POPE LEO X QUOTES

Catholic Pope (1475-1521)

Pope Leo X quote

There are many, and there will be many, who will gladly purchase eternal life for a small price, if they see that others are fighting for God in earnest, rather than pretending to do so.

POPE LEO X, attributed, Pope Leo X: Opponent of the Reformation

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A lay person who blasphemes, if he is a noble, is to be fined a penalty of twenty-five ducats; for the second offence the fine is fifty ducats, which are to be applied to the fabric of the basilica of the prince of the apostles in Rome; for other offences he is to be punished as set out below; for a third fault, however, he is to lose his noble status. If he is of no rank and a plebian, he is to be cast into prison. If he has been caught committing blasphemy in public more than twice, he is to be compelled to stand for a whole day in front of the entrance of the principal church, wearing a hood signifying his infamy; but if he has fallen several times into the same fault, he is to be condemned to permanent imprisonment or to the galleys, at the decision of the appointed judge.

POPE LEO X, Papal bull on the reforms of the curia and of other things, May 5, 1514

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To deny that in a child after baptism sin remains is to treat with contempt both Paul and Christ.

POPE LEO X, Papal bull condemning Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses, Exsurge Domine, June 15, 1520

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Tags: sin


Arise, O Lord, and judge your own cause. Remember your reproaches to those who are filled with foolishness all through the day. Listen to our prayers, for foxes have arisen seeking to destroy the vineyard whose winepress you alone have trod.

POPE LEO X, Papal bull condemning Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses, Exsurge Domine, June 15, 1520

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Since truth cannot contradict truth, we define that every statement contrary to the enlightened truth of the faith is totally false and we strictly forbid teaching otherwise to be permitted. We decree that all those who cling to erroneous statements of this kind, thus sowing heresies which are wholly condemned, should be avoided in every way and punished as detestable and odious heretics and infidels who are undermining the catholic faith. Moreover we strictly enjoin on each and every philosopher who teaches publicly in the universities or elsewhere, that when they explain or address to their audience the principles or conclusions of philosophers, where these are known to deviate from the true faith -- as in the assertion of the soul's mortality or of there being only one soul or of the eternity of the world and other topics of this kind -- they are obliged to devote their every effort to clarify for their listeners the truth of the Christian religion, to teach it by convincing arguments, so far as this is possible, and to apply themselves to the full extent of their energies to refuting and disposing of the philosophers' opposing arguments, since all the solutions are available.

POPE LEO X, Papal bull condemning every proposition contrary to the truth of the enlightened Christian faith, Apostolici Regiminis, December 19, 1513

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Since the prolonged study of human philosophy -- which God has made empty and foolish, as the Apostle says, when that study lacks the flavouring of divine wisdom and the light of revealed truth -- sometimes leads to error rather than to the discovery of the truth, we ordain and rule by this salutary constitution, in order to suppress all occasions of falling into error with respect to the matters referred to above, that from this time onwards none of those in sacred orders, whether religious or seculars or others so committed, when they follow courses in universities or other public institutions, may devote themselves to the study of philosophy or poetry for longer than five years after the study of grammar and dialectic, without their giving some time to the study of theology or pontifical law. Once these five years are past, if someone wishes to sweat over such studies, he may do so only if at the same time, or in some other way, he actively devotes himself to theology or the sacred canons; so that the Lord's priests may find the means, in these holy and useful occupations, for cleansing and healing the infected sources of philosophy and poetry.

POPE LEO X, Papal bull condemning every proposition contrary to the truth of the enlightened Christian faith, Apostolici Regiminis, December 19, 1513

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Tags: philosophy


It is certainly possible to obtain without difficulty some learning by reading books. The skill of book-printing has been invented, or rather improved and perfected, with God's assistance, particularly in our time. Without doubt it has brought many benefits to men and women since, at small expense, it is possible to possess a great number of books. These permit minds to devote themselves very readily to scholarly studies. Thus there can easily result, particularly among Catholics, men competent in all kinds of languages; and we desire to see in the Roman church, in good supply, men of this type who are capable of instructing even unbelievers in the holy commandments, and of gathering them for their salvation into the body of the faithful by the teaching of the christian faith . Complaints from many persons, however, have reached our ears and those of the apostolic see. In fact, some printers have the boldness to print and sell to the public, in different parts of the world, books -- some translated into Latin from Greek, Hebrew, Arabic and Chaldean as well as some issued directly in Latin or a vernacular language -- containing errors opposed to the faith as well as pernicious views contrary to the christian religion and to the reputation of prominent persons of rank. The readers are not edified. Indeed, they lapse into very great errors not only in the realm of faith but also in that of life and morals . This has often given rise to various scandals, as experience has taught, and there is daily the fear that even greater scandals are developing.... We therefore establish and ordain that henceforth, for all future time, no one may dare to print or have printed any book or other writing of whatever kind in Rome or in any other cities and dioceses, without the book or writings having first been closely examined, at Rome by our vicar and the master of the sacred palace, in other cities and dioceses by the bishop or some other person who knows about the printing of books and writings of this kind and who has been delegated to this office by the bishop in question, and also by the inquisitor of heresy for the city or diocese where the said printing is to take place, and unless the books or writings have been approved by a warrant signed in their own hand, which must be given, under pain of excommunication, freely and without delay.

