Freedom to kill person excommunicated


#1

This will be my first post. Let me brief. Someone said that they read that the Church in the Middle Ages decreed that you could kill someone that has been excommunicated without being guilty of murder.

My research has lead me to many sights without proper sitations, incorrect/false sitations, and nothing to go on. Can anyone shed some light on this. I read something about Pope Gregory VII issuing a decree that made it okay, but nothing historically to back this up. Thanks.

PK :shrug:


#2

Odd way to launch your presence here…is this a theoretical question or something you intend to use to facilitate satisfaction of a personal grudge?


#3

Island Oak,

He says he’s catholic so I doubt that he’s Church bashing. No, I think someone accused his faith of something, and he feels obliged to give the guy a proper, well thought out response.

Pkessler,

I don’t exactly know what time period that’d’ve been in so I’m not qualified to give an answer, but I doubt it. In any case, I’ll give it a look and maybe do a web search for the then Pontiff.

Catholig


#4

When “someone” makes outlandish claims, then confront that someone and ask for their proof. Ask them to provide the church document in which this alleged statement was made.


#5

Well, first of all, there were kings & queens & what-not back then…There were governments, in other words, and it was the government that would have been in charge of what punishment would be handed out. Not the pope, not the bishops.
So, I think that what this might refer to is that, in England, the king could declare someone a “wolf’s head”, meaning that killing him was no different than killing a wild animal. ( The same people were called “without the law” which was shortened to “outlaw”, hence that word came into the language).
It had nothing to do with excommunication, (although I dare say that some of those so declared could have been in trouble with the Catholic Church as well as the monarch of the time…).
This was a matter for the law courts, not the spiritual authorities. But I imagine that this is not going to satisfy anyone who is looking for:eek: a rock to throw at Catholics…

And of course, I can be entirely wrong about this being the basis for what you were told. But it would make sense, in a strange sort of way. (Blaming other people being a :shrug: sport of sorts…). Anyhow, it can’t hurt to google “wolf’s head”, & see what you find…


#6

please consult forum rules before posting
post a reliable source or link for claims such as this
"someone said" is not a reliable source or link


#7

I really think that pkessler is looking for some help with some thing that someone told him. I really don’t think that forum rules don’t expect all to have quotes from everything they hear. If that were the case than there would be alot less post on matters such as these. :smiley:


#8

Here is a lengthy article on Pope St. Gregory VII from the Catholic Encyclopedia. Nowhere in it is there any mention of the right to kill the excommunicated.

Searching Google turned up no documents by Pope Gregory VII that condone killing those who were excommunicated.

The burden of proof falls on those who make such ridiculous claims.


#9

This will be my first post. Let me brief. Someone said that they read that the Church in the Middle Ages decreed that you could kill someone that has been excommunicated without being guilty of murder.

I have never heard that one before. What is the source?

The CC has consistently taught over 2000-years that all murder is wrong. :wink:


#10

This will be my first post. Let me brief. Someone said that they read that the Church in the Middle Ages decreed that you could kill someone that has been excommunicated without being guilty of murder.

I have never heard that one before. What is the source?

I have spent several hours trolling the net. I have read through several of my catholic reference books. I have found not one shred of evidence, not one iota to substantiate the allegation. I therefore am very interested in hearing the original source.

One hears all the time ‘so and so said’ and ‘I once heard that…’ but without some sort of reference, such a quote is not worth anything. Please quote the source, who said it, when, where was it published and by whom. Just for my own records that is all.

The CC has consistently taught for over 2000-years that all murder is wrong.:thumbsup:


#11

t had nothing to do with excommunication, (although I dare say that some of those so declared could have been in trouble with the Catholic Church as well as the monarch of the time…).
This was a matter for the law courts, not the spiritual authorities. But I imagine that this is not going to satisfy anyone who is looking for a rock to throw at Catholics…

Erhem Zooey:

In medieval England, anyone on trial at a court of civil law often blaspemed in court in order to get their case transfered from the civil to the catholic ecclasiastical authorities, even during Inquisition as it was a well known and recognised fact that the eclasiastical authorities were a lot more lenient in dealing out punishments as penances. There was no death penalty as we understand it, rarely did the accused even end up in prison.

