(On Appealing to a Future Council)
Papal Bull of Pope Pius II
1. An execrable, and in former ages unheard-of-abuse, has sprung up in our time, namely that some people, imbued with the spirit of rebellion, presume to appeal to a future Council, from the Roman Pontiff, the Vicar of Jesus Christ, to whom it was said in the person of blessed Peter: "Feed my sheep" and "Whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound also in Heaven"; they do not do so because they are anxious to obtain sounder judgment, but in order to escape the consequences of their sins, and anyone who is not ignorant of the laws can realize how contrary this is to the sacred canons and how detrimental to the Christian community. Because - passing over other things which are most manifestly opposed to this corruption - who would not find it ridiculous when appeals are made to what does not exist and the time of whose future existence nobody knows? The poor are oppressed in many ways by the stronger, crimes remain unpunished, freedom is conceded to delinquents, and all the ecclesiastical discipline and hierarchical order are confounded.
2. Wishing therefore to thrust away from Christ's Church this pestilent venom, to take care of the salvation of all those who have been committed to us, and to hold off from the sheepfold of our Saviour all cause of scandal, we condemn appeals of this kind by the counsel of all prelates and juris-consults of Divine and human law adhering to the Curia and on the ground of our sure knowledge; we denounce them as erroneous and detestable, quash and entirely annul them in the event that any such appeals, extant at present, may be discovered, and we declare and determine that they are - like something void and pestilent - of no significance. Consequently, we enjoin that nobody dares under whatever pretext to make such an appeal from any of our ordinances, sentences or commands and from those of our successors, or to adhere to such appeals, made by others, or to use them in any manner.
3. If any one, of whatever status, rank, order or condition he may be, even if adorned with imperial, royal or Papal dignity, shall contravene this after the space of two months from the day of the publication of this Bull by the Apostolic Chancery, he shall ipso facto incur sentence of anathema, from which he can not be absolved except by the Roman Pontiff and at the point of death. A University or a corporation shall be subjected to an ecclesiastical interdict; nonetheless, corporations and Universities, like the aforesaid and any other persons, shall incur those penalties and censures which offenders who have committed the crimen laesae maiestatis and promoters of heretical depravity are known to incur. Furthermore, scriveners and witnesses who shall witness acts of this kind and, in general, all those who shall knowingly furnish counsel, help or favour to such appealers, shall be punished with the same penalty.
Therefore, it is not allowed to any man to infringe or to oppose by audacious perversion this charter of our will, by which we have condemned, reproved, quashed, annulled, decreed, declared and ordered the aforesaid. If any one, however, shall so attempt, let him know that he shall incur the indignation of Almighty God and of Saint Peter and Paul, His Apostles.
Given at Mantua, in the year 1460 of the Lord's Incarnation, on the fifteenth day before the Kalends of February, in the second year of our Pontificate.