Tag Archives: Pope
Rome Reports: Benedict XVI ‘escapes’ to Castel Gandolfo to pray to Our Lady, and listen to classical music
Pope Eugene IV Against the Enslaving of Black Natives from the Canary Islands.
On January 13, 1435, Eugene IV issued from Florence this bull. Sent to Bishop Ferdinand, located at Rubicon on the island of Lanzarote, this bull condemned the enslavement of the black natives of the newly colonized Canary Islands off the coast of Africa. The Pope stated that after being converted to the faith or promised baptism, many of the inhabitants were taken from their homes and enslaved. The Bull is fairly short and is a good reference document.
“To our venerable brothers, peace and apostolic benediction, etcetera.
1. Not long ago, we learned from our brother Ferdinand, bishop at Rubicon and representative of the faithful who are residents of the Canary Islands, and from messengers sent by them to the Apostolic See, and from other trustworthy informers, the following facts: in the said islands—some called Lanzarote—and other nearby islands, the inhabitants, imitating the natural law alone, and not having known previously any sect of apostates or heretics, have a short time since been led into the Orthodox Catholic Faith with the aid of God’s mercy. Nevertheless, with the passage of time, it has happened that in some of the said islands, because of a lack of suitable governors and defenders to direct those who live there to a proper observance of the Faith in things spiritual and temporal, and to protect valiantly their property and goods, some Christians (we speak of this with sorrow), with fictitious reasoning and seizing and opportunity, have approached said islands by ship, and with armed forces taken captive and even carried off to lands overseas very many persons of both sexes, taking advantage of their simplicity. ”
4. And no less do We order and command all and each of the faithful of each sex, within the space of fifteen days of the publication of these letters in the place where they live, that they restore to their earlier liberty all and each person of either sex who were once residents of said Canary Islands, and made captives since the time of their capture, and who have been made subject to slavery. These people are to be totally and perpetually free, and are to be let go without the exaction or reception of money. If this is not done when the fifteen days have passed, they incur the sentence of excommunication by the act itself, from which they cannot be absolved, except at the point of death, even by the Holy See, or by any Spanish bishop, or by the aforementioned Ferdinand, unless they have first given freedom to these captive persons and restored their goods. We will that like sentence of excommunication be incurred by one and all who attempt to capture, sell, or subject to slavery, baptized residents of the Canary Islands, or those who are freely seeking Baptism, from which excommunication cannot be absolved except as was stated above.”
The date of this Bull, 1435, is very significant. Nearly 60 years before the Europeans were to find the New World, we already had the papal condemnation of slavery as soon as this crime was discovered in one of the first of the Portuguese geographical discoveries.
Eugene IV was clear in his intentions both to condemn the enslavement of the residents of the Canary Islands, and to demand correction of the injustice within 15 days. Those who did not restore the enslaved to their liberty in that time were to incur the sentence of excommunication ipso facto.
Pope Eugene was clearly intending to condemn the enslavement of the people of the Canaries and, in no uncertain terms, to inform the faithful that what was being condemned was what we would classify as gravely wrong. Thus, the unjust slavery that had begun in the newly found territories was condemned, condemned as soon as it was discovered, and condemned in the strongest of terms. The automatic Excommunication of Catholics from the Church upon all those who supported slavery and worked in any way to promote and foster slavery was very serious indeed. This is further evidence why the War for Southern Independence was not based on Slavery and one of the smaller issues for the Confederacy.
In the 1800’s the majority of people and society as a whole were God fearing, God loving, folks and took Excommunication from the Catholic Church as a grave matter. The fact that every Southern Bishop stood with the Confederacy, the fact that there were over 20 Catholic Generals and thousands of Officers and soldiers in the CSA and many other items of evidence, shows that from the Southern perspective slavery was a small piece of the puzzle for independence.
A Traditional Latin Mass at St. John Berchman Cathedral in Shreveport, La.
Pope Benedict XVI has made it clear the Traditional Latin Mass is to be used and encouraged in our Dioceses. No longer do the priests need permission from the Bishops to celebrate Mass the way it had been for the previous 1300 -1500 years. Until Vatican II and those who used the simple changes in the 1968-69 Novus Ordo Mass to twist sweeping changes that we now see.
Because of the strong religious and family traditions in the South we are seeing a revival of the TLM as this example from the All Souls Day Mass at the Cathedral in Shreveport, La. If you have not been to a TLM Mass it is worth the effort to encourage your Parish or Diocese to start holding this form of the Mass. The Reverence, Pioty and Sacredness of the TLM is something to experience for you and your family. Such solum worship and prayer to our Eternal Father is a natural fit for the many traditions Southerners pass from one generation to the next, as we progress thorough this life.
“Because of the historical French and Spanish influences, there is a prevalent culture surrounding the dead of Louisiana. It is not uncommon for families to prepare for the feast of All Soul’s by cleaning and painting the family plot and graves, which are uniquely above-ground, encased in brick or cement because the water-table precludes ground burial. As a result, a necropolis is formed which leaves the impression that the dead are still among us, not hidden. Perhaps this is why over 500 people attended the evening Mass during a torrential rain and thunderstorm, to connect with their dead.”