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Author Topic: THE BULL OF INNOCENT VIII  (Read 4177 times)
Vandaler
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« on: February 04, 2006, 09:11:PM »

In a previous thread, I have opened a subject that deserves explanation. Namely the role that may have played the Bull, "Summis desiderantes affectibus", in expanding witch hunts.

 

You can read the Bull here.

 

In a Nutshell, all the Bull says is this

Quote from: Wikipedia
It condemned an alleged outbreak of witchcraft and heresy in the region of the Rhine River valley (Germany), and deputized Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger, authors of the Malleus maleficarum, as inquisitors to root out alleged witchcraft in Germany.

Now, this Bull is pointed to by some as being responsible for many hardships and the witch hunts of the 15th to 17th century.

 

In reality,  Malleus maleficarum seem to be the real culprit. and was writen a few years after the Bull. 

 

Quote from: Wikipedia
The Malleus Maleficarum ("The Hammer of Witches" or the "Hexenhammer") is considered by many to be the classic Roman Catholic text on witchcraft, although it was in fact condemned by the Inquisition in 1490, and never officially used by the Catholic Church. First published in 1487, the book is notorious for its use in the witchhunt craze of the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries.

 

Quote from: Catholic Encyclopedia: witchcraft entry
Indirectly, however, by specifying the evil practices charged against the witches — for example their intercourse with incubi and succubi, their interference with the parturition of women and animals, the damage they did to cattle and the fruits of the earth, their power and malice in the infliction of pain and disease, the hindrance caused to men in their conjugal relations, and the witches' repudiation of the faith of their baptism — the pope must no doubt be considered to affirm the reality of these alleged phenomena. But, as even Hansen points out (Zauberwahn, 468, n. 3) "it is perfectly obvious that the Bull pronounces no dogmatic decision"; neither does the form suggest that the pope wishes to bind anyone to believe more about the reality of witchcraft than is involved in the utterances of Holy Scripture. Probably the most disastrous episode was the publication a year or two later, by the same inquisitors, of the book "Malleus Maleficarum" (the hammer of witches). This work is divided into three parts, the first two of which deal with the reality of witchcraft as established by the Bible, etc., as well as its nature and horrors and the manner of dealing with it, while the third lays down practical rules for procedure whether the trial be conducted in an ecclesiastical or a secular court. There can be no doubt that the book, owing to its reproduction by the printing press, exercised great influence. It contained, indeed, nothing that was new. The "Formicaris" of John Nider, which had been written nearly fifty years earlier, exhibits just as intimate a knowledge of the supposed phenomena of sorcery. But the "Malleus" professed (in part fraudulently) to have been approved by the University of Cologne, and it was sensational in the stigma it attached to witchcraft as a worse crime than heresy and in its notable animus against the female sex. The subject at once began to attract attention even in the world of letters. Ulrich Molitoris a year or two later published a work, "De Lamiis", which, though disagreeing with the more extravagant of the representations made in the "Malleus", did not question the existence of witches. Other divines and popular preachers joined in the discussion, and, though many voices were raised on the side of common sense, the publicity thus given to these matters inflamed the popular imagination. Certainly the immediate effects of Innocent VIII's Bull have been greatly exaggerated. Institoris started a witch campaign at Innsbruck in 1485, but here his procedure was severely criticised and resisted by the Bishop of Brixen (see Janssen, "Hist. of Germ. People", Eng. tr., XVI, 249-251). So far as the papal inquisitors were concerned, the Bull, especially in Germany, heralded the close rather than the commencement of their activity. The witch-trials of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were for the most part in secular hands.

 

If you wish to get a taste for the state of mind prevailling back then, you can read the integrality of THE
MALLEUS MALEFICARUM right here: http://www.malleusmaleficarum.org/index.html

 

I hope this helps clear up some misconceptions I would have involontarely spawned.

 

 

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Reese
Member

Posts: 986


« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2006, 09:52:PM »

It seems the link to one of your articles is also confusing with this one HERE
It appears to be a book brought to the internet via Wiccans that was supposedly written in 1486 that supposedly served as a guidebook for Inquisitors during the Inquisition.  I glanced through the bibliography and there seems to be some confusion as to its origins, but the index page seems to point to the Catholic Church as its author.

From the original article you posted HERE, was this little snippet:

"In 1484, Pope Innocent VIII issued a papal bull, which condemned to death all cats and their human companions."

Here is the Bull in question (Note the highlighted text at bottom of the Bull indicated the date it was signed matches the year in the above snippet and Catholic Encyclopedia's date for the Bull.)


