Monday, September 5, 2016

My Latest for OSV's "The Catholic Answer Magazine"

Although Matthew Bunson has left TCA as editor (now he's with National Catholic Register), I hope to maintain a good relationship with the new editor. Doctor Bunson had accepted this article for publication last year: "What Is a Papal Bull? Understanding differences in papal decrees and documents" and so it appears as a feature in the September/October issue. As usual with these articles, I do betray my interest in the English Reformation as in this list of papal bulls through the centuries:

Because these documents have been issued since the sixth century, there are hundreds of papal bulls in the archives of the Vatican Library. Many of the papal bulls from the medieval era, for example, proclaim that the Jewish people are not to be blamed for the death of Jesus and that they must be protected by civil authorities. Other epoch-making papal bulls include:

• Pope Clement VI’s 1342 bull declaring the Franciscan order as the custodian of the Holy Land sites in the name of the Catholic Church (which it still is today).

• Pope Pius IV’s Benedictus Deus, which ratified all the decrees of the Council of Trent in 1564.

Pope St. Pius V’s Regnans in Excelsis (“Reigning on High”) in 1570, declaring Elizabeth I of England a heretic and releasing her subjects from loyalty to her reign.

• Pope Gregory XIII’s reform of the Julian calendar in 1582, establishing the Gregorian calendar, which many Protestant countries in Europe did not adopt since it was proclaimed by the pope.

• Several bulls concerning the Society of Jesus, approving it (Pope Paul III in 1540), suppressing it (Pope Clement XIV in 1773), re-establishing it (Pope Pius VII in 1814) and reaffirming its papal privileges (Pope Leo XIII in 1880).

Pope Pius IX’s Universalis Ecclesiae, re-establishing the Catholic hierarchy in England (1850).

Read the rest there.

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