POPE LEO X, Papal bull on printing books, May 4, 1515

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Tags: books


As far as Martin [Luther] himself is concerned, O good God, what have we overlooked or not done? What fatherly charity have we omitted that we might call him back from such errors?

POPE LEO X, Papal bull condemning Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses, Exsurge Domine, June 15, 1520

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Tags: Martin Luther


We have devoted ourselves to the government and extension of the Church, and, among other objects, we have conceived it to be our duty to foster especially literature and the fine arts ... next to knowledge and true worship of the Creator, nothing is better or more useful to mankind than such studies.

POPE LEO X, attributed, Pope Leo X: Opponent of the Reformation

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Tags: literature


Therefore let Martin himself and all those adhering to him, and those who shelter and support him, through the merciful heart of our God and the sprinkling of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ by which and through whom the redemption of the human race and the upbuilding of holy mother Church was accomplished, know that from our heart we exhort and beseech that he cease to disturb the peace, unity, and truth of the Church for which the Savior prayed so earnestly to the Father. Let him abstain from his pernicious errors that he may come back to us. If they really will obey, and certify to us by legal documents that they have obeyed, they will find in us the affection of a father's love, the opening of the font of the effects of paternal charity, and opening of the font of mercy and clemency. We enjoin, however, on Martin that in the meantime he cease from all preaching or the office of preacher.

POPE LEO X, Papal bull condemning Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses, Exsurge Domine, June 15, 1520

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Grave men have testified to us that your Lordship, according to your surpassing wisdom and piety towards God and his orthodox faith ... has always been hostile to the attempts of that son of iniquity Martin Luther, and has never either aided or favored him. This pleases us the more in that it greatly increases the opinion which we have of your splendid virtue and our paternal goodwill towards you. We cannot say whether we think you have acted more wisely or more piously in this affair. For it is singular wisdom to recognize that a furious man, by no means obedient to his vow of humility, moved by ambition to resuscitate the old heresies of the Wyclifites, Hussites and Bohemians, already condemned by the universal Church, one who manifestly seeks the money of the people, one who by his interpretation of Scripture gives occasion of sinning to the simple, one who breaks the bonds of chastity and innocence, and by his profane words also confession and contrition of heart, one who favors the Turks and deplores the punishment of heretics, one, in short, who tries to mix the highest things with the lowest; it is singular wisdom, I say, to recognize that such a one has not been sent by Christ, but by Satan, for the man has been carried to such a height of pride and madness that he has dared openly to say and write that he will have faith neither in the writings of the holy doctors, nor in the decrees of the Roman Pontiffs, but only in himself and his own opinions, which is more than any heretic has hitherto presumed to do.

POPE LEO X, letter to Frederic, Elector of Saxony, July 8, 1520

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Since God has given us the papacy, let us enjoy it.

POPE LEO X, attributed, The Claims of Christianity

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Give heed to the cause of the holy Roman Church, mother of all churches and teacher of the faith, whom you by the order of God, have consecrated by your blood. Against the Roman Church, you warned, lying teachers are rising, introducing ruinous sects, and drawing upon themselves speedy doom. Their tongues are fire, a restless evil, full of deadly poison. They have bitter zeal, contention in their hearts, and boast and lie against the truth.

POPE LEO X, Papal bull condemning Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses, Exsurge Domine, June 15, 1520

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Since every generation inclines to evil from its youth, and for it to grow accustomed from tender years towards good is the result of work and purpose we rule and order that those in charge of schools, and those who teach young children and youths, ought not only to instruct them in grammar, rhetoric and similar subjects but also to teach those matters which concern religion, such as God's commandments, the articles of the faith, sacred hymns and psalms, and the lives of the saints. On feast days they should limit themselves to teaching what has reference to religion and good habits, and they are obliged to instruct, encourage and compel their pupils in these matters insofar as they can. Thus, let them attend churches not only for masses, but also to listen to vespers and the divine offices, and let them encourage the hearing of instructions and sermons. Let them not teach anything to their pupils that is contrary to good morals or may lead to a lack of reverence.

POPE LEO X, Papal bull on the reforms of the curia and of other things, May 5, 1514

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Tags: education


If the Almighty in his mercy allows us to settle peace among the christian leaders, we shall press on not only to destroy completely the bad seeds, but also to expand the territories of Christ, and, supported by these achievements, we shall go forward, with God favouring his own purposes, to the most holy expedition against the infidels, the desire for which is deeply fixed in our heart.

POPE LEO X, Papal bull condemning every proposition contrary to the truth of the enlightened Christian faith, Apostolici Regiminis, December 19, 1513

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