I have a historical conundrum here, and I hope at least a few people here have more knowledge than I, or are at least ready to dig in I’ve done a lot of searching for this, and have not found a real answer. A brief overview of what this is, as searches on the Internet don’t turn up too much…
This Papal Bull (encyclical? not quite clear) titled Intra Arcana (loosely translated to “Within Secrets”) is attributed to Pope Clement VII (1523-1534), and is apparently addressed to Charles V of Spain, saying the following regarding the Native Americans:
“We trust that, as long as you are on earth, you will compel and with all zeal cause the barbarian nations to come to the knowledge of God, the maker and founder of all things, not only by edicts and admonitions, but also by force and arms, if needful, in order that their souls may partake of the heavenly kingdom.”**
What makes me suspicious, is that nowhere else on the web, do we see a full English translation, or any other quote for that matter, except for the above. I did find the quote in a couple books, which you can see via Google Books HERE and HERE. The first book was printed in 2005, and the second in 1971.
Now note that the second book, erroneously lists the Pope that gave the Bull (orencyclical, I’m not clear on what the document exactly is) was Clement VI (THE SIXTH). This makes me scratch my head. In addition to that, it would seem that all translations of the quote I posted, including the translation from Wikipedia, are identical to the translation found in this 1971 book. The author, Wilcomb E Washburn, in turn cites a theological review written by a Harvard student, Lewis U. Hanke. All this information, I was able to find via a very helpful thread on Google Groups, which you can see HERE. The citation also includes the original Latin of the section I posted. It reads as follows:
“Confidimus te, quoad in humanis degeris barbaras nationes ad rerum omnium
opificem et conditorem deum cognoscendum non solum edictis
admonitionibusque, sed etiam armis et viribus (si opus fuerit) ut earum
animae caelestis regni fiant participes compulsurum.”
Now we’ve gone pretty far down the rabbit hole, as you can see from what I posted, and what is posted on this Google Groups page. The people on this Group page seemed to hit a stumbling block, until one person found the following, a copy of a book with the section in question, in Latin. You can find the section six lines up from the foot of the page, HERE.
Now here is the crux of all this, and I would really appreciate the help here. This is all stemming from a discussion on Pope Paul III’s encyclical SUBLIMUS DEI, in which he stressed that the Native Americans were “by no means to be deprived of their liberty or the possession of their property, even though they be outside the faith of Jesus Christ; and that they may and should, freely and legitimately, enjoy their liberty and the possession of their property; nor should they be in any way enslaved.” I was then told that his predecessor, Clement VII said the exact opposite by saying that force should be used in conversion. Therefore the Church is completely contradictory.
So it would appear that what I posted above is the original Latin of this document that is ascribed to Clement VII. Now my question is, was this really a Papal Bull written by Clemnt VII, and was it binding on all Catholics, or is the entire thing much too dubious to be taken seriously? I say dubious as we have no full translation of the text from Latin in any language, information on it is scarce, and the same damning line was repeated over and over from the same source. I can’t even tell what exactly this book is even about; I can’t figure out what the subject matter is.
I cannot read Latin. I don’t even know what the title of the book means, it says “Privilegia nominationvm Lovaniensivm”. It appears that the actual entry where the original selection I posted begins witht the header, “Copia Indulti Nominandi”. I don’t know what this means either. What I want to know, and I think we should all want to know so the record on this papal bull can be set straight and fully understood, is if the text was truly written from Clement VII, and what the context is. Is this a private letter to Emperor Charles V, where Clement VII is not speaking in any church capacity? Is this an official church document? What is the context of the rest of the document, as the entry appears to be pretty long. There seems to be a lot of ambiguity surrounding this text. I really hope we can get to the bottom of this, and I hope the introduction I gave here was clear enough to let the digging and translating begin. Thank you for your time.