We, in the name of God, Hadrian the Seventh, the Paparch, the Apostle of the Apostolic See and of the Roman city, by divine clemency reigning, wish to make known to all to whomsoever these presents shall come that one of our Christian Subjects has exposed to us the iniquity of certain Authors, who, in divers places and most frequently, have, without the license of the Public Authority (instituted in accordance with the Sublime Rule of Nature for the protection of the souls of men), nor the approbation of our Divine Stewardship, published the most revolting, foul, noxious, poisonous, blasphemous, vicious, wicked, deceitful, covinous, Brummagem, catch-penny Pamphlets, full of most loathsome pricks or lines; the which, being offensive to men, women, holy priests, deacons, sub-deacons, porters, lectors, exorcists, acolytes, virgins, wives, sons, daughters, suckling babes, lawyers, practitioners after physick, and others, we hereby declare anathema these selfsame base cullions, rascals, apes, dogs, shoes, &c. who have addressed themselves to the baptized under the supposed appellation of “Open Letters.”

i. We do hereby erase, destroy, obviate, and blot out utterly their lies, spoofs, Cornish hugs, mummeries, frauds, tinsel, German silver, men of straw, trickeries, coggeries, prestidigitations, hoaxes, swindles, tricks upon travelers, blasphemies rumored to be in use among the pagans, along with their several deceits, oracles, superstitions, and heresies, and likewise forbid their distribution, dissemination, collation, paraphrase, translation, Englishing and Latinizing, or discussion in hushed tones among the Christian faithful; whom We, in our pastoral solicitude, would preserve from all such exaggerations, aggravations, men in buckram, and cloven hooves, that they might not nibble at the bait of perdition.

ii. We further decree that such dissemblers, imposters, rogues, knaves,  physicians’ harpies, devout assassins, cocks, bears, owls who prefer to suffer such torments as are reserved for the damned—viz., shrieks, wails, moans, outcries, sights of fiends, black dogs, burnings, scorchings, subjugation under the Rule of flames,—be shunned by all faithful Christians (lest they be made the dupes, gulls, pigeons, puppets, cats’ paws, April fools, or simple Simons of these mountebanks, actresses, asses in lion’s skin) until such time as they return in remorse to their true selves, abjuring error and the pursuit of false fame, that very harlot, temptress, she-wolf, bitch, cur, whore, and mistress of evil.

iii. We do add by Our Apostolic Authority that, having first renounced, abnegated, and disclaimed these profane writings, so long as they remain in the company of Christians any stroke, dash, blot, tick, point, nick, red letter, portrait, pictograph, cinematograph, heliotype, stereotype, Chinese character, or asterisk written, composed, translated, or made the subject of learned commentary by the aforementioned be submitted first to the Public Censor and to Our Own Divine Authority.

iv. None may lawfully contravene, infringe upon, ignore, or avoid this our most solemn, binding, and final written communication and decree. Should anyone dare to attempt such a thing, let him know that he will incur the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.

Given at Rome at Saint Peter’s on the Vatican Hill, and sealed with the Ring of the Fisherman, this forty-thousandth, seven-hundredth and we-care-not–what-else day of our Supreme Pontificature.

L.S. (Signed) HADRIAN P.M. vii.

To read more articles like this one,
subscribe to The Lamp here.