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  #1  
Old Jan 22, '10, 9:08 am
fish90 fish90 is offline
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Default Is Dum Diversas real?

Was there a papal bull called Dum Diversas that allowed "perpetual slavery?"

If this is true, how does proper apologetic work occur on this topic?
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  #2  
Old Jan 22, '10, 9:46 am
CentralFLJames CentralFLJames is offline
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Default Re: Is Dum Diversas real?

How ironic - I came real close to opening a thread on this myself just a few days ago. All I can find in English is a snippet on Wikepedia: Dum Diversas

I can't even find the full text of this bull but it is a popular one for slandering the Catholic Church as endorsing slavery.

What we need to understand here is the context. This bull was written at a time of severe Muslim persecution of Christendom - Byzantine/Constantinople was under threat of attack and takeover by Muslims. In fact it was written just one year before the Muslims defeated Christian Byzantine (100-200K invaders against a mere 8,000 or so defenders). To give a context let me say that the Muslim invaders looted, pillaged and slaughtered Christians for a number of days before giving the few hiding survivors terms for their subjugation and homage if they surrendered as vassals to Islam.

The call by Pope Nicholas V (who authored this bull) was to rally Christendom to come to the aid of its members and confront Islam (the Saracens and pagan mercenaries they gained by conquering W. African pagan countries) head on. But he failed to get the European Kings to help and that is why Byzantine fell. This bull was directed to the Spanish only and was an authorization to engage the conquering Muslims and make war with them to stop their encroachment and aggression and conversion of Pagan Africa into homage by providing a quota of men of war - mercenaries . It was a time of war and at this time the Church had a definate voice of influence in government secular affairs and had to assert itself to defend innocent lives being slaughtered by the Muslim hordes. The pope uses the language and emotion of the day. Christians were terrorized by what looked like Satan himself waging war against Christendom. So the pope authorized the taking of prisoners of war and their enslavement/incarceration as a life sentence for crimes against Christendom. This is a mercy since the war convention at the time was to kill enemies due to the high cost of maintaining them and guarding or else holding the noble ones (knights/lords) as hostage for payment from their Christian families.

This bull was not a general edict to enslave people willy-nilly. It was no different than giving a life sentence to criminals with hard labor to pay back society as we still do to this very day here in the USA.

Bottom Line - Dum Diversas was a real papal bull but it in no way is a general endorsement of slavery. It is simply an authorization to the Spanish monarchy to engage the aggressor enemy of Christians in a "just war" and to take any survivors as prisoners and incarcerate them for life for their crimes against Christianity. It was all issued at a time when the Church was trying hard to rally Christendom out of its apathy to help defend our eastern Christian brothers from being defeated.

James
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Last edited by CentralFLJames; Jan 22, '10 at 10:00 am.
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  #3  
Old Dec 21, '10, 12:19 pm
Boniface Boniface is offline
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Default Re: Is Dum Diversas real?

I just got done with a translation of Dum Diversas into English and will be posting it on my blog shortly (http;//unamsanctamcatholicam.blogspot.com). But basically the above assessment of what the bull says is correct.

Blessings,
Boniface
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  #4  
Old Feb 5, '11, 6:26 pm
Boniface Boniface is offline
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Default Dum Diversas (English Translation)

Update - the English translation of Dum Diversas is up, but is still a little rough:

http://unamsanctamcatholicam.blogspo...anslation.html
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  #5  
Old Feb 5, '11, 8:17 pm
Doggg Doggg is offline
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Default Re: Is Dum Diversas real?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CentralFLJames View Post
Bottom Line - Dum Diversas was a real papal bull but it in no way is a general endorsement of slavery. It is simply an authorization to the Spanish monarchy to engage the aggressor enemy of Christians in a "just war" and to take any survivors as prisoners and incarcerate them for life for their crimes against Christianity. It was all issued at a time when the Church was trying hard to rally Christendom out of its apathy to help defend our eastern Christian brothers from being defeated.
James
Did you mean to say, crimes against Christians?
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  #6  
Old Feb 6, '11, 12:12 am
Pete Holter Pete Holter is offline
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Default Re: Dum Diversas (English Translation)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boniface View Post
Update - the English translation of Dum Diversas is up, but is still a little rough:

http://unamsanctamcatholicam.blogspo...anslation.html
Wow! Thanks a lot! I hope you'll keep us updated. If you don't mind, please send me a private message (PM) or an email at [email protected] if you get a significantly better translation going. For some reason, I am getting email notifications for PMs, but not for threads that I'm subscribed to.

