Untitled Document

Fifth Lateran Council 1512-17 A.D.

INTRODUCTION

This council was summoned by pope Julius II by the bull Sacrosanctae Romanae Ecclesiae, issued at Rome on 18 July 1511, after several schismatic cardinals, officially supported by Louis XII, king of France, had assembled a quasi-council at Pisa. Twice postponed, the council held its first session in full solemnity at Rome in the Lateran residence on 10 May 1512, at which session an elaborate address on the evils of the church was made by Giles of Viterbo, general of the order of Augustinian hermits.

There were twelve sessions. The first five of them, held during Julius II's pontificate, dealt primarily with the condemnation and rejection of the quasi-council of Pisa, and with the revoking and annulment of the French "Pragmatic Sanction". After the election of pope Leo X in March 1513, the council had three objectives: first, achieving a general peace between christian rulers; second, church reform; and third, the defence of the faith and the rooting out of heresy. The seven sessions after Leo's election gave approval to a number of constitutions, among which are to be noted the condemnation of the teaching of the philosopher Pomponazzi (session 8), and the approval of the agreement completed outside the council between pope Leo X and king Francis I of France (session 11).

All the decrees of this council, at which the pope presided in person, are in the form of bulls. At the beginning of them are added the words "with the approval of the sacred council", and at the end "in public session solemnly held in the Lateran basilica". The fathers confirmed all the decrees by their votes. If anyone wished to reject a proposal, he made his dissenting opinion known verbally, or briefly in writing. The result was that the matters proposed, after various debates, were sometimes altered.

The decisions on the reform of the curia produced almost no effect because of the timidity and inadequacy of the recommendations, especially since the papacy showed slight inclination to carry the matter through. On the other hand, the council totally suppressed the Pisan schism. It is clear that bishops were never present in great numbers at the council, and that prelates who lived outside Italy were notably absent to such an extent that there has been frequent dispute about whether the council was ecumenical.

The decrees and other acts of the council were first published in Rome shortly after the council ended, namely on 31 July 1521 by cardinal Antonio del Monte, acting on the orders of pope Leo X. The title of this edition is: SA. Lateranense concilium novissimum sub Iulio II et Leone X celebratum (= Lc). It was subsequently used in various conciliar collections from Cr2 3 (1551) 3-192 to Msi 32 (1802) 649-1002. We have followed this edition of 1521 and have taken the headings of the constitutions from the summary which precedes it.

SESSION 1

10 May 1512

[The bull convoking the council, Sacrosancta Romanae Ecclesiae, and the bulls postponing it, Inscrutabilis and Romanus pontifex, are read out1{Msi 32, 681-690}. Masses are ordered to be celebrated, and prayers to be offered, to beg God's assistance; various arrangements are to be observed in the council and decrees are set out; advocates, procurators, notaries, guards and vote-scrutineers are chosen; assigners of places, and the location of places in their due order, are established.]

SESSION 2

17 May 1512

[The quasi-council of Pisa is condemned, and everything done at it is declared null and void. The Lateran council and whatever has been rightly done at it are confirmed]

Julius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, with the approval of the sacred council, for an everlasting record. We intend, with the help of the most High, to proceed with the holding of this sacred Lateran council which has now begun for the praise of God, the peace of the whole church, the union of the faithful the overthrow of heresies and schisms, the reform of morals, and the campaign against the dangerous enemies of the faith, so that the mouths of all schismatics and enemies of peace, those howling dogs, may be silenced and Christians may be able to keep themselves unstained from such pernicious and poisonous contagion.

Accordingly, in this second session lawfully assembled in the holy Spirit, after mature deliberation held by us with our venerable brothers, the cardinals of the holy Roman church, by the advice and unanimous consent of the same brothers from sure knowledge and by the fullness of apostolic power, we confirm approve and renew, with the approval of the sacred council, the rejections condemnations, revocations, quashings, invalidations and annulments of the summoning, convoking and public utterances of that schismatical assembly, the vaunted quasi-council of Pisa, with its aim of rending and hampering the union of the aforesaid church, and of the citations, warnings, decrees, pardons, sentences, acts, legacies, creations, obediences, withdrawals, enjoined censures and applications issuing from it, and of the transfer of the said quasi-council to the cities of Milan or Vercellae or any other place, and of each and all of the acts and decisions of the said quasi-council, that have been expressed in our various letters completed and issued in due order, especially those issued under the dates of 18 July in the eighth year of our pontificate, and of 3 December and 13 April in the ninth year of our pontificate. Likewise we confirm, approve and renew with the approval of the sacred council, the letters themselves along with their decrees, declarations, prohibitions, commands, exhortations, warnings, applications of ecclesiastical interdicts, and other sentences, censures and penalties, whether by canonical sanctions or by our own act, especially those in the letter summoning this sacred universal council, and each and all of the other clauses contained in the said letters, the meanings of which we wish to be considered as expressed as if they were inserted herein word for word, even though, as being definite and valid, they require no other confirmation or approval for a more extensive guarantee and demonstration of the truth. We wish, decree and ordain that they be observed without alteration, and we make good each and all of the defects in them, should there be any.

We condemn and reject the aforesaid quasi-council and its transfer, and each and every thing done by it, and also those taking part in it or giving support, approval or consent, directly or indirectly, to whatever extent and in whatever manner, from the day of the summoning of the quasi-council until the present day, whether the things have already been done or are to be done in the future, even if they are or have been such that special, specific, definite and separate mention should be made about them, since we consider their meaning and characteristics as clearly expressed. We condemn and reject it like other counterfeit councils which diverge from the truth and whose acts have been condemned and rejected by the law and sacred canons. We proclaim these things to be null, void and empty, as indeed they are, to be or to have been of no force or Importance; and, so far as is necessary, we declare them void, invalid and null, and we wish them to be considered as void, invalid and null.

We decree and declare, with the approval of this same sacred council, that this sacred ecumenical council, justly, reasonably, and for true and lawful purposes duly and rightly summoned, has begun to be celebrated, and that each and every thing which has been and shall be done and executed in it, will be just, reasonable, settled and valid, and that it possesses and holds the same strength, power, authority and stability which other general councils approved by the sacred canons, especially the Lateran council, possess and hold.

Moreover, in the arrangement of the seasons, as the summer heats approach, in order to take account of the convenience and health of the prelates, and so that those may be awaited who live beyond the mountains and across the sea and who have hitherto been unable to come to this sacred council, and for other just and reasonable causes known to and approved by the said sacred council, we are summoning the third session of this same council to take place on 3 November next, with the said council likewise giving approval. And to each and every prelate and to others present at the same council, we grant and concede the freedom and permission to withdraw from the Roman curia and to stay wherever they wish, so long as they are present at the aforesaid Lateran council on the said 3 November, any clearly legitimate hindrance having been removed, subject to the infliction of the penalties indicated in the letter summoning the council and in canonical punishments against those failing to attend to councils, the said sacred council also approving. Let nobody therefore . . . If anyone however . . .2{2 At this session, on account of the arrival of the bishop of Gurk, representative of the most serene emperor, a postponement of the third session was made until 3 November.}

SESSION 3

3 December 1512

[Each and all of the measures sponsored by the schismatic cardinals are rejected]

Julius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, with the approval of the sacred council, for an everlasting record. To the praise and glory of him whose works are perfect, we are continuing the sacred council of the Lateran, lawfully assembled by favour of the holy Spirit, in this third session. We had summoned this session on another occasion, during the second session, for the third day of the following November. Later, by the advice and unanimous agreement of our venerable brothers, cardinals of the holy Roman church, for reasons then stated and for other lawful causes, we postponed it and summoned it to be held today, with the same sacred council giving approval to both the postponement and the summons for the said reasons which were known to it. This was after the happy and favourable adherence to, and union with, this most holy Lateran council on the part of our most dear son in Christ, Maximilian, ever revered emperor-elect of the Romans

We condemn, reject and detest, with the approval of this same sacred council, each and every thing done by those sons of damnation, Bernard Carvajal, Guillaume Briconnet, Rene de Prie, and Frederick of San Severino, formerly cardinals, and their supporters, adherents, accomplices and disciples -- who are schismatics and heretics and have worked madly to their own and others' ruin, aiming to split asunder the unity of holy mother church at the quasi-council held at Pisa, Milan, Lyons and elsewhere -- whatever the things were in number and kind that have been enacted, carried out, done, written, published or ordained up to the present day, including the imposition of taxes carried out by them throughout the kingdom of France, or shall be done in the future. Even though they are indeed null, useless and void and have already been condemned and rejected by us with the approval of the aforesaid sacred council, we nevertheless retain this present condemnation and rejection for the sake of greater precaution. We wish the meaning and characteristics of the things done, or to be done, to be considered as expressed herein word for word and not just by general clauses. We decree and declare them to be and to have been null, without purpose and void, of no force, efficacy, effect or importance.

We renew our letter dated 13 August 1512, at St Peter's, Rome, in the ninth year of our pontificate, by which, on the advice of the Dominicans, on account of the support, favours, sustenance and help notoriously provided to schismatics and heretics in the promotion of the said condemned and rejected quasicouncil of Pisa, by the king of France and not a few other prelates, officials, nobles and barons of the kingdom of France, we placed under ecclesiastical interdict the kingdom of France and particularly Lyons, excepting the duchy of Brittany, and we forbade the customary fairs of Lyons to be held in that city and we transferred them to the city of Geneva. We also renew the decrees, declarations, prohibitions and every clause contained in the letter, the said sacred council likewise having full information about them and giving its approval. As stated, we subject the aforesaid kingdom and its cities, lands, towns and any other territories to this interdict, and we transfer the fairs from Lyons to the said city of Geneva.

In order that this sacred Lateran council may be brought to a fruitful and beneficial conclusion, and that the many other serious matters due for treatment and discussion in the council may proceed to the praise of almighty God and the exaltation of the universal church, we declare, with the full approval of the said sacred council, that the fourth session of the continuing celebration of the council shall be held on the tenth day of the present month of December. Let nobody therefore ... If anyone however...

