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 iniquitous practice in our well beloved Republic of the United States of America of having between the candidates for the chief magistracy of the selfsame Republic disputations, contestations, controversies, discussions, arguments, snipings, rivalries, dissensions, and strifes, which, having not the license or the approbation of our Divine Stewardship, being therefore offensive to men, women, holy bishops, priests, deacons, sub-deacons, porters, lectors, exorcists, acolytes, virgins, wives, sons, daughters, suckling babes, lawyers, practitioners after physick, and others, we hereby declare anathema any person who participates in these appalling, revolting, blasphemous, scandalous, impious entertainments much favored of such low personages as politicians, consultants, journalists, commentators, &c., which are sometimes called “presidential debates.”
Furthermore, We have, from Our Apostolic Palace in Rome observed with burning solicitude for Our poor flock the scourge of Politics. We have seen with mounting horror the practice of Christian Virtue among Our faithful reduced to the custom of voting, a practice known among the most perverse pagans of old—those idolaters, those blasphemers, those wretched dogs, those persecutors of the Church, those unbelieving hordes of such places as Greece and the Rome of old, wallowing in their filth before the coming of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. That such a vile, reprehensible, obscene, wicked, blasphemous, irrational, unholy, pagan, and altogether unhappy practice should have taken root in Christian countries is a sorrow beyond words to Our Apostolic Majesty. Our grief is compounded by the intelligence, brought with trembling and dread before us by the aforesaid Christian subject, that these jests, japes, clownings, caperings, posturings, and foolishnesses called debates are considered necessary for citizens to engage in the unspeakable foulness of voting.
Now, therefore, ever mindful of Our great duty, We are pleased to ban, extirpate, eradicate, nullify, suppress, cancel, and forbid absolutely these spectacles as schismatic, heretical, offensive to pious eyes and ears, unworthy of decent Christians, and altogether unsuitable for men of good will, and likewise enjoin most strictly and without any hope of relief even in the smallest degree, however small one might imagine such a degree, from Our Apostolic Severity and Rigour the broadcasting, rebroadcasting, repetition, viewing, hearing, printing, transcribing, summarizing, reading, or awareness, specific or general, firsthand, secondhand, third-hand, or any hand known among Christian people, of such nauseating productions by and among the Christian faithful; whom, in Our most tender solicitude, We wish to protect and defend, lest they be bewitched and beguiled by the appalling error that sometimes goes under the pretended name of Politics.
We are pleased further to decree that any person who is so foolish, so benighted, so wicked, so perverse, and in all probability so reprobate as to participate in, prepare for, comment upon, moderate, view, or otherwise cooperate in the grievous offenses against the common good; viz., the ordered concord of the commonwealth, which We, in Our Apostolic Clemency and Meekness, have condemned hereinabove, shall be excommunicate, vitandus, shunned, to be avoided, cut, and blackballed until such time as they repent of their enormities and return, tormented unspeakably and keenly by their remorse, penitent, in ashes and sackcloth, to the portals of their parish churches, there to await the pleasure of their pastors and submit to such discipline as said pastors see fit to impose, for which discipline We do hereby concede an Apostolic Faculty.
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.
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