May God bless you!

Your brother in Christ,
Pete
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  #7  
Old Feb 6, '11, 10:14 pm
kenofken kenofken is offline
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Default Re: Is Dum Diversas real?

Explaining away evil by saying it "wasn't that bad in the context of the times" smells an awful lot like moral relativism to me.
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  #8  
Old Feb 8, '11, 3:52 pm
itrytofight itrytofight is offline
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Default Re: Is Dum Diversas real?

Let's see...it's either life imprisonment/slavery and a chance to repent for (what seems to be) an captured unjust aggressor to Europe at the time or outright execution of and, in the Catholic view, a one way trip to hell.

I think I'd prefer the former (though I probably yell for the latter if I lived at that time).

If they did this today with the military equivilant to what they had at the time of the crusades, they would be guilty of many war crimes.

I'm not saying that the European Crusaders wasn't guilty of the same **** their enemy did.
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  #9  
Old Oct 9, '12, 8:05 am
CentralFLJames CentralFLJames is offline
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Default Re: Is Dum Diversas real?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenofken View Post
Explaining away evil by saying it "wasn't that bad in the context of the times" smells an awful lot like moral relativism to me.
Judging righteous acts of valor and courage in the face of overwhelming naked-force and aggression as "evil" is the epitome evidence of a corrupt and ill-formed conscience and a disordered compassion that is co-joined with amorality and hypocrisy.

"They" called Christ evil too:

Isaiah 5:20
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.

Mark 3:28-30
I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.” 30 He said this because they were saying, “He has an evil spirit.”
What moral standard do you calibrate your moral-compass to? Personal prejudices and feelings? Cura te ipsum
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  #10  
Old Oct 9, '12, 8:14 am
CentralFLJames CentralFLJames is offline
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Default Re: Is Dum Diversas real?

Quote:
Originally Posted by itrytofight View Post
Let's see...it's either life imprisonment/slavery and a chance to repent for (what seems to be) an captured unjust aggressor to Europe at the time or outright execution of and, in the Catholic view, a one way trip to hell.

I think I'd prefer the former (though I probably yell for the latter if I lived at that time).

If they did this today with the military equivilant to what they had at the time of the crusades, they would be guilty of many war crimes.

I'm not saying that the European Crusaders wasn't guilty of the same **** their enemy did.
We do in fact give life sentences to US soldiers as well as enemies for military crimes. It was not long ago that American Military shot or hung traitors or those in derelict of duty or cowardice. The military codes are still in place to execute spies and own soldiers but they are not often used anymore. President Obama just authorized essentially an assissination of Osama Bin Laden as well as Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi and even a US Muslim citizen (Anwar al-Awlaki ) without even a cursory military trial. Predictably we never hear anyone on "the left" showing outrage over this though...
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  #11  
Old Oct 9, '12, 11:16 am
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Marc Anthony Marc Anthony is offline
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Default Re: Is Dum Diversas real?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CentralFLJames View Post
President Obama just authorized essentially an assissination of Osama Bin Laden...
If you want to debate Osama bin Laden's death there's a thread for that, because I don't think it's nearly as cut and dry as you're making it out to be, and several other people seem to share this view.

The thread for this debate is in the Philosophy sub-forum. I mention this because I don't believe the killing of Osama bin Laden to be unjust or morally wrong.
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  #12  
Old Sep 27, '13, 11:45 am
SherrieAnn SherrieAnn is offline
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Question Re: Is Dum Diversas real?

Where is the original text, who did the translation and where is there a verified set of translations of the Papal Bulls?

