he himself, alone of all, may retract it.
  19. That he himself may be judged by no one.
  20. That no one shall dare to condemn one who appeals to the apostolic chair.
  21. That to the latter should be referred the more important cases of every church.
  22. That the Roman church has never erred; nor will it err to all eternity, the Scripture bearing witness.
  23. That the Roman pontiff, if he have been canonically ordained, is undoubtedly made a saint by the merits of St. Peter; St. Ennodius, bishop of Pavia, bearing witness, and many holy fathers agreeing with him. As is contained in the decrees of St. Symmachus the pope.
  24. That, by his command and consent, it may be lawful for subordinates to bring accusations.
  25. That he may depose and reinstate bishops without assembling a synod.
  26. That he who is not at peace with the Roman church shall not be considered catholic.
  27. That he may absolve subjects from their fealty to wicked men.

Dictatus papæ, included in the register of Pope Gregory VII under the year 1075; translated in Ernest F. Henderson, Select Historical Documents of the Middle Ages, (London: George Bell and Sons, 1910), pp. 366-367.

Continue reading “Romana Ecclesia a Solo Domino Sit Fundata”

Cæsar on the Druids

Druid’s Oak at Burnham Beeches.

Chapter XIII

Throughout all Gaul there are two orders of those men who are of any rank and dignity: for the commonality is held almost in the condition of slaves, and dares to undertake nothing of itself, and is admitted to no deliberation. The greater part, when they are pressed either by debt, or the large amount of their tributes, or the oppression of the more powerful, give themselves up in vassalage to the nobles, who possess over them the same rights without exception as masters over their slaves. But of these two orders, one is that of the Druids, the other that of the knights. The former are engaged in things sacred, conduct the public and the private sacrifices, and interpret all matters of religion. To these a large number of the young men resort for the purpose of instruction, and they [the Druids] are in great honor among them. For they determine respecting almost all controversies, public and private; and if any crime has been perpetrated, if murder has been committed, if there be any dispute about an inheritance, if any about boundaries, these same persons decide it; they decree rewards and punishments; if any one, either in a private or public capacity, has not submitted to their decision, they interdict him from the sacrifices. This among them is the most heavy punishment. Those who have been thus interdicted are esteemed in the number of the impious and the criminal: all shun them, and avoid their society and conversation, lest they receive some evil from their contact; nor is justice administered to them when seeking it, nor is any dignity bestowed on them. Over all these Druids one presides, who possesses supreme authority among them. Upon his death, if any individual among the rest is pre-eminent in dignity, he succeeds; but, if there are many equal, the election is made by the suffrages of the Druids; sometimes they even contend for the presidency with arms. These assemble at a fixed period of the year in a consecrated place in the territories of the Carnutes, which is reckoned the central region of the whole of Gaul. Hither all, who have disputes, assemble from every part, and submit to their decrees and determinations. This institution is supposed to have been devised in Britain, and to have been brought over from it into Gaul; and now those who desire to gain a more accurate knowledge of that system generally proceed thither for the purpose of studying it.

Chapter XIV

The Druids do not go to war, nor pay tribute together with the rest; they have an exemption from military service and a dispensation in all matters. Induced by such great advantages, many embrace this profession of their own accord, and [many] are sent to it by their parents and relations. They are said there to learn by heart a great number of verses; accordingly some remain in the course of training twenty years. Nor do they regard it lawful to commit these to writing, though in almost all other matters, in their public and private transactions, they use Greek characters. That practice they seem to me to have adopted for two reasons; because they neither desire their doctrines to be divulged among the mass of the people, nor those who learn, to devote themselves the less to the efforts of memory, relying on writing; since it generally occurs to most men, that, in their dependence on writing, they relax their diligence in learning thoroughly, and their employment of the memory. They wish to inculcate this as one of their leading tenets, that souls do not become extinct, but pass after death from one body to another, and they think that men by this tenet are in a great degree excited to valor, the fear of death being disregarded. They likewise discuss and impart to the youth many things respecting the stars and their motion, respecting the extent of the world and of our earth, respecting the nature of things, respecting the power and the majesty of the immortal gods.