SESSION 4

10 December 1512

[The Pragmatic is revoked and the acts of the quasi-council of Pisa regarding the same are annulled1{Before this constitution, in the same session, there was also read out: A warning against the Pragmatic and its supporters}

Julius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, with the approval of the sacred council, for an everlasting record. Giving close attention by paternal and earnest consideration to the safety of the flock entrusted to us from above, to the reform of morals and the defence of the church's liberty, and to the peace and development of the catholic faith, we approve and renew, with the approval of this holy council, for the praise and glory of almighty God and the undivided Trinity, the letter recently issued by us, of which the same council is aware, by which we made a general reform of the Roman curia's officials and of their imposts. We ordered the letter to be made public by certain persons, who were afterwards designated, for the benefit of the faithful, and in accordance with our wishes. We now order it to be made public in detail by the said designated persons together with other prelates from various nations who are present in the aforesaid council and are to be appointed. Everything that can pervert human judgment is to cease, as is right and fitting. We order, moreover, that the declarations are to be referred to us in other sessions of this sacred council and are to be approved by the same council, in order that they may be duly carried out.

Moreover, for considerable periods of time there has been great disparagement of the apostolic see and of the head, the liberty and the authority of the holy Roman universal church, as well as a limitation of the sacred canons, by a number of prelates of the French nation and by noble laymen and others supporting them, especially under pretext of a certain sanction which they call the Pragmatic{2 This Pragmatic Sanction had been promulgated by king Charles VII of France at Bourges on 7 July 1438, with the aim of removing abuses in the church, see DThC 12/2 (1935) 2780-2786, DDrC 7 (1958) 109-113, and NCE 11 (1967) 662-663}. We do not wish to endure further a thing so pernicious and offensive to God, a clear cheapening of and damage to the said church. For it is only in those regions that the sanction, carried out by those lacking all lawful power for that end and without the authority of popes or legitimate general councils, has been introduced and observed by way of an abuse. It must be rightly, along with its contents, be declared null and void and be repealed. Louis XI, king of France, of distinguished memory, repealed this sanction, as is clearly contained in his letters patent already made. Therefore, with the approval of the same council, we commit to the meetings of our venerable brothers, cardinals of the aforesaid church, and of other prelates, which are to be held in the upper room of the Lateran, insofar as this is necessary, the business of the declaration and abrogation which we are to make, as well as the report that is to be made to us and the same sacred council concerning the matters discussed in the first and other sessions, insofar as this can conveniently be done. We determine and decree that the prelates of France, chapters of churches and monasteries, and laymen favouring them, of whatever rank they may be, even royal, who approve or falsely use the said sanction, together with each and every other person thinking, either individually or in a group, that this sanction is to his advantage, be warned and cited, within a definite adequate term to be established, by a public edict -- which is to be fixed on the doors of the churches of Milan, Asti and Pavia, since a safe approach to France is not available -- that they are to appear before us and the aforesaid council and declare the reasons why the said sanction and its corrupting effect and misuse in matters concerning the authority, dignity and unity of the Roman church and the apostolic see, and the violation of sacred canons and of ecclesiastical freedom, ought not to be declared and judged null and void and be abrogated, and why those so warned and cited should not be restrained and held as if they had been warned and cited in person. Moreover, with regard to each and all provisions and collations of ecclesiastical benefices, confirmations of elections and petitions, grants of concessions, mandates and indults, of whatever kind, concerning both favours and matters of justice or both together, of whatever sense they may be -- which things we wish to be regarded as clearly stated in the present letter -- which were made by the synagogue or quasi-council of Pisa and its schismatic adherents, lacking all authority and merit, though they are indeed null and void, yet, for greater caution, we decree, with the approval of the said sacred council, that they are null and of no effect, force or importance; and that each individual, of whatever rank, status, grade, nobility, order or condition, to whom they were granted, or to whose convenience, advantage or honour they pertain, are to give up their fruits, incomes and profits, or to arrange for this to be done, and they are bound to restore both these things and their benefices and to give up the other aforesaid concessions, and that unless they have really and completely given up the benefices themselves and the other things granted to them, within two months from the date of this present letter, they are automatically deprived of the other ecclesiastical benefices which they hold by lawful title. Moreover, we apply whatever has been or shall be obtained in the way of fruits, rents and profits of this kind, and money-taxes imposed by the said quasi-council, to the campaign which is to be conducted against the infidels.

In order that the declaration of reform, and of the nullity of the said sanction, as well as other business may be carried out in due season, and so that the prelates who are still to come to this sacred council (we have received news that some have already set out on their journey to attend) may be able to arrive without inconvenience, we declare, with the approval of the council, that the fifth session shall be held on 16 February, which will be Wednesday after the first Sunday of the coming Lent. Let nobody therefore ... If anyone however ...

SESSION 5

16 February 1513

[Bull renewing and confirming the Constitution against not committing the evil of simony when electing the Roman pontiff]

Julius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, with the approval of the sacred council, for an everlasting record. The supreme maker of things, the creator of heaven and earth, has willed by his ineffable providence that the Roman pontiff preside over the christian people in the chair of pastoral supremacy, so that he may govern the holy, Roman, universal church in sincerity of heart and deeds and may strive after the progress of all the faithful. We therefore regard it as suitable and salutary that, in the election of the said pontiff, in order that the faithful may look upon him as a mirror of purity and honesty, all stain and every trace of simony shall be absent, that men shall be raised up for this burdensome office who, having embarked in the appropriate manner and order in a due, right and canonical way, may undertake the steering of the barque of Peter and may be, once established in so lofty a dignity, a support for right and good people and a terror for evil people; that by their example, the rest of the faithful may receive instruction on good behaviour and be directed in the way of salvation, that the things which have been determined and established by us for this, in accordance with the magnitude and seriousness of the case, may be approved and renewed by the sacred general council; and that the things so approved and renewed may be communicated, so that the more frequently they are upheld by the said authority, the more strongly they shall endure and the more resolutely they shall be observed and defended against the manifold attacks of the devil. Formerly, indeed, for great and urgent reasons, as a result of important and mature discussion and deliberation with men of great learning and authority, including cardinals of the Roman church, excellent and very experienced persons, a document on the following lines was issued by us.

Inserted constitution

Julius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, for an everlasting record. From a consideration that the detestable crime of simony is forbidden by both divine and human law, particularly in spiritual matters, and that it is especially heinous and destructive for the whole church in the election of the Roman pontiff, the vicar of our lord Jesus Christ, we therefore, placed by God in charge of the government of the same universal church, despite being of little merit, desire, so far as we are able with God's help, to take effective measures for the future with regard to the aforesaid things, as we are bound to, in accordance with the necessity of such an important matter and the greatness of the danger. With the advice and unanimous consent of our brothers, cardinals of the holy Roman church, by means of this our constitution which will have permanent validity, we establish, ordain, decree and define, by apostolic authority and the fulness of our power, that if it happens (which may God avert in his mercy and goodness towards all), after God has released us or our successors from the government of the universal church, that by the efforts of the enemy of the human race and following the urge of ambition or greed, the election of the Roman pontiff is made or effected by the person who is elected, or by one or several members of the college of cardinals, giving their votes in a manner that in any way involves simony being committed -- by the gift, promise or receipt of money, goods of any sort, castles, offices, benefices, promises or obligations -- by the person elected or by one or several other persons, in any manner or form whatsoever, even if the election resulted in a majority of two-thirds or in the unanimous choice of all the cardinals, or even in a spontaneous agreement on the part of all, without a scrutiny being made, then not only is this election or choice itself null, and does not bestow on the person elected or chosen in this fashion any right of either spiritual or temporal administration, but also there can be alleged and presented, against the person elected or chosen in this manner, by any one of the cardinals who has taken part in the election, the charge of simony, as a true and unquestionable heresy, so that the one elected is not regarded by anyone as the Roman pontiff.

A further consequence is that the person elected in this manner is automatically deprived, without the need of any other declaration, of his cardinal's rank and of all other honours whatsoever as well as of cathedral churches, even metropolitan and patriarchical ones, monasteries, dignities and all other benefices and pensions of whatever kind which he was then holding by title or in commendam or otherwise; and that the elected person is to be regarded as, and is in fact, not a follower of the apostles but an apostate and, like Simon, a magicianl and a heresiarch, and perpetually debarred from each and all of the above-mentioned things. A simoniacal election of this kind is never at any time to be made valid by a subsequent enthronement or the passage of time, or even by the act of adoration or obedience of all the cardinals. It shall be lawful for each and all of the cardinals, even those who consented to the simoniacal election or promotion, even after the enthronement and adoration or obedience, as well as for all the clergy and the Roman people, together with those serving as prefects, castellans, captains and other officials at the Castel Sant' Angelo in Rome and any other strongholds of the Roman church, notwithstanding any submission or oath or pledge given, to withdraw without penalty and at any time from obedience and loyalty to the person so elected even if he has been enthroned (while they themselves, notwithstanding this, remain fully committed to the faith of the Roman church and to obedience towards a future Roman pontiff entering office in accordance with the canons) and to avoid him as a magician, a heathen, a publican and a heresiarch. To discomfort him still further, if he uses the pretext of the election to interfere in the government of the universal church, the cardinals who wish to oppose the aforesaid election can ask for the help of the secular arm against him.

Those who break off obedience to him are not to be subject to any penalties and censures for the said separation, as though they were tearing the Lord's garment . However, the cardinals who elected him by simoniacal means are to be dealt with without further declaration as deprived of their orders as well as of their titles and honour as cardinals and of any patriarchal, archiepiscopal, episcopal or other prelacies, dignities and benefices which at that time they held by title or in commendam, or in which or to which they now have some claim, unless they totally and effectively abandon him and unite themselves without pretence or trickery to the other cardinals who did not consent to this simony, within eight days after they receive the request from the other cardinals, in person if this shall be possible or otherwise by a public announcement. Then, if they have joined themselves in full union with the said other cardinals, they shall immediately stand reintegrated, restored, rehabilitated and re-established in their former state, honours and dignities, even of the cardinalate, and in the churches and benefices which they had charge of or held, and shall stand absolved from the stain of simony and from any ecclesiastical censures and penalties.

Intermediaries, brokers and bankers, whether clerical or lay, of whatever rank, quality or order they may have been, even patriarchal or archiepiscopal or episcopal, or enjoying other secular, worldly or ecclesiastical status, including spokesmen or envoys of any kings and princes, who had part in this simoniacal election, are by that very fact deprived of all their churches, benefices, prelacies and fiefs, and any other honours and possessions. They are debarred from anything of that kind and from making or benefiting from a will, and their property, like that of those condemned for treason, is immediately confiscated and allotted to the treasury of the apostolic see. if the aforesaid criminals are ecclesiastics or otherwise subjects of the Roman church. If they are not subjects of the Roman church, their goods and fiefs in regions under secular control are immediately allotted to the treasury of the secular ruler in whose territory the property is located; in such a way, however, that if within three months from the day on which it was known that they had committed simony, or had part in it, the rulers have not in fact allotted the said goods to their own treasury, then the goods are from that date considered as allotted to the treasury of the Roman church, and are immediately so considered without the need for any further pronouncement to the same effect.