During the height of the Inquisition criminals still used to blaspheme in order to get transfer to an Inquisition court rather than suffer the consequences of a criminal court. So much for the ‘terrible things done to the guilty’ [SDA take note] during Inquisition. :o :o


#12

As said several (hundred) times in the “History of Christendom” series (WG Carroll), if a RULER was excommunicated, no one was under obligation (according to the Church) to obey his orders.

This was used to “pry”, or threaten, Christian rulers into doing the right thing (or perhaps not the right thing).

That’s all I’ve ever heard,… but I’m a newbie.

Mahalo ke Akua…!
E pili mau na pomaikai iaoe. Aloha nui.


#13

I don’t know about that but back to what Zooey said, unlike out current legal system where we have a fleet of officers of the law, the royal official whose duty is was to decide who needed to be prosecuted or brought in for questioning would enlist the service of the local residents to attempt to capture him. So basically once someone who our cops would retrieve every citizen became a cop. Depending on the danger of the offender the same rules of morality would apply to whether or not a modern day police officer can shoot a run away criminal. This would be sourced from a presentation I saw at Colonial Williamsburg.


#14

The only documentation that I can locate are in regard to enslaving those who deny the faith.

Look up:* Dum** Diversas or Romanus Pontifex. *There never was a papal bull which ordered the executions of those who were excommunicated. It is a figment of the imagination, and a poor one at that.

Next?


#15

Thank you all for your answers. I am not trying to point fingers. I really am Catholic and I don’t believe that this persons accusation holds any foundation. I too have looked all over the internet and never found a reliable source to back up such a claim. I have found one thing that mentions it, but it does not include a bibliography and the reference doesn’t seem to be real. strictlygenteel.co.uk/finishedmystery/fme33.html
If you do a search on the page for “kill” you will find the reference to it but the “Dens” that this person is referring to doesn’t seem to exist or at least has not written the “Theologica Morales”. I did find a Petro Dens on newadvent.org that wrote a book with “Theologiae Moralis” as part of the title.

The only reason why it concerned me was that this person sends out these historical tidbits for the day to everyone in the office, and through it he made that claim. I think that this is a major fabricated stone that is being thrown at the Catholic Church as well. He claimed that he would get me the reference as to where he supposedly read this, but I guess I could just mention that I couldn’t find anything on the net to substantiate the claim. I sometimes feel that people are exponentially making-up things to spread about the Catholic Church so that we spend all of our time countering them.:shrug:


#16

That’s actually:thumbsup: the kind of thing I was thinking of…I thought maybe someone had come on this, & was turning it into an accusation against Catholics…


#17

Oh,:slight_smile: I definitely thought that this was what you were running into.
The link you posted talked about “Pastor Russell”; that would be the founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Is this person one of them? If so, you are going to be hearing from a lot of pseudo-authorites…


#18

“Theologica Morales” is meaningless, & is a blunder for “Theologica Moralis”; unfortunately, Catholics & Protestants these days seem to be incapable of avoiding elementary howlers in Latin. ##

The only reason why it concerned me was that this person sends out these historical tidbits for the day to everyone in the office, and through it he made that claim. I think that this is a major fabricated stone that is being thrown at the Catholic Church as well. He claimed that he would get me the reference as to where he supposedly read this, but I guess I could just mention that I couldn’t find anything on the net to substantiate the claim. I sometimes feel that people are exponentially making-up things to spread about the Catholic Church so that we spend all of our time countering them.:shrug:

[/FONT][FONT=Georgia]Father Peter Dens was a moral theologian. He crops up from time to time in 19th-century anti-Catholic literature. FWIW, there is usually some kind of basis for even the most wild stories.


#19

I guess that I don’t make a very good entrance, but that really cleared things up. Thank you all for such wonderful and insightful responses.:thumbsup:

You guys are great. Keep up the faith. I hope to learn more from all of you.

PK


#20

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