Framed Pope Paul V Papal Bull (or decree) concerns the alienation of Church property, by sale or gift. The holding of ecclesiastical property was a matter of great importance to the medieval Church, since it was the economic foundation of the Church's activity. (It's still a big deal today.) The general principle is that a property (building, farm, or other landholding) once given to the Church is in effect given to God, and no one can legitimately give it to anyone else. Of course, medieval history is replete with the cat-and-mouse games between the church officials and others interested in getting their hands on property of the church. Keep in mind also that bishops, monasteries and other Church institutions were also feudal lords, with all the financial implications of that position. Bishops would have had several vicars, one to supervise the religious activities of the diocese (that's the vicar general here addressed), and another to manage the feudal properties….a business manager, as we would say. This is all the social-economic background to the issue covered in this document. It seems to be a relatively minor matter of selling a small field belonging to a minor monastery; but note that the pope's permission is still required for such a sale. It's minor enough that the case can be delegated to the vicar general of the diocese; but he is here authorized to give papal permission if he deems it right."- Translated and Summarized by Peter Ahr with assistance from Michael Mascio and Fred Booth- April 18, 2018


  • Title: Papal Bull
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1605/1621
  • Location Created: Vatican City
  • Physical Dimensions: 13" x 20 1/2"
  • Subject Keywords: decree, property, religion, pope, rule, church
  • Type: Decree
  • Medium: Parchment
  • Collection: Courtesy of the Archives of the Archdiocese of Newark
  • Accession #: 2017.06.0001

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