Thought I'd start this thread after a friendly discussion I had with someone who claimed that the position of the Catholic Church has always been that there was not and has never been such a thing as witches or witchcraft. It was a heresy to say that they were real. However, it was also a piece of papal legislation that was notable in another way, for the Vox was the first papal bull to associate the cat with witchcraft. This greatly increased the conviction rate. How big was it? The Bull, whose intent was to quell Protestant objection to the Inquisition, was an important precedent to the Malleus Maleficarum , which was adopted as a witch hunting manual by both Catholics and Protestants in Germany, France, and Italy. It endorses extermination of witches and for this purpose develops a detailed legal and theological theory. "For example, ... 1252: Pope Innocent IV wrote a papal bull titled "Ad exstirpanda" which authorized the use of torture during inquisitional trials. The translation of this Bull is reprinted by permission from “The Geography of Witchcraft,” by Montague Summers, pp. For almost 200 years, it had the second highest sales in the Europe, coming in only behind the Bible. * The Malleus Maleficarum went on to become an international bestseller. A Papal Bull from Pope Innocent VIII in 1484 gave Kramer and Sprenger the power to prosecute witches. • Papal Bull to eliminate witchcraft in 1484 • Some 110,000 people, about 80 percent of them women, were prosecuted as witches conspiring with the Devil • The trials took place in secular and religious courts in many parts of Europe, from Spain to Sweden and from Austria to Scotland. Papal Bull annulling Magna Carta: There was an ongoing conflict between King John of England and Pope Innocent III over the election of the Archbishop of Canterbury, as the king had refused to recognize papal nominee, Stephen Langton. • The key charge of having made pacts It was written by the Catholic clergyman Heinrich Kramer (under his Latinized name Henricus Institoris) and first published in the German city of Speyer in 1486. But no portion of Janssen's "History" is more unanswerable than the fourth and fifth chapters of the last volume (vol. Naturally Luther did not appeal to the papal Bull. The Malleus Maleficarum, usually translated as the Hammer of Witches, is the best known treatise on witchcraft. 2-15) did very much to stimulate the prosecution by the inquisitors of witches and others engaged in … 533-6 (Kegan Paul). The Malleus Maleficarum was preceeded by the papal bull of Pope Innocent VIII, released in 1484. Still there can be no doubt that during the fourteenth century certain papal constitutions of John XXII and Benedict XII (see Hansen, "Quellen und Untersuchungen", pp. Soon after their return from Rome they set about compiling a handbook - an exposition of witchcraft and a code of procedure for detection and punishment of witches. The Catholic church at the time officially taught that such Witches did not exist. Even with the papal bull the German inquisitors found their preparation incomplete. He looked only to the Bible, and it was in virtue of the Biblical command that he advocated the extermination of witches. Given all of this, is Innocent’s Papal Bull concerning witchcraft, which was printed in the preface of the Malleus, really that surprising? The bull, which was originally written in Latin and was later translated, declared that Heinrich Kramer and James Spregner would be inquisitors of witchcraft in Northern Germany. 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