To kill the Queen?


#1

When Pope Pius V excommunicated Elizabeth I of England in the 16th century, he also issued a plenary indulgence to anyone who assassinated her and delivered the country back into the Catholic Church.

Given that the Pope teaches infallibly on matters of doctrine and morals. And that whether it’s acceptable to kill another human being is certainly a matter of morals. Does that mean that this offer still stands? Would the current Pope be bound to honour the indulgence if someone, in good faith and in an attempt to re-Catholicize England, was to assassinate Elizabeth II? Can the Pope rescind this and apologise for it? Would that mean that it was wrong at the time, or just that it would be wrong now?

FYI, I am not planning to assassinate the Queen, I just want to know whether the Church still thinks it was right to issue an indulgence like that? If so, that is rather worrying.


#2

Let’s imagine someone comes to your house and announces that your great-great grandfather was convicted of horse stealing a hundred years ago and sentenced to hang – but he escaped. So they’re going to hang you instead.

Do you have a cite for this?

An indulgence does not authorize a person to commit a sin – it merely remits the penalty for sins already committed and forgiven. A plenary indulgence remits all penalties for sins already committed and forgiven – but has no effect on future sins.


#3

So, is the OP correct? Was a plenary indulgence offered to anyone who killed Elizabeth? This should be a pure matter of history to confirm or deny.

If true, what on God’s earth would be the basis for claiming that the Pope did not sin in making such an offer?


#4

I asked the OP for a cite – but he hasn’t posted one yet.

“If true” we ought to be able to find the document and read it. Then we can discuss if it is or is not a sin.


#5

The original post has been reported. When the moderator for this forum comes on, the thread will probably be closed unless and until proof of the allegation is provided.


#6

If a purported indulgence was indeed issued in such a way it is absolutely invalid and without effect. An indulgence cannot apply to future sins, only those already committed. And yes, if the Pope encouraged murder in any way that would be a sin, and if the Pope abused his powers by issuing such a document, that too would be a sin.

And of course we wouldn’t be trying to say the Pope never sinned. Surely, rr, you’ve been here long enough to know that the Papacy does not stand or fall on the personal sinfulness or sinlessness of its Popes. Any more than your denomination stands or falls on the personal sinfulness or its founder or pastors.

Rather on whether what they teach by way of dogma or doctrine (neither of which are relevant in the case of individual indulgences).


#7

Here’s a link to Regnans in Excelsis, Pius’s papal bull. I just rushed through it fast (I’m leaving work.), but I didn’t see any indulgence.

Pius V

John


#8

If this document is authentic, the Pope did offer a plenary indulgence to anyone who assisted in the disposition or punishment of Elizabeth the Queen of England. It is clear from the text that the Pope had no problem if this was accomplished by force, although he did say he wished to avoid bloodshed. I didn’t see anything specific about killing Elizabeth, although it probably would have been necessary in order to effectuate her deposition.

A Declaration of the Sentence and Deposition of Elizabeth, the usurper and pretensed Queen of England

recherche.univ-montp3.fr/mambo/CERRA/MEMED/1Sixtus5Eliz.html


#9

I didn’t say that it did.


#10

www.papalencyclicals.net also provides a link to the text of Regnans in Excelsis [Papal Bull] March 5, 1570 in which Pope Pius V declared Eliabeth I was excommunicated.

(notable: St. Pius V canonized May 22, 1712 :wink:


#11

Then what makes you think we would we feel an urge to claim that if the Pope did such things he didn’t sin?

Popes surely do and have sinned right along with the rest of us - some pretty horrendously too! And this would be a fairly clear case.


#12

The original post:

When Pope Pius V excommunicated Elizabeth I of England in the 16th century, **he also issued a plenary indulgence to anyone who assassinated her **and delivered the country back into the Catholic Church

The bull Regnans in Excelsis by Pius V does not mention assassination or killing. Nor does it mention a plenary indulgence.

Sixtus V does offer a plenary indulgence:

Our said Holy Father, of his benignity, and favour to this enterprise, out of the spiritual treasures of the Church committed to his custody and dispensation, grants most liberally, to all such as assist, concur, or help in any wise, to the disposition and punishment of the abovenamed persons, and to the reformation of these two countries, Plenary Indulgence and pardon of all their sins, being duly penitent, contrite and confessed, according to the law of God, and usual custom of Christian people.

But again, assassination is not mentioned.


#13

Pope St. Pius V issued this indulgence to free England from the tyranny of a heretical Queen. Unfortunately, his attempt failed. England has since suffered 400 years of protestant rule.

No, this is not valid today.


#14

But is it implied?


#15

No. Assassination is neither implied nor stated.

The Pope dissolves the oaths and allegience of her subjects – but does not call for assassination.


#16

Our said Holy Father, of his benignity, and favour to this enterprise, out of the spiritual treasures of the Church committed to his custody and dispensation, grants most liberally, to all such as assist, concur, or help in any wise, to the disposition and punishment of the abovenamed persons, and to the reformation of these two countries, Plenary Indulgence and pardon of all their sins, being duly penitent, contrite and confessed, according to the law of God, and usual custom of Christian people.

What was the punishment going to be? I don’t think they were going to put her in “time out”.


#17

“I don’t think” is hardly evidence.

And what is wrong with bringing a criminal to justice and administering punishment? Elizabeth had certainly committed many crimes.


#18

Why not? Kings have been peacefully deposed before and, while to a man imprisoned or exiled, not murdered as a matter of course. Witness Elizabeth I herself - who kept Mary Queen of Scots a prisoner for more than 15 years, every day of which she was urged to have Mary more or less legally killed.

She, along with all of her subjects and Mary’s, were aware that God’s anointing, bestowed on most every crowned monarch, was close to a sacrament in nature, and certianly put the monarch a step above other mere mortals.


#19

And Mary Queen of Scots was as much an anointed monarch as Elizabeth – and with a bit better claim to the throne of England than Elizabeth (whose father pronounced her a bastard.) And, of course, Mary’s son, James I & V, succeeded Elizabeth to the throne of England.


#20

Elizabeth assisted in the disposition of Mary Stuart of Scotland and had her imprisoned.

Why would Elizabeth’s fate not have been different?


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