Also not binding and invalid, and ineffectual for taking action, are promises and pledges or solemn engagements made at any time for that purpose, even if prior to the election in question and even if made in any way through persons other than the cardinals, with some strange solemnity and form, including those made under oath or conditionally or dependent upon the outcome, or in the form of agreed bonds under whatever inducement, whether it be a deposit, loan, exchange, acknowledged receipt, gift, pledge, sale, exchange or any other kind of contract, even in the fuller form of the apostolic camera. Nobody can be bound or under pressure by the strength of these in a court of justice or elsewhere, and all may lawfully withdraw from them without penalty or any fear or stigma of perjury.

Moreover, cardinals who have been involved in such a simoniacal election, and have abandoned the person thus elected, may join with the other cardinals, even those who consented to the simoniacal election but later joined with the cardinals who did not commit the said simony, if the latter are willing to join with them. If these cardinals are not willing, they may freely and canonically proceed without them in another place to the election of another pope without waiting for another formal declaration to the effect that the election was simoniacal, though there always remains in force our same current constitution. They may announce and call together a general council in a suitable place as they shall judge expedient, notwithstanding constitutions and apostolic orders, especially that of pope Alexander III, of happy memory, which begins Licet de evitanda discordia, and those of other Roman pontiffs, our predecessors, including those issued in general councils, and any other things to the contrary that Impose restraint.

Finally, each and every one of the cardinals of the holy Roman church in office at the time, and their sacred college, are under pain of immediate excommunication, which they automatically incur and from which they cannot be absolved except by the canonically elected Roman pontiff, except when in immediate danger of death, not to dare, during a vacancy in the apostolic see, to contravene the aforesaid, or to legislate, dispose or ordain or to act or attempt anything in any way, under whatever alleged pretext or excuse, contrary to the aforesaid things or to any one of them. From this moment we decree it to be invalid and worthless if there should happen to be, by anyone knowingly or unknowingly, even by us, an attack on these or any one of the foregoing regulations. So that the meaning of this our present constitution, decree, statute, regulation and limitation may be brought to the notice of everyone, it is our will that our present letter be affixed to the doors of the basilica of the prince of the apostles and of the chancellery and in a corner of the Campo dei Fiori, and that no other formality for the publication of this letter be required or expected, but the aforesaid public display suffices for its solemn publication and perpetual force. Let nobody therefore . . . If anyone however . . Given at Rome at St Peter's on 14 January 1505/6, in the third year of our pontificate.

[. . .] As we ponder how heavy is the burden and how damaging the loss to the vicars of Christ on earth that counterfeit elections would be, and how great the hurt they could bring to the christian religion, especially in these very difficult times when the whole christian religion is being disturbed in a variety of ways, we wish to set obstacles to the tricks and traps of Satan and to human presumption and ambition, so far as it is permitted to us, so that the aforesaid letter shall be better observed the more clearly it is established that it has been approved and renewed by the mature and healthy discussion of the said sacred council, by which it has been decreed and ordained, though it does not need any other approval for its permanence and validity. For a more ample safeguard, and to remove all excuse for guile and malice on the part of evil thinkers and those striving to overthrow so sound a constitution, with a view to the letter being observed with greater determination and being more difficult to remove, to the extent that it is defended by the approval of so many of the fathers, we therefore, with the approval of this Lateran council and with the authority and fullness of power stated above, confirm and renew the said letter together with every statute, regulation, decree, definition, penalty, restraint, and all the other and individual clauses contained in it; we order it to be maintained and observed without change or breach and to preserve the authority of an unchanging firmness; and we decree and declare that cardinals, mediators, spokesmen, envoys and others listed in the said letter are and shall be bound to the observance of the said letter and of each and every point expressed in it, under pain of the censures and penalties and other things contained in it, in accordance with its meaning and form; notwithstanding apostolic constitutions and ordinances, as well as all those things which we wished not to prevent in the said letter, and other things of any kind to the contrary. Let nobody therefore ... If anyone however . . .{1 At this session other measures against the Pragmatic Sanction were also recorded, especially Julius II's constitution Inter alia (Msi 32, 772-773).}

SESSION 6

27 April 1513

[Safeconduct for those who wish and ought to come to the council, for their coming, residence, exchange of views and return journey]

Leo, bishop, servant of the servants of God, with the approval of the sacred council, for an everlasting record. By the supreme ordinance of the omnipotent who governs the things of heaven and of earth by his providence, we preside over his holy and universal church, though we are unworthy. Instructed by the saving and most holy teaching of the doctor of the gentiles, we direct our chief attention, among the many anxieties from which we unceasingly suffer distress, towards those things in particular by means of which unending unity and unsullied charity may abide in the church; the flock committed to us may go forward along the right courses towards the way of salvation, and the name of Christians and the sign of the most sacred cross, in which the faithful have been saved, may be more widely spread, after the infidels have been expelled with the help of God's right hand.

Indeed, after the holding of five sessions of the sacred general Lateran council, pope Julius II of happy memory, our predecessor, by the advice and agreement of our venerable brothers the cardinals of the holy Roman church, of whose number we then were, in a praiseworthy and lawful manner and for sound reasons, guided by the holy Spirit, summoned the sixth session of the council to take place on the eleventh day of this month. But after he had been taken from our midst, we postponed the sixth session until today, with the advice and consent of our said brothers, for reasons which were then expressed and for other reasons influencing the attitude of us and of our said brothers. But since there had always been an inner determination within us, while we were of lesser rank, to see the general council being celebrated (as a principal means of cultivating the Lord's field), now that we have been raised to the highest point of the apostolate, considering that a duty which results from the office of pastoral care enjoined on us has coincided with our honourable and beneficial wish, we have undertaken this matter with a more earnest desire and complete readiness of mind. Consequently, with the approval of the same sacred Lateran council we approve the postponement which we made and the council itself, until the aims for which it was summoned have been completed, in particular that a general and settled peace may be arranged between christian princes and rulers after the violence of wars has been stilled and armed conflict set aside. We intend to apply and direct all our efforts to this peace, with untiring care and leaving nothing untried for so salutary a good. We declare that it is and shall be our unchangeable attitude and intention that, after those things which affect the praise of God and the exaltation of the aforesaid church and the harmony of Christ's faithful have been achieved, the holy and necessary campaign against the enemies of the catholic faith may be carried out and may achieve (with the favour of the most High) a triumphant outcome.

In order, however, that those who ought to attend so very useful a council may not be held back in any way from coming, we hereby grant and concede, with the approval of the said sacred council, to each and every one of those summoned to the council by the said Julius, our predecessor, or who ought to take part, by right or custom, in the meetings of general councils, especially those of the French nation, and to those schismatics and others who are coming to the said Lateran council by common or special right, on account of a declaration or apostolic letter of our predecessors or of the apostolic see (except, of course, those under prohibition), and to the attendants and associates of those who come, of whatever status, rank, condition or nobility they may be, ecclesiastical or secular, for themselves and all their belongings, a free, guaranteed and fully comprehensive safeconduct, for coming by land or sea through the states, territories and places that are subject to the said Roman church, to this Lateran council in Rome, and of residing in the city and freely exchanging views, and of leaving it as often as they wish, with complete, unrestricted and total security and with a true and unchallengeable papal guarantee, notwithstanding any impositions of ecclesiastical or secular censures and penalties which may have been promulgated in general against them, for whatever reasons, by law or by the aforesaid see, under any forms of words or clauses, and which they may in general have incurred. By our letters we shall encourage, warn, and request each and every christian king, prince and ruler that, out of reverence for almighty God and the apostolic see, they are not to molest or cause to be molested directly or indirectly, in any way in their persons or goods, those on their way to this sacred Lateran council, but they are to allow them to come in freedom, security and peace.

In addition, for the carrying out of the celebration of this council, we declare that the seventh session shall be held on 23 May next. Let nobody therefore . . . If anyone however...

SESSION 7

17 June 1513

The constitution Meditatio cordis nostri1 {Msi 32, 815-818}, postponing the eighth session to 16 November, is read out and approved.]

SESSION 8

19 December 1513

[Condemnation of every proposition contrary to the truth of the enlightened christian faith]

Leo, bishop, servant of the servants of God, with the approval of the sacred council, for an everlasting record. The burden of apostolic government ever drives us on so that, for the weaknesses of souls requiring to be healed, of which the almighty Creator from on high has willed us to have the care, and for those ills in particular which are now seen to be pressing most urgently on the faithful, we may exercise, like the Samaritan in the gospel, the task of healing with oil and wine, lest that rebuke of Jeremiah may be cast at us: Is there no balm in Gilead, is there no physician there? Consequently, since in our days (which we endure with sorrow) the sower of cockle, the ancient enemy of the human race, has dared to scatter and multiply in the Lord's field some extremely pernicious errors, which have always been rejected by the faithful, especially on the nature of the rational soul, with the claim that it is mortal, or only one among all human beings, and since some, playing the philosopher without due care, assert that this proposition is true at least according to philosophy, it is our desire to apply suitable remedies against this infection and, with the approval of the sacred council, we condemn and reject all those who insist that the intellectual soul is mortal, or that it is only one among all human beings, and those who suggest doubts on this topic. For the soul not only truly exists of itself and essentially as the form of the human body, as is said in the canon of our predecessor of happy memory, pope Clement V, promulgated in the general council of Vienne, but it is also immortal; and further, for the enormous number of bodies into which it is infused individually, it can and ought to be and is multiplied. This is clearly established from the gospel when the Lord says, They cannot kill the soul; and in another place, Whoever hates his life in this world, will keep it for eternal life and when he promises eternal rewards and eternal punishments to those who will be judged according to the merits of their life; otherwise, the incarnation and other mysteries of Christ would be of no benefit to us, nor would resurrection be something to look forward to, and the saints and the just would be (as the Apostle says) the most miserable of all people.

