Pius Episcopus, Servus Servorum Dei, ad futurarn rei memoriam.
Regnans in excelsis, cui data est omnis in coelo et in terra potestas, unam sanctam catholicam et apostolicam ecelesiam, extra quam nulla est salus, uni soli in terris, videlicet, apostolorum principi Petro, Petrique successori Romano pontifici, in potestatis plenitudine tradidit gubernandam. Hunc unum super omnes gentes et omnia regna principem constituit, qui evellat, destruat, dissipet, disperdat, plantet, et aedificet; ut fidelem populum, mutuae charitatis nexu constrictum, in unitate spiritus contineat, salvumque et incolumem suo exhibeat salvatori.
Quo quidem in munere obeundo, nos, ad praedictae ecclesiae gubernacula Dei benignitate vocati, nullum laborem intermittimus, omni opera contendentes ut ipsa unitas et catholica religio (quam illius auctor ad probandam suorum fidem, et correctionem nostram, tantis procellis conflictari permisit) integra conservetur. Sed impiorum numerus tantum potentia invaluit ut nullus jam in orbe locus sit relictus, quem illi pessimis doctrinis corrumpere non tentarint; adnitente, inter caeteros, flagitiorum serva Elizabetha, praetensa Angliae regina, ad quam, veluti ad asylum, omnium infestissimi profugium invenerunt.
Haec eadem, regno occupato, supremi ecolesiae capitis locum in omni Anglia, ejusque praecipuam auctoritatem atque jurisdictionem monstrose sibi usurpans, regnum ipsum, jam turn ad fidem catholicam et bonam frugem reductum, rursus in miserum exitium revocavit.
Usu namque verae religionis, quam, ab illius desertore Henrico octavo olim eversam, clarae memoriae Maria regina legitima hujus sedis praesidio reparaverat, potenti manu inhibito, secutisque et amplexis haereticorum erroribus, regium consilium, ex Anglica nobilitate confectum, diremit, illudque obscuris hominibus haereticis complevit; catholicae fidei cultores oppressit; improbos concionatores atque impietaturn administros reposuit; missae sacrificium, preces, jejunia, ciborum delectum, coelibatum, ritusque catholicos abolevit; libros, manifestam haeresim continentes, toto regno proponi, impia mysteria et instituta ad Calvini praescriptum, a se suscepta et observata, etiam a subditis servari mandavit; episcopos, ecclesiarum rectores, et alios sacerdotes catholicos suis ecclesiis et beneficiis ejicere, ac de illis et aliis rebus ecclesiasticis in haereticos disponere, deque ecclesiae causis decernere ausa; praelatis, clero, et populo ne Romanam ecclesiam agnoscerent, neve ejus praeceptis sanctionibusque canonicis obtemperarent, interdixit; plerosque in nefarias leges suas venire, et Romani pontificis auctoritatem atque obedientiam abjurare, seque solam in temporalibus et spiritualibus dominam agnoscere, jurejurando coegit; poenas et supplicia in eos qui dicto non essent audientes imposuit, easdemque ab iis qui in unitate fidei et praedicta obedientia perseverarunt, exegit; catholicos antistes, et ecclesiarum rectores in vincula conjecit, ubi multi, diuturno languore et tristitia confecti, extremum vitae diem misere finierunt.
Quae omnia cum apud omnes nationes perspicua et notiora sint, et gravissimo quamplurimorum testimonio ita comprobata, ut nullus omnino locus excusationis, defensionis, aut tergiversationis relinquatur, Nos, multiplicantibus aliis atque aliis super alias impietatibus et facinoribus, et praeterea fidelium persecutione, religionisque afflictione, impulsu et opera dictae Elizabethae, quotidie magis ingravescente; quoniam illius animum ita obfirmatum atque induratum intelligimus, ut non modo pias catholicorum principum de sanitate et conversione preces monitionesque contempserit, sed ne hujus quidem sedis ad ipsam hac de causa nuncios in Angliam trajicere permiserit, ad arma justitiae contra eam de necessitate conversi, dolorem lenire uon possumus, quod adducamur in unam animadvertere, cujus majores de republica christiana tantopere meruere.
Illius itaque auctoritate suffulti, qui nos in hoc supremo justitiae throno, licet tanto oneri impares, voluit collocare, de apostolicae potestatis plenitudine declaramus praedictam Elizabetham haeriticam, et haereticorum fautricem, eique adhaerentes in praedictis anathematis sententiam incurrisse, esseque a Christi corporis unitate praecisos: quinetiam ipsam praetenso regni praedicti jure, necnon omni et quocumque dominio, dignitate, privilegioque privatam: et item proceres, subditos, et populos dicti regni, ac caeteros omnes qui illi quomodocumque juraverunt, a juramento hujusmodi, ac omni prorsus dominii, fidelitatis, et obsequii debito perpetuo absolutes, prout nos illos praesentium auctoritate absolvimus: et privamus eandem Elizabetham praetenso jure regni, aliisque omnibus supradictis: praecipimusque et interdicimus universis et singulis proceribus, subditis, populis, et aliis praedictis, ne illi, ejusve monitis, mandatis, et legibus audeant obedire.
Qui secus egerint eos simili anathematis sententia innodamus.