THE MALLEUS MALEFICARUM wrote:

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    THE BULL OF INNOCENT VIII Innocent, Bishop, Servant of the servants of God, for an eternal remembrance.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    DESIRING with the most hearfelt anxiety, even as Our Apostleship requires, that the Catholic faith should especially in this Our day increase and flourish everywhere, and that all heretical depravity should be driven far from the frontiers and bournes of the Faithful, We very gladly proclaim and even restate those particular means and methods whereby Our pious desire may obtain its wished effect, since when all errors are uprooted by Our diligent avocation as by the hoe of a provident husbandman, a zeal for, and the regular observance of, Our holy Faith will be all the more strongly impressed upon the hearts of the faithful. It has indeed lately come to Our ears, not without afflicting Us with bitter sorrow, that in some parts of Northern Germany, as well as in the provinces, townships, territories, districts, and dioceses of Mainz, Cologne, Tréves, Salzburg, and Bremen, many persons of both sexes, unmindful of their own salvation and straying from the Catholic Faith, have abandoned themselves to devils, incubi and succubi, and by their incantations, spells, conjurations, and other accursed charms and crafts, enormities and horrid offences, have slain infants yet in the mother's womb, as also the offspring of cattle, have blasted the produce of the earth, the grapes of the vine, the fruits of the trees, nay, men and women, beasts of burthen, herd-beasts, as well as animals of other kinds, vineyards, orchards, meadows, pasture-land, corn, wheat, and all other cereals; these wretches furthermore afflict and torment men and women, beasts of burthen, herd-beasts, as well as animals of other kinds, with terrible and piteous pains and sore diseases, both internal and external; they hinder men from performing the sexual act and women from conceiving, whence husbands cannot know their wives nor wives receive their husbands; over and above this, they blasphemously renounce that Faith which is theirs by the Sacrament of Baptism, and at the instigation of the Enemy of Mankind they do not shrink from committing and perpetrating the foulest abominations and filthiest excesses to the deadly peril of their own souls, whereby they outrage the Divine Majesty and are a cause of scandal and danger to very many. And although Our dear sons Henry Kramer and James Sprenger, Professors of Theology, of the Order of Friars Preachers, have been by Letters Apostolic delegated as Inquisitors of these heretical pravities, and still are Inquisitors, the first in the aforesaid parts of Northern Germany, wherein are included those aforesaid townships, districts, dioceses, and other specified localities, and the second in certain territories which lie along the borders of the Rhine, nevertheless not a few clerics and lay folk of those countries, seeking too curiously to know more than concerns them, since in the aforesaid delegatory letters there is no express and specific mention by name of these provinces, townships, dioceses, and districts, and further since the two delegates themselves and the abominations they are to encounter are not designated in detailed and particular fashion, these persons are not ashamed to contend with the most unblushing effrontery that these enormities are not practised in these provinces, and consequently the aforesaid Inquisitors have no legal right to exercise their powers of inquisition in the provinces, townships, dioceses, districts, and territories, which have been rehearsed, and that the Inquisitors may not proceed to punish, imprison, and penalize criminals convicted of the heinous offences and many wickednesses which have been set forth. Accordingly in the aforesaid provinces, townships, dioceses, and districts, the abominations and enormities in question remain unpunished not without open danger to the souls of many and peril of eternal damnation.

    Wherefore We, as is Our duty, being wholly desirous of removing all hindrances and obstacles by which the good work of the Inquisitorsmay be let and tarded, (i.e., delayed) as also of applying potent remedies to prevent the disease of heresy and other turpitudes diffusing their poison to the destruction of many innocent souls, since Our zeal for the Faith especially incites us, lest that the provinces, townships, dioceses, districts, and territories of Germany, which We had specified, be deprived of the benefits of the Holy Office thereto assigned, by the tenor of these presents in virtue of Our Apostolic authority We decree and enjoin that the aforesaid Inquisitors be empowered to proceed to the just correction, imprisonment, and punishment of any persons, without let or hindrance, in every way as if the provinces, townships, dioceses, districts, territories, yea, even the persons and their crimes in this kind were named and particularly designated in Our letters. Moreover, for greater surety We extend these letters deputing this authority to cover all the aforesaid provinces, townships, dioceses, districts, territories, persons, and crimes newly rehearsed, and We grant permission to the aforesaid Inquisitors, to one separately or to both, as also to Our dear son John Gremper, priest of the diocese of Constance, Master of Arts, their notary, or to any other public notary, who shall be by them, or by one of them, temporarily delegated to those provinces, townships, dioceses, districts, and aforesaid territories, to proceed, according to the regulations of the Inquisition, against any persons of whatsoever rank and high estate, correcting, mulcting, imprisoning, punishing, as their crimes merit, those whom they have found guilty, the penalty being adapted to the offence. Moreover, they shall enjoy a full and perfect faculty of expounding and preaching the word of God to the faithful, so often as opportunity may offer and it may seem good to them, in each and every parish church of the said provinces, and they shall freely and lawfully perform any rites or execute any business which may appear advisable in the aforesaid cases. By Our supreme authority We grant them anew full and complete faculties.

    At the same time by Letters Apostolic We require Our venerable Brother, the Bishop of Strasburg (Albrecht von Bayern, 1478-1506 - ed.), that he himself shall announce, or by some other or others cause to be announced, the burthen if Our Bull, which he shall solemnly publish when and so often as he deems it necessary, or when he shall be requested so to do by the Inquisitors or by one of them. Nor shall he suffer them in disobedience to the tenor of these presents to be molested or hindered by any authority whatsoever, but he shall threaten all who endeavour to hinder or harass the Inquisitors, all who oppose them, all rebels, of whatsoever rank, estate, position, pre-eminence, dignity, or any condition they may be, or whatsoever privilege or exemption they may claim, with excommunication, suspension, interdict, and yet more terrible penalties, censures, and punishment, as may seem good to him, and that without any right of appeal, and if he will he may by Our authority aggravate and renew these penalties as often as he list, calling in, if so please him, the help of the secular arm.