And since truth cannot contradict truth, we define that every statement contrary to the enlightened truth of the faith is totally false and we strictly forbid teaching otherwise to be permitted. We decree that all those who cling to erroneous statements of this kind, thus sowing heresies which are wholly condemned, should be avoided in every way and punished as detestable and odious heretics and infidels who are undermining the catholic faith. Moreover we strictly enjoin on each and every philosopher who teaches publicly in the universities or elsewhere, that when they explain or address to their audience the principles or conclusions of philosophers, where these are known to deviate from the true faith -- as in the assertion of the soul's mortality or of there being only one soul or of the eternity of the world and other topics of this kind -- they are obliged to devote their every effort to clarify for their listeners the truth of the christian religion, to teach it by convincing arguments, so far as this is possible, and to apply themselves to the full extent of their energies to refuting and disposing of the philosophers' opposing arguments, since all the solutions are available.

But it does not suffice occasionally to clip the roots of the brambles, if the ground is not dug deeply so as to check them beginning again to multiply, and if there are not removed their seeds and root causes from which they grow so easily. That is why, since the prolonged study of human philosophy -- which God has made empty and foolish, as the Apostle says, when that study lacks the flavouring of divine wisdom and the light of revealed truth -- sometimes leads to error rather than to the discovery of the truth, we ordain and rule by this salutary constitution, in order to suppress all occasions of falling into error with respect to the matters referred to above, that from this time onwards none of those in sacred orders, whether religious or seculars or others so committed, when they follow courses in universities or other public institutions, may devote themselves to the study of philosophy or poetry for longer than five years after the study of grammar and dialectic, without their giving some time to the study of theology or pontifical law. Once these five years are past, if someone wishes to sweat over such studies, he may do so only if at the same time, or in some other way, he actively devotes himself to theology or the sacred canons; so that the Lord's priests may find the means, in these holy and useful occupations, for cleansing and healing the infected sources of philosophy and poetry.

We command, in virtue of holy obedience, that these canons are to be published each year, at the beginning of the course, by the local ordinaries and rectors of universities where institutes of general studies flourish. Let nobody therefore ... If anyone however...

[On arranging peace between christian princes and on bringing back the Bohemians who reject the faith]

Leo, bishop, servant of the servants of God, with the approval of the sacred council, for an everlasting record. We are continuing the sacred Lateran council for the praise of the almighty and undivided Trinity and for the glory of him whose place we represent on earth, who develops peace and harmony in his high heavens, and who, on his departure from this world, left peace as a lawful inheritance to his disciples. For, in the previous seventh session, the council was confronting, among other matters, the threatening and very obvious danger from the infidels and the spilling of christian blood, which even then was being poured out because of our blatant faults. The quarrels between christian kings and princes and peoples must also be removed. and we were being compelled to seek with all our strength for peace between them. This was the reason for having to arrange one of the more important meetings of the said council: so that peace should follow and be maintained as unbroken and leading to its due fulfilment, especially in these times when the power of the infidels is recognised to have grown to a remarkable extent. Therefore, with the approval of the same council, we have arranged and decided to send to the aforesaid kings, princes and rulers alert legates and envoys of peace, who are outstanding in learning, experience and goodness, with a view to negotiating and arranging peace. And, in order that these men may lay aside their arms, we have called upon their spokesmen who are present at the council, insofar as we were able to do with God's help, to devote all their energy and strength, out of reverence for the apostolic see and the union of the faithful, to giving notice of these matters to their kings, princes and rulers. These are invited, in our name, to negotiate and listen with good will and honour to the apostolic legates themselves, and to act in favour of our just and holy desires which are to be set before them by these messengers.

We were persuading ourself that they will do this, in order that our legates may be able to take up the task of the embassy as quickly as possible and manfully complete the undertaking, and so that, by the favour of the Father of lights (from whom comes every best gift) peace can be negotiated and arranged and, once this has been settled, the holy and necessary expedition against the frenzy of the infidels, panting to have their fill of christian blood, can take place and be brought to a favourable conclusion for the safety and peace of the whole of Christianity. After this we were hoping from the depths of our heart, because of our pastoral office, for peace and union within the whole christian people and in particular among the same kings, rulers and princes from whose discord it was feared that prolonged and serious damage could daily affect the christian state. A hope began to rise that the christian state would be cared for in a useful and salutary way by this peace and unity, because of the authority of these men. We dispatched our messengers and letters to the aforesaid kings, princes and rulers -- at that time in disunion with each other -- for them to be exhorted, requested and warned. We omitted nothing (so far as lay in our power) to arrange and produce by our every effort that, once discord and disagreement of any kind had been removed, they would wish eventually to return, in complete agreement, grace and love, to universal peace, harmony and union. In this way, further losses would not be inflicted on Christians from the hands of the savage ruler of the Turks or from other infidels, but there would be a rallying of forces to crush the terrible fury and the boastful endeavours of those peoples.

In that situation, as we strive with all thought, care, effort and zeal for everything to be brought to the desired end, and with confidence in the gift of God, we have decreed that legates with a special mission from us -- who will be cardinals of the holy Roman church and who are soon to be named by us, on the advice of our brothers, in our secret consistory -- shall be appointed and sent with authority and with the necessary and appropriate faculties, as messengers of peace, for the arranging, negotiating and settling of this universal peace among Christians, for the embarking upon an expedition against the infidels, with the approval of this sacred council, and for inducing the said kings, out of generosity of soul befitting their rank and out of devotion towards the catholic faith, to move with ready and eager minds towards the holy tasks of both peace and the expedition, for the total and perfect protection, defence and safety of the entire christian state.

In addition, since very great offence is given to God from the prolonged and manifold heresy of the Bohemians, and scandal is caused to the christian people, the charge of bringing back these people to the light and harmony of the true faith has been wholly entrusted by us for the immediate future to our dear son, Thomas of Esztergom, cardinal-priest of the title of St Martin in the Hills, as legate of ourself and the apostolic see to Hungary and Bohemia. We exhort these people in the Lord not to neglect to dispatch some of their spokesmen, with an adequate mandate, either to us and this sacred Lateran council or to the same Thomas, cardinal-legate, who will be nearer to them. The purpose will be to exchange views with regard to an appropriate remedy by which they may recognise the errors to which they have long been in thrall and may be led back, with God's guidance, to the true practice of religion and into the bosom of holy mother church. With the approval of the sacred council, by the tenor of the present letter, we grant and bestow on them, by the faith of a pontiff, a public guarantee and a free safe-conduct as to their coming, going, remaining for as long as the negotiation of the aforesaid matters shall last, and afterwards for departing and returning to their own territories; and we shall consent to their wishes so far as we can under God.

So that this sacred Lateran council may be brought to the completion of the fruitful benefit desired, since many other serious subjects remain to be discussed and debated for the praise of God and the triumph of his church, we declare with the approval of the sacred council, that the ninth session of the continuing celebration of this sacred Lateran council shall be held on 5 April 1514, in the first year of our pontificate, which will be Wednesday after Passion Sunday. Let nobody therefore ... If anyone however...

[Bull on reform]

Leo, bishop, servant of the servants of God, with the approval of the sacred council, for an everlasting record. Placed by the gift of divine grace at the supreme point of the apostolic hierarchy, we thought nothing was more in keeping with our official duty than to survey, with zeal and care, everything which could pertain to the protection, soundness and extension of the catholic flock entrusted to us. To this purpose we have applied all the force of our activity and the strength of our mind and talent. Our predecessor of happy memory, pope Julius II, since he was concerned about the well-being of the faithful and anxious to protect it, had summoned the ecumenical Lateran council for many other reasons indeed, but also because a constant complaint was being pressed concerning the officials of the Roman curia. For these reasons there were appointed a number of committees composed of his venerable brothers, the cardinals of the holy Roman church, of whose number we were then, and also of prelates, to investigate carefully into these complaints. In order that those attached to the curia and others approaching it for favours would not in the meantime be tormented by the excessive burden of expenses and that, at the same time, the ill-repute by which the said officials were deeply disturbed might be appeased by a speedy remedy, he issued a bull of reform by which they were bound anew, under a heavy penalty, to keep the legal terms of their offices. Because death intervened, he was unable to legislate in particular about the excesses or to complete the council.

We, as the successor of the concern no less than of the office, right at the beginning of our pontificate, did not delay to resume the synod, to promote peace between christian princes and no less, since it is our intention to complete a universal reform, to strengthen by new aids what was first provided by our predecessor concerning the curial offices, and to follow this through with the expanded committees. For no more pressing anxiety weighs on us than that the thorns and brambles be pulled up from the Lord's field, and if there is anything hindering its cultivation, it is to be removed root and branch. Therefore, after a careful report had been received from the committees, with notice of what was being side-tracked by which persons, we restored to the norm whatever had deviated either from a sound and praiseworthy custom or from a long-standing institution. We gathered these together into one bull of reform published on this matter with the approval of the sacred council;{This bull Pastoralis officii was published on 13 Dec. 1513, but it was never submitted to a vote of the fathers} and we appointed to execute it those who would insist on the decisions being kept. With the approval of this sacred council, we order this to be observed without alteration and without deceit by the officials themselves as well as by others, according as it affects each, under penalty of immediate excommunication from which they can only be absolved by the Roman pontiff (except in immediate danger of death), in such a way that, in addition to this and other penalties stated in detail in the bull, those acting against it are automatically suspended for six months from the office in which they committed the fault. And if they have failed for a second time in the same office, they are deprived for ever because they have contaminated the office itself. After they have been brought back to good conduct by means of our constitution, and the general damage has been checked and removed, we shall proceed to the remaining stages of the reform.

If the Almighty in his mercy allows us to settle peace among the christian leaders, we shall press on not only to destroy completely the bad seeds, but also to expand the territories of Christ, and, supported by these achievements, we shall go forward, with God favouring his own purposes, to the most holy expedition against the infidels, the desire for which is deeply fixed in our heart .

Let nobody therefore ... If anyone however...

SESSION 9

5 May 1514

[The pope urges christian rulers to make peace among themselves so that an expedition against the enemies of the christian faith may be possible]

Leo, bishop, servant of the servants of God, with the approval of the sacred council, for an everlasting record. After we had been called by divine dispensation to the care and rule of the universal church, even though we are unworthy of so great a responsibility, we began from the highest point of the apostolate, as from the top of Mount Sion, to turn our immediate gaze and direct our mind to the things that seem to be of primary importance for the salvation, peace and extension of the church itself. When we focused all our care, thought and zeal in this direction, like an experienced and watchful shepherd, we found nothing more serious or dangerous to the christian state and more opposed to our holy desire than the fierce madness of armed conflicts. For, as a result of them, Italy has been almost wiped out by internecine slaughter, cities and territories have been disfigured, partly overturned and partly levelled, provinces and kingdoms have been stricken, and people cease not to act with madness and to welter in christian blood. Hence we have judged that nothing should be given more importance, consideration and attention than the quelling of these wars and the re-ordering of ecclesiastical discipline in accordance with resources and circumstances, so that with God appeased by a change of life, after quarrels have been set aside, we may be able to bring together and gather into one the Lord's flock entrusted to our care, and to encourage and arouse this flock more readily, in a union of peace and harmony, as by a very strong binding force, against the common enemies of the christian faith who are now threatening it .