– Gaius Julius Cæsar, De Bello Gallico, Book 6, Chapters 13 & 14.

* * *

13. In omni Gallia eorum hominum, qui aliquo sunt numero atque honore, genera sunt duo. Nam plebes paene servorum habetur loco, quae nihil audet per se, nullo adhibetur consilio. Plerique, cum aut aere alieno aut magnitudine tributorum aut iniuria potentiorum premuntur, sese in servitutem dicant nobilibus: in hos eadem omnia sunt iura, quae dominis in servos. Sed de his duobus generibus alterum est druidum, alterum equitum. Illi rebus divinis intersunt, sacrificia publica ac privata procurant, religiones interpretantur: ad hos magnus adulescentium numerus disciplinae causa concurrit, magnoque hi sunt apud eos honore. Nam fere de omnibus controversiis publicis privatisque constituunt, et, si quod est admissum facinus, si caedes facta, si de hereditate, de finibus controversia est, idem decernunt, praemia poenasque constituunt; si qui aut privatus aut populus eorum decreto non stetit, sacrificiis interdicunt. Haec poena apud eos est gravissima. Quibus ita est interdictum, hi numero impiorum ac sceleratorum habentur, his omnes decedunt, aditum sermonemque defugiunt, ne quid ex contagione incommodi accipiant, neque his petentibus ius redditur neque honos ullus communicatur. His autem omnibus druidibus praeest unus, qui summam inter eos habet auctoritatem. Hoc mortuo aut si qui ex reliquis excellit dignitate succedit, aut, si sunt plures pares, suffragio druidum, nonnumquam etiam armis de principatu contendunt. Hi certo anni tempore in finibus Carnutum, quae regio totius Galliae media habetur, considunt in loco consecrato. Huc omnes undique, qui controversias habent, conveniunt eorumque decretis iudiciisque parent. Disciplina in Britannia reperta atque inde in Galliam translata esse existimatur, et nunc, qui diligentius eam rem cognoscere volunt, plerumque illo discendi causa proficiscuntur.

14. Druides a bello abesse consuerunt neque tributa una cum reliquis pendunt; militiae vacationem omniumque rerum habent immunitatem. Tantis excitati praemiis et sua sponte multi in disciplinam conveniunt et a parentibus propinquisque mittuntur. Magnum ibi numerum versuum ediscere dicuntur. Itaque annos nonnulli vicenos in disciplina permanent. Neque fas esse existimant ea litteris mandare, cum in reliquis fere rebus, publicis privatisque rationibus Graecis litteris utantur. Id mihi duabus de causis instituisse videntur, quod neque in vulgum disciplinam efferri velint neque eos, qui discunt, litteris confisos minus memoriae studere: quod fere plerisque accidit, ut praesidio litterarum diligentiam in perdiscendo ac memoriam remittant. In primis hoc volunt persuadere, non interire animas, sed ab aliis post mortem transire ad alios, atque hoc maxime ad virtutem excitari putant metu mortis neglecto. Multa praeterea de sideribus atque eorum motu, de mundi ac terrarum magnitudine, de rerum natura, de deorum immortalium vi ac potestate disputant et iuventuti tradunt.

— C. Iuli Cæsaris, Commentariorum de Bello Gallico, Liber Sextus, xiii & xiv.

Supporting the Kingdom of Satan

Girolamo Savonarola.

The Pope may err, and that in two ways, either because he is erroneously informed, or from malice. As to the latter cause we leave that to the judgment of God, and believe rather that he has been misinformed. In our own case I can prove that he has been falsely persuaded. Therefore any one who obstinately upholds the excommunication and affirms that I ought not to preach these doctrines is fighting against the kingdom of Christ, and supporting the kingdom of Satan, and is himself a heretic, and deserves to be excluded from the Christian community.

— Girolamo Savonarola, Sermon preached 18 February 1498.

Still No Answer to the Question…

Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Every time Gregorio Allegri’s Miserere mei, Deus is mentioned, there is an obligatory reference made to the supposed “fact” that transcribing or copying the work was forbidden under penalty of excommunication (supposedly adding to its allure and mystery). Is this just a pious story or can someone produce documentation?