I have looked online and it seems there are only a limited selection of Papal Bulls officially available. It is recognized that translations may be different, they are always complicated, even when current languages are used, and may be all but impossible in historic documents yet tranlsations are used widely and sometimes in highly controversial manners. In the Catholic Church there is a long history of scholarship and study so it may be simply that I have not found the right source.
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  #13  
Old Sep 27, '13, 11:54 am
Boniface Boniface is offline
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Default Re: Is Dum Diversas real?

SherrieAnn,

The English translation I posted (http://unamsanctamcatholicam.blogspo...anslation.html) was done by Dr. Olga Izzo, retired Professor of Latin from Calgary University and formerly of Ave Maria University.

The Latin text I found in the rare book collection at the University of Michigan, along with a collection of many other bulls pertaining to the Kingdom of Portugal. A lot of stuff has never been translated into English.
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  #14  
Old Sep 27, '13, 12:25 pm
SherrieAnn SherrieAnn is offline
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Default Re: Is Dum Diversas real?

Hello Boniface,
Thank you for the name and reference. Has she done any more work on the translation?

I hae seen much on the web describing Dum Diversas as globally supporting enslavement of all non-Europeans and while it seems they may be referencing a single translation the sheer volume caught my attention. Are you aware of any academic or Vatican supported effort to translate the historic Church documents, especially the ones relevant to prominent issues today?

Facing the extremism individually is neither wise nor helpful in my experience. As these are the historic documents of the Church some modern scholarship could be a positive move by Church leaders seeking to foster understanding, open dialogs and perhaps face and deal with some historic Church positions which have been deemed a reflection of the times they were developed and since superceded by later decrees and writings.

As the main functioning global court is the International Criminal Court(ICC) with primary jurisdiction over war crimes and genocide within the UN framework this type of scholarship can become important and highly relevant should a case ever be raised against the Church with either issue. I am not concerned with the validity of the case as much as with the implications of it even facing the court(which admittedly has jurisdiction only since its creation in the late 1940s--but which jurisdiction may, argueably be invoked should the allegations of the continuance of the policy be claimed and even minimally evedentially supported).

As an Observer State at the UN the Holy See can be potentially brought into a case. In law because something has not been done does not mean it cannot be done, or attempted. Rule of human law is, in my opinion, far better than rule of weapons, as much as possible, be the weapons anything from fists to warheads. The Papal Bulls can fall into this realm of law and Canon law experts may be working to prepare for this eventually but so far I cannot find the general scholarship needed to support any legal position on the issues. The posting of a single tanslation, albeit less than perfect is a start--and a start I hope others will follow.
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  #15  
Old Sep 28, '13, 10:48 am
Arizona Mike Arizona Mike is online now
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Default Re: Is Dum Diversas real?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CentralFLJames View Post
We do in fact give life sentences to US soldiers as well as enemies for military crimes. It was not long ago that American Military shot or hung traitors or those in derelict of duty or cowardice. The military codes are still in place to execute spies and own soldiers but they are not often used anymore. President Obama just authorized essentially an assissination of Osama Bin Laden as well as Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi and even a US Muslim citizen (Anwar al-Awlaki ) without even a cursory military trial. Predictably we never hear anyone on "the left" showing outrage over this though...
Attached is a photo of the POW camps that were located in what is now Papago Park in Phoenix, Arizona. We used to ride our bikes over to look around in the abandoned buildings. During WWII, they were used to keep German POWs in, and they were sent out to do manual labor in the cotton and citrus fields around the city, as most able-bodied farm laborers were in the military and it was felt that enemy combatants should have to work to earn their keep.

This was a similar situation to the use of captured soldiers as forced labor as described. Countries, such as Portugal, did not maintain large Guantanamo-like POW prisons for captured soldiers, so their choices were forced labor or death.

(As an aside, the German soldiers in Arizona were not mistreated and based on memoirs, were very happy to be out of a war zone, not freezing to death on the eastern front, and were doing the sort of farm labor many of them had grown up doing in Germany. Although a few nazi fanatics staged a (successful) prison break during Christmas, 1944, the conditions, as transmitted back to Germany from Red Cross observer reports, generally led to better conditions for American POWs in Germany, whereas English and Russian soldiers faced much worse conditions in comparison.)
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