    Non obstantibus . . . Let no man therefore . . . But if any dare to do so, which God forbid, let him know that upon him will fall the wrath of Almighty God, and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.

    Given at Rome, at S. Peter's, on the 9 December of the Year of the Incarnation of Our Lord one thousand four hundred and eighty-four, in the first year of Our Pontificate.


The Catholic Encyclopedia calls this Bull
"Summis desiderantes affectibus."  I could not find this Bull anywhere on the internet under that name, however I found it as it is titled above on an anti-war site of all places.  I did do a looksee at the Vatican site and also http://www.papalencyclicals.net/ and found nothing by Pope Innocent VIII, as well as a google but only came up with the above.  If anyone else has any information on this particular Bull which is also quoted in the above linked book, please chime in.  I'm very interested in knowing if the one I quoted is the correct one in question.  Also what is this book that Vandaler has linked to that claims to have started the "witch hunts?"    There is no mention of condemning "to death all cats and their human companions" in the Bull.  
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aka montreal_marisa

“Accept every pain and inconvenience that comes from Heaven. Thus you will attain perfection and sanctification.”
- St. Padre Pio
Vandaler
Guest
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2006, 10:18:PM »

I only posted the link to THE MALLEUS MALEFICARUM because it was  available on-line in it's integrality at that site... I didn't pay to  much attention to the motives behind the administrators.
 
  For the rest, I believe all the relevant info is posted.
 
  And at: There is no mention of condemning "to death all cats and their human companions"... I don't think it's worth to much a sweat to try and debunk that.  It's clearly not the case.
 
  It  may be true that angry mob of ignorants may have killed without trials  poor women mistaken for witches. But it's misguided to point at Gregory  VIII for this.
 
 
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orangemetal
Member

Posts: 505


« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2006, 04:02:PM »

hey does anyone notice how much witches sound like environmentalists!

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O My God, I believe in Thee, I love Thee, I hope in Thee and I adore Thee and i beg pardon for all those who do not believe in Thee, do not love Thee, do not hope in Thee and do not adore Thee.
DominusTecum
Guest
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2006, 04:33:PM »

We should all bear in mind that "witchcraft" is not just "medieval superstition" like the secular world makes it out to be today. "Witches," ie: women who practice black magick, have very real power, and a lot of that stuff is "for real." These days, it doesn't take the form of witchcraft so much as it does Satanic cults, but the exorcists are not busy for nothing. There is a lot of demonic oppression and even possession in the world today, we ought to take care not to minimize it, or fall into the modern error of denying it as "a fable."

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VoxClamantis
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2006, 04:36:PM »

Quote from: DominusTecum

We should all bear in mind that "witchcraft" is not just "medieval superstition" like the secular world makes it out to be today. "Witches," ie: women who practice black magick, have very real power, and a lot of that stuff is "for real." These days, it doesn't take the form of witchcraft so much as it does Satanic cults, but the exorcists are not busy for nothing. There is a lot of demonic oppression and even possession in the world today, we ought to take care not to minimize it, or fall into the modern error of denying it as "a fable."

 

It's not at all just women -- not at all. But spells and curses and such, which operate by the power of demons, should definitely be taken seriously. See the interview with the exorcist, Fr. Amorth: http://www.fisheaters.com/amorth.html

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VoxClamantis
Guest
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2006, 04:37:PM »

Quote from: DominusTecum

We should all bear in mind that "witchcraft" is not just "medieval superstition" like the secular world makes it out to be today. "Witches," ie: women who practice black magick, have very real power, and a lot of that stuff is "for real." These days, it doesn't take the form of witchcraft so much as it does Satanic cults, but the exorcists are not busy for nothing. There is a lot of demonic oppression and even possession in the world today, we ought to take care not to minimize it, or fall into the modern error of denying it as "a fable."

 

It's not at all just women -- not at all. But spells and curses and such, which operate by the power of demons, should definitely be taken seriously. See the interview with the exorcist, Fr. Amorth: http://www.fisheaters.com/amorth.html

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DominusTecum
Guest
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2006, 04:39:PM »

nooo, you misunderstood me. I know that women aren't the only ones who do it today, I was just defining that the term "witch" usually refers to a woman, and that in the medieval 'witch hunts," most (though probably not all, I don't really know) of the targets were women, undoubtedly some of whom were truly practitioners of black magic.

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orangemetal
Member

Posts: 505


« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2006, 06:07:PM »

Let's just listen to the Old Testament by which the Holy Ghost says "suffer not a wizard to live".

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O My God, I believe in Thee, I love Thee, I hope in Thee and I adore Thee and i beg pardon for all those who do not believe in Thee, do not love Thee, do not hope in Thee and do not adore Thee.
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