This our intense desire for this campaign against the evil and implacable enemies of the cross of Christ is indeed so implanted in our heart that we determined to continue and follow up the sacred Lateran council -- which was summoned and begun by our predecessor of happy memory, Julius II, and interrupted by his death -- for that special reason, as is clear from all the different sessions held by us in the same council. Thus, with the christian princes or their spokesmen assembled at the same council, and prelates from different parts of the world coming to it, once peace between these christian princes had been settled and (as is right) the noxious brambles of heresies had been first uprooted from the Lord's field, then the things necessary for the campaign against the same enemies, and what concerns the glory and triumph of the orthodox faith, and various other matters, could be happily decided upon by the timely advice and agreement of all.

Although many distinguished men, outstanding in every branch of learning, came from different parts of Europe to this council, which had been solemnly summoned and duly proclaimed, many also, legitimately hindered, sent their instructions in official form. However, because of the difficulties from wars and circumstances as a result of which many territories have been blocked by hostile arms for a long time, the resources and large numbers which we desired could not be assembled. Moreover, that we have not as yet sent the specially appointed legates to kings and princes to promote union and peace between the same rulers -- something that perhaps seems necessary to many and that we too think is especially opportune -- cannot be attributed to us. The reason, of course, why we refrained from doing so is this: nearly all the princes made it known by letters and messages to us, that the sending of legates was not at all necessary or expedient. Nevertheless, we sent men of discretion and proved loyalty, endowed with the rank of bishop, as our envoys to those very princes who were undertaking serious armed activity among themselves and, as far as could be guessed, rather bitter wars. It has come about, especially by the action of these envoys, that truces have been agreed between some of the princes and the rest are thought to be on the point of giving their consent. Therefore we shall not put off sending the special legates, as we decided in the last session, whenever this is necessary and profitable for the setting up of a stable and lasting peace among them, and as we previously proposed. In the meantime, we shall not cease to act and reflect on what is relevant to the situation, with the spokesmen of the same princes who are negotiating with us, and to press on and exhort them and their princes to this action by means of our envoys and letters.

Oh that the almighty and merciful God would assist from on high our plans for peace and our constant thoughts, would regard the faithful people with more benevolent and favourable eyes and, for the sake of common safety and peace and for the suppression of the haughty madness of the wicked enemies of the christian name, would give a propitious hearing to their devout prayers ! By our apostolic authority, we enjoin on each and every primate, patriarch and archbishop, on chapters of cathedral and collegiate churches, both secular and those belonging to any of the religious orders, on colleges and convents, on leaders of peoples, deans, rectors of churches and others who have charge of souls, and on preachers, alms-collectors and those who expound the word of God to the people, and we order in virtue of holy obedience, that within the celebration of masses, during the time that the word of God is being set before the people or outside that time, and in prayers which they will say in chapter or as convents, or at some other time in any kind of gathering, they are to keep the following special collects for the peace of Christians and for the confounding of the infidels respectively: O God, from whom holy desires, and, O God, in whose hands are all power and authority over kingdoms, look to the help of Christians. And they are no less to enjoin on members of their dioceses and on any other persons of either sex, whether ecclesiastical or secular, over whom they have authority by reason of a prelature or any other ecclesiastical position of authority, and to encourage in the Lord those to whom God's word is proposed on their own or another's responsibility, that they should pour forth in private devout prayers to God himself and to his most glorious mother, in the Lord's prayer and the Hail Mary, for the peace of Christians (as mentioned above) and for the complete destruction of the infidels.

Further, whoever of those mentioned above think that, by influence or favour with secular princes of any rank, distinction or dignity, or with their advisers, associates, attendants or officials, or with the magistrates, rectors and lieutenants of cities, towns, universities or any secular institutions, or with other persons of either sex, ecclesiastical or secular, they can take steps towards a universal or particular peace between princes, rulers and christian peoples, and towards the campaign against the infidels, let them use strong encouragement and lead them on to this peace and the campaign. By the tender mercy of our God and the merit of the passion of his only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, we exhort all of them with all possible emotion of our heart, and we counsel them by the authority of the pastoral office which we exercise, to lay aside private and public enmities and to turn to embracing the endeavour for peace and deciding on the aforesaid campaign.

We strictly forbid each and every prelate, prince or individual, whether ecclesiastical or secular, of whatever state, rank, dignity, pre-eminence or condition they may be, under threat of the divine judgment, to presume to introduce in any way, directly or indirectly, openly or secretly, any obstacle to the said peace which is to be negotiated by us or by our agents, whether legates or envoys of the apostolic see endowed (as said before) with the episcopal rank, for the defence of the christian state of the faithful. Those who, in working towards this peace, think that there is involved something of a private or a public nature that is of importance to their princes, cities or states, the care for whom or which pertains to them because of some office or public function should, as far as it will be possible in the Lord, with due moderation and calm take control of the matter inasmuch as it involves support and goodwill towards the coming peace. Indeed, those who wish to rouse the faithful by Christ's spiritual gifts, when these are duly contrite and absolved, and to pour out devout prayers for obtaining peace and for deciding on the expedition, so that the said peace and the campaign against the said enemies of the christian faith may be brought about and be secured from God himself, will devote worthwhile and well-considered efforts as often as they do this. These prayers, offered with devotion, should take place in masses, sermons and other divine services, in collegial, conventual and other public or communal prayers, and among princes, advisers, officials, governors and other persons named above who seem to have some influence in making or arranging the peace and in deciding (as said before) on the campaign against the enemies of the unconquered cross.

Trusting in the mercy of God and the authority of his blessed apostles Peter and Paul, we grant remission of one hundred days of imposed penances to those who, individually and in private, offer prayers to obtain the foregoing from God; seven times each day if they do it so often or, if fewer, as often as they shall do it; until the universal peace -- which is receiving our constant attention -between princes and peoples at present in armed dispute has been established, and the campaign against the infidels has been decreed with our approval. We lay an obligation on our venerable brothers, primates, patriarchs, archbishops and bishops, to whom the present letter or copies of it, accurately printed either in Rome or elsewhere, shall come under official seals, to have it published with all possible speed in their provinces and dioceses, and to give firm instructions for its due execution.

In the meantime, with the approval of the sacred council, we have decreed, as we proposed and desired with all our heart, the ecclesiastical reform of our curia and of our venerable brothers, the cardinals of the holy Roman church, and of others dwelling in Rome, and many other necessary things, which will be contained in our other letters due for publication in this same session. It was Julius, our predecessor, who summoned to this council all those who were accustomed to attend councils. He gave them a comprehensive safe-conduct so that they could make the journey and arrive safely and unharmed. However, many prelates who ought to have come have so far not arrived, perhaps because of the obstacles already stated. In our desire to go ahead with the more serious business due in the next session, we appeal to in the Lord, and we ask and counsel by the tender mercy of the same, prelates, kings, dukes, marquises, counts and others who usually come or send someone to a general council, but who have not yet provided spokesmen or legitimate instructions, to decide with all possible speed either to come in person or to send chosen and competent envoys, with valid instructions, to this sacred Lateran council which is so beneficial to the christian state.

With regard to those venerable brethren, patriarchs, archbishops, bishops, abbots and prelates - especially those bound under oath to visit the place of the apostles Peter and Paul at certain fixed times, and to attend in person general councils which have been summoned, including those under that obligation at the time of their promotion -- whose obstinacy as being non-attenders at various sessions became a matter of frequent accusation by the sponsor of the same council, there is to be found in solemn form both a petition for proceedings against them and a statement of the censures and penalties incurred. This is notwithstanding any privileges, concessions and indults that were granted confirmed or renewed by us or our said predecessors in favour of them and their churches, monasteries and benefices. These we annul and invalidate through our certain knowledge and fullness of power, considering them to be fully stated here. We impose in virtue of holy obedience, and we strictly command under the penalties of excommunication and perjury and others derived from law or custom, and in particular from the letter which summoned and proclaimed the said Lateran council and was promulgated by our predecessor, Julius himself that they must attend in person the said Lateran council and remain in Rome until it has reached its conclusion and been terminated by our authority, unless they are prevented by some legitimate excuse. And if (as we said) they have somehow been prevented, they are to send their suitably qualified representatives with a full mandate on the matters that will have to be treated, dealt with and advised upon.

In order to remove completely all excuse and leave no pretext of any impediment to anyone who is obliged to attend, in addition to the public guarantee which was clearly granted at the summoning of this council to all coming to it we give, concede and grant, acting on the advice and power mentioned above with the same council's approval, to each and all who have been accustomed to be present at the meetings of general councils and are coming to the present Lateran council, as well as to members of their personal staff, of whatever status rank, order and condition or nobility they may be, ecclesiastical and secular, a free, safe and secure safe-conduct and, by apostolic authority in the meaning of the present letter, full protection in all its aspects, for themselves and for all their possessions of any kind as they pass through cities, territories and places, by sea and land, which are subject to the said Roman church, for the journey to the Lateran council in Rome, for remaining in the city of freedom, for exchanging views according to their opinions, for departing therefrom as often as they may wish and also after four months from the conclusion and dispersal of the said council; and we promise to give readily other safe-conducts and guarantees to those desiring to have them. Each and all of these visitors we shall deal with and welcome with kindness and charity.

Under the threat of the divine majesty and of our displeasure, and of the penalties against those impeding the holding of councils, particularly the said Lateran council, which are contained and set down in law or in the letter of the aforesaid summons of our predecessor, we are instructing each and all secular princes, of whatever exalted rank they may be, including imperial, royal, queenly, ducal or any other, the governors of cities, and citizens governing or ruling their states, to grant to the prelates and others coming to the said Lateran council a free permission and licence, a safe-conduct for coming and returning, and a free and unharmed transit through the dominions, lands and property of theirs through which the said persons must pass together with their equipment, possessions and horses; all exceptions and excuses being completely set aside and without force.