Quia vero difficile nimis esset praesentes quocumque illis opus erit perferre, volumus ut earum exempla, notarii publici manu, et praelati ecclesiastici, ejusve curiae, sigillo obsignata, eandem prorsus fidem, in judicio et extra illud, ubique gentium faciant, quam ipsae praesentes facerent, si essent exhibitae vel ostensae.
Datum Romae, apud S. Petrum, anno incarnationis Dominicae millesimo quingentesimo sexagesimo nono, quinto Calend. Martii, pontificatus nostri annoquinto.
Pius, Bishop, servant of the servants of God, in memorial of this matter.
The sovereign jurisdiction of the one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, outside of which there is no salvation, has been given by Him, unto whom all power in heaven and on earth is given, the King who reigns on high, to but one person on the face of the earth, to Peter, prince of the Apostles, and to the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome. Him He has set up over all nations, and over all kingdoms, to root up and destroy, to waste and to scatter, to plant and to build, to the end that he may maintain in the unity of the spirit the faithful people bound together by the bond of charity, and present them unto Him their Saviour perfect and without loss.
In the discharge of this duty, We, whom God of His goodness has called to the government of His Church, shrink from no labour, striving with all Our might to preserve in their integrity that very unity and the Catholic religion, which are now assailed by so many storms, by His permission from whom they come, for our correction, and for the trial of the faith of His children. But the wicked are so many, and are growing so strong, that there is no part of the world which they have not attempted by their evil doctrines to corrupt; among others labouring for this end is the servant of iniquity, Elizabeth, the pretended queen of England, with whom, as in a safe retreat, the worst of these men have found a secure refuge.
This woman having taken possession of the kingdom, unnaturally claims for herself the place, the great authority and jurisdiction of the supreme head of the Church throughout all England, and has involved in miserable ruin that kingdom so lately recovered to the Catholic faith and piety.
She has forbidden by the strong hand of power the observance of the true religion, overturned by the apostate Henry VIII, and by the help of the Holy See restored by Mary, the lawful queen, of illustrious memory. She has followed after and accepted the errors of heretics. She has driven the English nobles out of the royal council, and filled their places with obscure heretics. She has been the ruin of those who profess the Catholic faith, and has brought back again the wicked preachers and ministers of impieties. She has done away with the sacrifice of the Mass, the Divine Office, fasting, the distinction of meats, celibacy, and the Catholic rites. She has ordered the use of books, containing manifest heresy, throughout the realm, and the observance by her subjects of impious mysteries and ordinances, according to the rule of Calvin, accepted and practised by herself.
She has dared to take away their churches and benefices from the bishops, the parish priests, and other Catholic ecclesiastics, and has given them with other ecclesiastical goods to heretics. She has made herself a judge in ecclesiastical causes. She has forbidden the prelates, clergy, and people to acknowledge the Church of Rome, or to obey its mandates and the Catholic constitutions. She has compelled many to take an oath to observe her wicked laws, to renounce the authority of the Roman pontiff, to refuse to obey him, and to accept her as the sole ruler in temporal and spiritual matters. She has decreed pains and penalties against those who do not submit to her, and has inflicted them upon those who continue in the unity of the faith and obedience.
She has thrown Catholic prelates and parish priests into prison, where many, worn out by sorrows and their protracted sufferings, have ended their days in misery.
All this being notorious and known unto all nations, and so confirmed by very many grave witnesses, as to leave no room for palliation, defence, or concealment, sin being added to sin, and iniquity to iniquity, the persecution of the faithful, and the ruin of religion daily growing more and more at the suggestion and under the direction of Elizabeth aforesaid, whose will is so obstinate and whose heart is so hardened that she has set at nought not only the charitable prayers and counsels of Catholic princes entreating her to return to a better mind and be converted, but also Our own by her refusal to allow the Nuncios of the Holy See to enter the realm, We, having recourse, by necessity compelled, to the weapons of justice, are unable to control Our grief that We must proceed against one whose predecessors have rendered signal services to Christendom.
Relying then on His authority who has placed Us on this sovereign throne of justice, though unequal to the bearing of so great a burden, We declare, in the fulness of the apostolic power, the aforesaid Elizabeth a heretic, and an encourager of heretics, together with those who abet her, under the sentence of excommunication, cut off from the unity of the Body of Christ.
Moreover, We declare that she has forfeited her pretended title to the afore≠said kingdom, to all and every right, dignity, and privilege; We also declare that the nobles, the subjects, and the people, who have taken any oath to her, are for ever released from that oath, and from every obligation of allegiance, fealty, and obedience, as We now by these letters release them, and deprive the said Elizabeth of her pretended right to the throne, and every other right whatsoever aforesaid; We command all and singular the nobles, the people subject to her, and others aforesaid, never to venture to obey her monitions, mandates, and laws.
If any shall contravene this Our decree, We bind them with the same bond of anathema.
Seeing that it would be a work of too much difficulty to send these letters to every place where it is necessary to send them, Our will is that a copy thereof by a public notary, sealed with the seal of an ecclesiastical prelate, or with the seal of his court, shall have the same force in courts of law and everywhere throughout the world that these letters themselves have if they be produced and shown.
Given at St Peter's in Rome, in the year of the Incarnation of our Lord one thousand five hundred and sixty-nine, on the fifth of the calends of March, in the fifth year of Our Ponti≠ficate.