In addition we order and command, under pain of our displeasure and of other penalties which can be inflicted at our will, each and all of our people who bear arms, both infantry and cavalry, their commanders and captains, the castellans of our fortresses, the legates, governors, rulers, lieutenants, authorities, officials and vassals of the cities and territories that are subject to the said Roman church, and any others of whatever rank, status, condition or distinction they may be, to give permission, and to be responsible for the giving of permission, to those coming to the Lateran council, to pass through in freedom, safety and security, to stay, and to return, so that such a holy, praiseworthy and very necessary council may not be frustrated for any reason or pretext, and that those coming to it may be able to live in peace and calm and without restraint and to say and develop under the same conditions the things which concern the honour of almighty God and the standing of the whole church. This we enjoin notwithstanding any constitutions, apostolic ordinances, imperial laws or municipal statutes and customs (even those reinforced by oath and apostolic confirmation or by any other authority) which could modify in any respect or impede in any way the said safe-conduct and guarantee, even if the constitutions etc. were of such a kind that an individual, precise, clear and distinct form of speech, or some other clearly stated expression, should be employed regarding them, and not just general clauses which only imply the matter, for we consider the significance of all the above things to be clearly stated by the present letter, as if they had been included word for word. Let nobody therefore . . . If anyone however . . .

[Bull on reform of the curia]

Leo, bishop, servant of the servants of God, with the approval of the sacred council, for an everlasting record. It is eminently fitting for the Roman pontiff to carry out the duty of a provident shepherd, in order to care for and keep safe the Lord's flock entrusted to him by God, since, by the will of the supreme ordinance by which the things of heaven and of earth are arranged by ineffable providence, he acts on the lofty throne of St Peter as vicar on earth of Christ, the only-begotten Son of God. When we notice, out of solicitude for our said pastoral office, that church discipline and the pattern of a sound and upright life are worsening, disappearing and going further astray from the right path throughout almost all the ranks of Christ's faithful, with a disregard for law and with exemption from punishment, as a result of the troubles of the times and the malice of human beings, it must be feared that, unless checked by a well-guided improvement, there will be a daily falling into a variety of faults under the security of sin and soon, with the appearance of public scandals, a complete breakdown. We desire, then, as far as it is permitted to us from on high, to check the evils from becoming too strong, to restore a great many things to their earlier observance of the sacred canons, to create with God's help an improvement in keeping with the established practice of the holy fathers, and to give -- with the approval of the sacred Lateran council initiated for that reason, among others, by our predecessor of happy memory, pope Julius II, and continued by us -healthy guidance to all these matters.

In order to make a start, we take up the points which for the present seem more appropriate and which, having often been neglected during particular generations, have brought great loss to the christian religion and produced very great scandals in the church of God. We have therefore decided to begin with preferment to ecclesiastical dignities. Our predecessor of devout memory, pope Alexander III, also in a Lateran council, decreed that age, a serious character and knowledge of letters are to be carefully examined in the preferment of individuals to bishoprics and abbacies. Moreover, nothing impedes the church of God more than when unworthy prelates are accepted for the government of churches. Therefore, in the preferment of prelates, the Roman pontiffs must give much attention to the matter, especially because they will have to give an account to God at the last judgment about those given preferment by them to churches and monasteries. Consequently, we rule and establish that henceforward, in accordance with the constitution of the aforesaid Alexander III, for vacant churches and monasteries of patriarchal, metropolitan and cathedral status, the person provided is to be of mature age, learning and serious character, as said above, and the provision is not to be made at someone's urging, by means of recommendation, direction or enforcement, or in any other way, unless it has seemed right to act differently on the grounds of advantage to the churches, prudence, nobility, uprightness, experience, lengthy contact with the curia (together with adequate learning), or service to the apostolic see. We wish the same to be observed regarding the persons elected and chosen in elections and choices that have customarily been admitted by the apostolic see. But if the question arises of providing for churches and monasteries of this kind with persons of less than thirty years of age, there can be no dispensation for them to be in charge of churches before their twenty-seventh year of age or of monasteries before their twenty-second year.

Indeed, so that suitable persons may be advanced with greater exactness and care, we rule that the cardinal to whom the reporting on an election, appointment or provision to a church or monastery has been entrusted, ought, before he gives an account in the sacred consistory (as the custom is) of his carrying out of such an examination or report assigned to him, to make his report known to one of the older cardinals of each grade, personally in the actual consistory, or, if there was no consistory on the day appointed for him to give his account, then by means of his secretary or some other member of his personal staff, and the three older cardinals in question are bound to communicate the report as soon as possible to the other cardinals of their grade. The said cardinal making the report shall personally examine the business of the election, administration, appointment or promotion in summary and extra-judicial fashion. If any have spoken against it, he is obliged to call, after the objectors have been summoned, competent, responsible and trustworthy witnesses and, if it should be necessary or appropriate, others by virtue of office. He is bound to bring with him to the consistory, on the day the report has to be made, the stages and decisions of the report together with the statements of the witnesses, and he shall not give his report in any form until the person to be promoted, if he is at the curia, shall have first visited the majority of the cardinals in order that they may be able to learn at first hand, insofar as it is relevant to his character, what they shall soon learn from the report of their colleague. Moreover, the person promoted is obliged, by longstanding practice and laudable custom, to visit as soon as possible the same cardinals who are then in the curia. This practice and praiseworthy custom, indeed, we renew and command to be kept without change.

Since it is right to maintain episcopal dignity unharmed, and for it to be protected from indiscriminate exposure to the attacks of wicked persons and to the false charges of accusers, we decree that no bishop or abbot may be deprived of his rank when anyone urges a charge or presses demands (unless the opportunity for a legitimate defence is afforded to him), even if the charges have been widely known and, after the parties have been attentively heard, the case has been fully proved; nor may any prelate be transferred against his will, except for other just and efficacious reasons and causes, in accordance with the terms and decree of the council of Constance.

Also, as a result of commendams for monasteries, the monasteries themselves (as experience, a practical mistress, has quite often taught) are seriously damaged in spiritual and temporal matters because their buildings fall into decay, partly through the negligence of the commendatories and partly through greed or lack of interest, divine worship is gradually reduced, and matter for contempt is generally offered especially to secular persons, not without a lessening of the standing of the apostolic see, from which commendams of this kind originate. In order that sounder measures may be taken to secure these monasteries from damage, we will and decree that when vacancies occur through the death of the abbot in charge, they cannot be given in commendam to anyone by any agreement unless it seems right to us to decide otherwise, in accordance with the actual circumstances and with the advice of our brothers, so as to protect the authority of the apostolic see and to oppose the evil designs of those attacking it .

But let such monasteries be provided with competent persons, in keeping with the above-mentioned constitution, so that suitable abbots will have charge of them (as is fitting). Such monasteries may be given in commendam, when the original commendam no longer exists on account of the resignation or death of the commendatory, only to cardinals and to qualified and well-deserving persons; and in such a way that the commendatories of the monasteries, whatever their dignity, honour and high rank may be, even if they enjoy the status and dignity of a cardinal, are obliged, if they have meals in private, apart from the common table, to assign a quarter of their board for the renewal of the fabric, or for the purchase or repair of furnishings, clothings and adornment, or for the maintenance or sustenance of the poor, as the greater need demands or suggests . If, however, they share board completely, a third part of all the resources of the said monastery committed to the commendatory must be assigned, after all other imposts have been deducted, to the above-mentioned burdens and to the sustenance of the monks. Moreover, letters which are drawn up regarding such commendams to monasteries ought to contain a clause specifically stating this. If they are drawn up in some other form, they are of no worth or value .

Since it is fitting for such churches to be provided for without any loss of revenues, in such a way that both the honour of those in charge and the need of the churches and buildings are considered, we decree and rule that pensions may never be reserved from the incomes of these churches except on account of a resignation or for some other reason which has been considered credible and honourable in our secret consistory. We also rule that henceforth parochial churches, major and principal dignities and other ecclesiastical benefices whose rents, revenues and produce by ordinary reckoning do not amount to an annual value of two hundred golden ducats of the treasury, and also hospitals, leperhouses and hostels of any importance which have been set up for the use and provisioning of the poor, shall not be given in commendam to cardinals of the holy Roman church, or conferred on them by any other title, unless they have become vacant by the death of a member of their household. In the latter case they can be given in commendam to cardinals, but these are bound to dispose of them within six months for the benefit of such persons as are suitable and in good relations with them. We do not wish, however, to prejudge the cardinals further with respect to benefices to which they may have a reserve claim .

We also ordain that members of churches, monasteries or military orders may not be detached or separated from their head -- which is absurd -- without legitimate and reasonable cause. Perpetual unions, apart from cases permitted by law or on some reasonable grounds, are not permitted at all. Dispensations for more than two incompatible benefices are not to be granted, except for great and pressing reasons or to qualified persons according to the form of common law . We set a limit of two years on persons of whatever rank who obtain more than four parish churches and their perpetual vicarages, or major and principal dignities, even if by way of union or commendam for life. They are bound to release the rest, only four being retained in the meantime. Such benefices, due for release, can be resigned into the hands of the ordinaries so that they may be provided with persons nominated by them; notwithstanding any reservations, even those of a general nature or resulting from the quality of the persons resigning. Once the period of two years is past, all the benefices that have not been disposed of may be reckoned as vacant and may freely be applied for as vacant. Those who hold on to them incur the penalties of the constitution Execrabilis of our memorable predecessor, pope John XXII. We also rule that special reservations of any benefice are in no way to be granted at the urging of anyone .

On cardinals

Since the cardinals of the holy Roman church take precedence in honour and dignity over all the other members of the church after the sovereign pontiff, it is proper and right that they be distinguished beyond all others by the purity of their life and the excellence of their virtues. On that account, we not only exhort and advise them but also decree and order that henceforth each of the cardinals following the teaching of the Apostle, so live a sober, chaste and godly life that he shines out before people as one who abstains not merely from evil but from every appearance of evil . In the first place, let him honour God by his works . Let all of them be vigilant, constant at the divine office and the celebration of masses, and maintain their chapels in a worthy place, as they were wont to do .

Their house and establishment, table and furniture, should not attract blame by display or splendour or superfluous equipment or in any other way, so as to avoid any fostering of sin or excess, but, as is right, let them deserve to be called mirrors of moderation and frugality. Therefore, let them find satisfaction in what contributes to priestly modesty; let them act with kindness and respect both in public and in private, towards prelates and other distinguished persons who come to the Roman curia; and let them undertake with grace and generosity the business committed to them by ourself and our successors .

Moreover, let them not employ bishops or prelates in demeaning tasks in their houses, so that those who have been appointed to give direction to others and who have been clad in a sacred character, will not lower themselves to menial chores and generally bring about a lack of respect for the pastoral office . Consequently, let them treat with honour as brothers, and as befits their state of life, those whom they have or will have in their houses. Since the cardinals assist the Roman pontiff, the common father of all Christians, it is very improper for them to be patrons of or special pleaders for individuals. We have therefore decided, lest they adopt partiality of any kind, that they are not to set up as promoters or defenders of princes or communities or of any other persons against anyone, except to the extent that justice and equity demands and the dignity and rank of such people requires. Rather, separated from all private interest, let them be available and engage with all diligence in calming and settling any disputes. Let them promote with due piety the maintenance of the just business of princes and all other persons, especially the poor and religious, and let them offer help in accordance with their resources and their official responsibility to those who are oppressed and unjustly burdened .

They are to visit at least once a year -- in person if they have been present in the curia, and by a suitable deputy if they have been absent -- the places of their titular basilica. They are, with due care, to keep themselves informed about the clergy and people of the churches subject to their basilica; they are to keep under review the divine worship and the properties of the said churches; above all, let them examine with care the lives of the clergy and their parishioners, and with a father's affection encourage one and all to live an upright and honourable life . For the development of divine worship and the salvation of his own soul, each cardinal should give to his basilica during his lifetime, or bequeath at the time of his death, a sufficient amount for the suitable sustenance there of one priest; or, if the basilica needs repairs or some other form of aid, let him leave or donate as much as he may in conscience decide. It is entirely unfitting to pass over persons related to them by blood or by marriage, especially if they are deserving and need help. To come to their assistance is just and praiseworthy. But we do not consider that it is appropriate to heap on them a great number of benefices or church revenues, with the result that an uncontrolled generosity in these matters may bring wrong to others and may cause scandal. Consequently we have determined that they are not to squander thoughtlessly the goods of the churches, but are to apply them in works of devotion and piety, for which great and rich returns have been assigned and ordained by the holy fathers .

It is also our wish that they take care, without making any excuse, of the churches entrusted to them in commendam, whether these be cathedrals, abbeys, priories, or any other eeclesiastical benefices that they take measures, with all personal effect, to see that the cathedrals are duly served by the appointment of worthy and competent vicars or suffragans, according to what has been customary, with an appropriate and adequate salary; and that they provide for the other churches and monasteries held by them in commendam with the right number of clerics or chaplains, whether religious or monks, for the adequate and praiseworthy service of God. Let them also maintain in proper condition the buildings, properties and rights of any kind, and repair what has crumbled, in accordance with the duty of good prelates and commendatories . We also judge that the said cardinals are to use great discretion and careful foresight with regard to the number of their personal attendants and horses lest by having a greater number than their resources, situation and dignity permit, they can be accused of the vice of over-display and extravagance. Let them not be accounted greedy and squalid on the grounds that they enjoy great and plentiful revenues and yet offer sustenance to very few; for the house of a cardinal ought to be an open lodging, a harbour and refuge for upright and learned persons, especially men, for nobles who are now poor and for honourable persons. Hence let them be prudent about the manner and quantity of what has to be kept, and carefully check the character of their personal attendants, lest they themselves incur from the vices of others the shameful stain of dishonour and provide real opportunities for contradictions and false accusations .

Since very special provision must be made that our deeds be approved not only before God, whom we ought to please in the first place, but also before peoplel so that we can offer to others an example to be imitated, we ordain that every cardinal show himself an excellent ruler and overseer of his house and personal staff, with regard to both what is open for all to see and what lies hidden within . Therefore let each of them have the priests and deacons clad in respectable garments, and make careful provision that no one in his household who holds a benefice of any type, or is in holy orders, wears multi-coloured clothes or a garment that has little connection with ecclesiastical status. Those in the priesthood, therefore, ought to wear clothes of colours which are not forbidden to clerics by law and are of at least ankle length. Those who hold high office in cathedrals, canons of the said cathedrals those holding the chief posts in colleges, and chaplains of cardinals when celebrating masses, are obliged to wear a head-covering in public. Shield-bearers are permitted garments somewhat shorter than ankle-length. Grooms, because they are generally moving about and perform a somewhat burdensome service, can use shorter and more suitable garments, even if they happen to be clerics, so long as they are not ordained priests; but in such a way that they do not cast aside decency and they so conduct themselves that their behaviour is in keeping with their position in the church . Other clerics are to do everything with due proportion and restraint. Both clerics holding benefices and those in holy orders are not to pay special attention to their hair and beards, nor to possess mules or horses with trappings and ornaments of velvet or silk, but for articles of this kind let them use ordinary cloth or leather .

If anyone of the aforesaid staff acts otherwise, or wears such forbidden garments after three months from the announcement of the present regulations, despite being given a legitimate warning, he incurs excommunication. If he has not corrected himself within a further three months, he is understood to be suspended from receiving the fruits of the benefices which he holds. And if he remains fixed in this obstinacy for another six months, after a similar legal warning, he is to be deprived of all the benefices which he holds, and he is to be considered as so deprived. The benefices thus made vacant may be freely sought from the apostolic see. We wish each and every one of these arrangements to apply to the households of ourself and any future Roman pontiffs, and likewise to all other beneficed clerics or persons in holy orders, even those in the curia . There is one single exception: the said attendants of ourself and future Roman pontiffs may wear red garments, in keeping with what is proper and usual for the papal dignity .

Since the care of the most important business is the special concern of cardinals, it is for them to use their ability to know which regions have been infected by heresies, errors and superstitions opposed to the true orthodox faith; where the ecclesiastical discipline of the Lord's commandments is lacking; and which kings and princes or peoples are being troubled, or fear to be troubled, by wars. Cardinals shall apply themselves to obtain information on these and similar matters and make a report to us or the current Roman pontiff so that, by earnest effort, opportune and saving remedies for such evils and afflictions can be thought out. Since by frequent, almost daily, experience it is known that many evils quite often occur to provinces and cities on account of the absence of their own officially appointed legates, and various scandals are springing up which are not without disadvantages to the apostolic see, we decree and ordain that cardinals who are in charge of provinces or cities, under the title of legates, may not administer them through lieutenants or officials, but they are obliged to be present in person for the greater part of the time, and to rule and govern them with all vigilance. Those who now hold the title of legate, or will hold it for a time, are obliged to go to their provinces -- within three months from the date of the present proclamation if the provinces are in Italy, and within five months if they are outside Italy -- and to reside there for the greater part of the time, unless, by a command from us or our successors, they are held back in the Roman curia for some business of greater moment or are sent to other places as needs demand. In the latter cases, let them have in the said provinces and cities vice-legates, auditors, lieutenants and the other usual officials with due arrangements and salaries. Anyone who does not observe each and all of the above regulations is to be deprived of all the emoluments of his post as legate. These regulations were formulated and established long ago with this object: that the ready presence of the legates would be beneficial to the peoples; not that, being free from toils and cares, under cover of being the legate, they would fix their attention only on profit .

Since the duty of a cardinal is primarily concerned with regular assistance to the Roman pontiff and the business matters of the apostolic see, we have decided that all cardinals shall reside at the Roman curia, and those who are absent are to return within six months if they are in Italy, or within a year from the day of promulgation of this present constitution if they are outside Italy. If they do not they are to lose the fruits of their benefices and the emoluments of all their offices; and they lose completely, as long as they arc absent, all privileges granted in general and in particular to cardinals. Those cardinals are excepted, however, who happen to be absent by reason of a duty imposed by the apostolic see, or of a command or permission from the Roman pontiff, or from reasonable fear or any other motive which justifiably excuses, or for health reasons . Moreover, the privileges, indults and immunities granted to the said cardinals and contained or declared in our bull under the date of our coronation1{Bull Licat Romani pontificis,9 April 1513; see Regesta Leonis X no. 14} remain in full force. We have also decided that the funeral expenses of cardinals, when all costs are included, ought not to exceed the total of 1,500 florins, unless the previous arrangement of the executors -- after just grounds and reasons have been set out -- has reckoned that more should be spent. The funeral rites and formal mourning are to be on the first and ninth days; within the octave, however, masses may be celebrated as usual .

Out of reverence towards the apostolic see, for the advantage and honour of the pontiff and the cardinals, in order that the possibility of scandals which could come to light may be removed and a greater freedom of votes in the holy senate may exist, and that, as is right, it may be lawful for each cardinal to say freely and without penalty whatever he feels before God and his own conscience, we lay down that no cardinal may reveal in writing or by word or in any other way, under pain of being a perjurer and disobedient, the votes that were given in the consistory, or whatever was done or said there which could result in hatred or scandal or prejudice with regard to anyone, or whenever silence on any point beyond the foregoing has been specially and clearly enjoined by ourself or the Roman pontiff of the time. If anyone acts to the contrary he incurs, as well as the punishments stated, immediate excommunication from which, except in immediate danger of death, he can only be absolved by ourself or the Roman pontiff of the time, and with a declaration of the reason .

Reforms of the curia and of other things

Since every generation inclines to evil from its youth, and for it to grow accustomed from tender years towards good is the result of work and purpose we rule and order that those in charge of schools, and those who teach young children and youths, ought not only to instruct them in grammar, rhetoric and similar subjects but also to teach those matters which concern religion, such as God's commandments, the articles of the faith, sacred hymns and psalms, and the lives of the saints. On feast days they should limit themselves to teaching what has reference to religion and good habits, and they are obliged to instruct, encourage and compel their pupils in these matters insofar as they can. Thus, let them attend churches not only for masses, but also to listen to vespers and the divine offices, and let them encourage the hearing of instructions and sermons . Let them not teach anything to their pupils that is contrary to good morals or may lead to a lack of reverence .

To wipe out the curse of blasphemy, which has increased beyond measure towards a supreme contempt for the divine name and for the saints, we rule and ordain that whoever curses God openly and publicly and, by insulting and offensive language, has expressly blasphemed our lord Jesus Christ or the glorious virgin Mary, his mother, if he has held a public office or jurisdiction, he is to lose three months' emoluments of his said office for the first and second offence, and if he has committed the fault a third time, he is automatically deprived of his post. If he is a cleric or a priest, he is to be punished further as follows for being found guilty of such a fault: for the first time he blasphemed, he is to lose the fruits of whatever benefices he held for one year; for the second time he offended and was convicted, he is to be deprived of his benefice if he held only one, and if he held several then he is to be compelled to lose the one that his ordinary decides upon; if he is charged and convicted for a third time, he is automatically deprived of all the benefices and dignities that he holds, he is rendered incapable of holding them any longer, and they can be freely asked for and allotted to others. A lay person who blasphemes, if he is a noble, is to be fined a penalty of twenty-five ducats; for the second offence the fine is fifty ducats, which are to be applied to the fabric of the basilica of the prince of the apostles in Rome; for other offences he is to be punished as set out below; for a third fault, however, he is to lose his noble status. If he is of no rank and a plebian, he is to be cast into prison. If he has been caught committing blasphemy in public more than twice, he is to be compelled to stand for a whole day in front of the entrance of the principal church, wearing a hood signifying his infamy; but if he has fallen several times into the same fault, he is to be condemned to permanent imprisonment or to the galleys, at the decision of the appointed judge. In the forum of conscience, however, nobody guilty of blasphemy can be absolved without a heavy penance imposed by the decision of a strict confessor . We wish those who blaspheme against the other saints to be punished somewhat more lightly, at the decision of a judge who will take account of individuals .

We also decree that secular judges who have not taken action against such convicted blasphemers and have not imposed rightful penalties on them, insofar as they are able to, are to be subjected to the same penalties as if they had been involved in the said crime. But those who have exercised care and severity in their examinations and punishments, will gain for each occasion an indulgence of ten years and may keep a third of the fine imposed. Any persons who have heard the blasphemer are obliged to rebuke him sharply in words, if it should happen that this can be done without danger to themselves, and they are obliged to report the same or bring it to the knowledge of an ecclesiastical or secular judge within three days. But if several persons have at the same time heard the said blasphemer committing the fault, each one is obliged to make an accusation against him, unless perhaps they all agree that one will perform the task for all . We urge and counsel in the Lord all the said persons, in virtue of holy obedience, that they command and ensure, for the reverence and honour of the divine name, that all the foregoing are kept and very exactly carried out in their lordships and lands. Thus they will have from God himself an abundant reward for such a good and pious deed, and they too will obtain from the apostolic see an indulgence of ten years, and a third of the fine by which the blasphemer is punished, as often as they have taken the trouble to have such a crime punished . It is likewise our will that this indulgence and the remaining third of the fine imposed be granted and assigned to the person reporting the name of the blasphemer. Moreover, other penalties set down in the sacred canons against such blasphemers remain in force .

In order that clerics, especially, may live in continence and chastity according to canonical legislation, we rule that offenders be severely punished as the canons lay down. If anyone, lay or cleric, has been found guilty of a charge on account of which the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience, let him be punished by the penalties respectively imposed by the sacred canons or by civil law. Those involved in concubinage, whether they be lay or cleric, are to be punished by the penalties of the same canons. Concubinage is not to be allowed by the tolerance of superiors, or as an evil custom of a great number of sinners, which should rather be called a corruption, or under any other excuse; but let those involved be punished severely in accordance with the judgment of the law .

Moreover, for the good and peaceful government of cities and all places subject to the Roman church, we renew the constitutions published some time ago by Giles, the well-remembered bishop of Sabina, and we enjoin and command that they be kept without alteration .

So that the stain and disease of abominable simony may be driven out for ever not only from the Roman curia but also from all christian rule, we renew the constitutions issued by our predecessors, also in sacred councils, against simoniacs of this kind, and we prescribe that they be observed unaltered. We wish the penalties they contain to be regarded as clearly stated and included herein, and the offenders to be punished by our authority .

We rule and order that anyone who holds a benefice with or without the care of souls, if he has not recited the divine office after six months from the date of his obtaining the benefice, and any legitimate impediment has come to an end may not receive the revenues of his benefices, on account of his omission and the length of time, but he is bound to spend them, as being unjustly received, on the fabric of the benefices or on alms to the poor. If he obstinately remains in such negligence beyond the said period, after a legitimate warning has been given, let him be deprived of the benefice, since it is for the sake of the office that the benefice is granted. He is to be understood as neglecting the office, so that he can be deprived of his benefice, if he fails to recite it at least twice during fifteen days . However, in addition to what has just been said, he will be obliged to offer to God an explanation for the said omission. The penalty on those holding several benefices may be repeated as often as they are proved to act contrary to these obligations .

The full disposal and administration of the revenues of cathedral and metropolitan churches, monasteries and any other ecclesiastical benefices belong exclusively to us and the Roman pontiff of the time, and to those who legally and canonically hold churches, monasteries and benefices of this kind. Secular princes ought in no way to interpose themselves in the said churches, monasteries and benefices, since all divine law also forbids it. For these reasons we rule and command that the fruits and revenues of churches, monasteries and benefices ought not to be sequestrated, held or detained in any way by any secular rulers, even if they be the emperor, kings, queens, republics or other powers, or by their officials, or by judges, even ecclesiastical ones, or by any other persons public or private, acting at the command of the said emperor, kings, queens princes, republics or powers. Those who hold such churches, monasteries and benefices ought not to be impeded -- under the pretext of the restoration of the fabric (unless permission is expressly given by the Roman pontiff of the time) or of alms-giving or under any other guise or pretence -- so that they cannot freely and without restriction, as before, dispose of the fruits and revenues. If there have been sequestrations, seizures or retentions, then restoration of the fruits and revenues must be made totally, freely, and without exception or delay, to the prelates to whom they pertain by right and by law. If they have been scattered and can nowhere be found, it is our will, supported by the penalty of excommunication or ecclesiastical interdict to be automatically incurred by the lands and domain of the ruler, that, after a just estimate has been made about them, the said prelates receive satisfaction through those who carried out the said sequestrations, applications or dispersals or who gave orders for them to be carried out; and further, that their goods and the goods of those subject to them, wherever these may be found, may be seized and held if, after being warned, they refuse to obey. Those who act in a contrary manner do so under pain of both the penalties mentioned above and those of deprivation of the fiefs and privileges which they have obtained for a time from us and from the Roman or other churches, and of those issued against violators and oppressors of ecclesiastical liberties, including those in extraordinary and other constitutions, even if they are unknown and perhaps not now in actual use. We renew all these penalties as stated and included herein, we decree and declare that they have perpetual force- and we will and order that sentence, judgment and interpretation are to be given according to them by all judges, even cardinals of the holy Roman church, with all power of judging and declaring otherwise being removed and taken away from them .

Since no power over ecclesiastical persons is granted to lay people by either divine or human law, we renew the constitution of pope Boniface VIII, our predecessor of happy memory, which begins Felicis, and that of pope Clement V which begins Si quis suadente, and also any other apostolic ordinance, however issued, in favour of ecclesiastical freedom and against its violators . Moreover, the penalties against those who dare to do such things, contained in the bull In coena Domini3, are to remain in force. It has similarly been forbidden in the Lateran and general councils, under penalty of excommunication, for kings, princes, dukes, counts, barons, republics and any other authorities exercising control over kingdoms, provinces, cities and territories, to impose and exact money contributions, tithes and other similar imposts on or from clerics, prelates and any other persons of the church, or even to receive them from those who freely offer them and give their consent. Those who openly or covertly provide help, favour or advice in the aforesaid matters automatically incur the penalty of immediate excommunication; and states, communities and universities which are at fault in any way on this point are by this very fact to be subject to ecclesiastical interdict. Prelates also, who have given consent to the foregoing without the clear permission of the Roman pontiff, automatically incur the penalty of excommunication and removal from office. For these reasons we decree and ordain that henceforth those who attempt such things, even if (as mentioned) they are qualified, in addition to the aforesaid penalties which we renew and wish them to incur by the very fact of their contravention, are to be regarded as incapable of all legal acts and as intestable .

Sorcery, by means of enchantments, divinations, superstitions and the invoking of demons, is prohibited by both civil laws and the sanctions of the sacred canons. We rule, decree and ordain that clerics who are found guilty of these things are to be branded with disgrace at the judgment of superiors. If they do not desist, they are to be demoted, forced into a monastery for a period of time that is to be fixed by the will of the superior, and deprived of their benefices and ecclesiastical offices. Lay men and women, however, are to be subject to excommunication and the other penalties of both civil and canon law. All false Christians and those with evil sentiments towards the faith, of whatever race or nation they may be, as well as heretics and those stained with some taint of heresy, or Judaizers, are to be totally excluded from the company of Christ's faithful and expelled from any position, especially from the Roman curia, and punished with an appropriate penalty. For these reasons we rule that proceedings are to be taken against them, with careful enquiry everywhere and particularly in the said curia, by means of judges appointed by us, and that those accused and rightly convicted of these offences are to be punished with fitting penalties; and we wish that those who have relapsed are to be dealt with without any hope of pardon or forgiveness .

Since these constitutions and ordinances which we are now establishing concern life, morals and ecclesiastical discipline, it is fitting that our own and other officials, both those in the Roman curia and those everywhere else, should be models of and bound to them, and it is our will and decision that they be held to their observance by an inviolable bond. Lest these constitutions seem at any point to detract from other censures and penalties imposed by ancient laws and constitutions against those acting otherwise, even though they have been thought out and issued as a development, we further declare that nothing whatever has been taken away from common law or from other decrees of Roman pontiffs by these regulations and ordinances. Indeed, if any parts of them have lost their force through the evil corruption of times, places and people, or through abuse, or for any other unapprovable reason, we here and now renew and confirm them and order them to be observed without alteration . We decree and declare that these our well-pondered constitutions are to be of binding force from two months after publication, and we strictly forbid anyone to presume to make glosses or commentaries or interpretations on them without special permission from us or the apostolic see. Anyone who rashly dares to oppose this, incurs the penalty of immediate excommunication by this very act . Let nobody therefore ... If anyone however.. .

Ecumenical Church Councils

Definition and Classification
Overview

1. Council of Nicaea (325)
2. First Council of Constantinople (381)
3. Council of Ephesus (431)
4. Council of Chalcedon (451)
5. Second Council of Constantinople (553)
6. Third Council of Constantinople (680-681)
7. Second Council of Nicaea (787)
8. Fourth Council of Constantinople (869)
9. First Lateran Council (1123)
10. Second Lateran Council (1139)
11. Third Lateran Council (1179)
12. Fourth Lateran Council (1215)
13. First Council of Lyons (1245)
14. Second Council of Lyons (1274)
15. Council of Vienne in France (1311-1313)
16. Council of Constance (1414-1418)
17. Council of Basel (1431)
18. Fifth Lateran Council, 1512 to 1517
19. Council of Trent, (1545-1563)
20. First Vatican Council, 1869-70
21. Second Vatican Council, 1962-65

Ecumenical Patriarchate


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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