Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
The Pope and the Magna Carta
The Bull of Pope Innocent III ("Etsi Kavissimus") condemned and annulled the Magna Carta, dated at Anagni 24 August, 1215. It tells the story of how the Pope, when he heard that the Barons had forced King John to enact into law this great Charter of Freedom, issued a Bull purporting to annul the document that is the forerunner of the U.S. constitution.
by Henry C. Clausen
In 1956, Winston Churchill had this to say about the Magna Carta, "here is a law which is above the King and which even he must not break. This reaffirmation of a supreme law and its expression in a general charter is the great work of Magna Carta; and this alone justifies the respect in which men have held it." When Englishmen left their homeland to establish colonies in the New World, they brought with them charters guaranteeing that they and their heirs would "have and enjoy all liberties and immunities of free and natural subjects."
Last summer I attended the American Bar Convention in London. While there we witnessed the dedication at Runnymede of a beautiful memorial erected to commemorate the MAGNA CARTA. Runnymede is located in a delightful place of rolling meadows alongside the River Thames, with Windsor Castle on one side and London on the other.
It was there on June 15th, 1215, that the Barons met and forced King John to sign into law that great charter of liberty. This was no easy task. As the Barons confronted the King, each had his hand upon his sword. History tells us that afterwards the King was so vexed he rolled on the ground and bit the legs of the heavy oak table at which he had been sitting.
The MAGNA CARTA was the forerunner of our own (American) constitution. It was the forerunner not only in the sense that it set forth similar personal and human liberties, the God-given rights of man which no King could destroy, but by successive enactments of law it became part of the Common Law of our own.
Documents in the Museum
The real reason for the MAGNA CARTA will not be found in the field of Runnymede. It is in the British Museum, where I went to view the actual MAGNA CARTA. What I saw there spelled out why the Barons thus confronted their King in 1215.
In a case covered with a cloth that the attendant unfurls, you see not only the MAGNA CARTA, but two other documents alongside which are most revealing. The MAGNA CARTA is in the center. The one on the left bears the title "King John Becomes a Vassal of the Pope, 1214." It tells how the King on demand of the Pope yielded up to the Roman Catholic Church all the kingdoms of England and Ireland in purported remission for his sins.
The third document, on the right of the MAGNA CARTA is entitled "The Pope Annuls Magna Carta, 1215." It tells the story of how the Pope, when he heard that the Barons had forced King John to enact into law this great Charter of Freedom, issued a Bull purporting to annul the document that is the forerunner of the U.S. constitution.
The Pope Annuls Magna Carta, 1215
The Bull of Pope Innocent III ("Etsi Kavissimus") condemned and annulled the Magna Carta. Dated at Anagni, 24 August, 1215, the Pope's leader Bulla is appended by silk strings. After reciting the circumstances of King John's quarrel with the Pope, his surrender of his Kingdoms to the Church and his dispute with the Barons, the Bull ends as follows:
"...so that by force and by fear, which might have assailed even the most courageous of men, he was impelled to enter into an agreement with them (i.e., Magna Carta, an agreement as unlawful and unjust as it was base and shameful, to the too great prejudice and diminution of his own right and honor.)
"Since, therefore, it has been said to us by the Lord through His prophet: 'I have set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to build and to plant,' and also in another prophecy: 'Loose the bands of wickedness, undo the heavy burdens.' We, not wishing to close our eyes to such audacious wickedness, whereby the Holy See is brought into contempt, the royal prerogative diminished, the English nation outraged, and the enterprise of the Crusade ("Tociusne-gotii Crucifixi") gravely imperiled, (for, this surely would straightway ensue, unless by our authority the concessions extorted in this manner from so great a Prince who has taken the cross were wholly revoked, even though he himself should wish them to remain in force) -- we, therefore; in the name of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost and by the authority of the Blessed Peter and Paul, His apostles, and by our own authority, and by the common counsel of our brethren, do utterly reprobate and condemn this agreement and under ban of anathema we command that neither the King shall presume to observe it nor the Barons and their accomplices to require its observation; utterly cancelling and making void both the Charter itself and any pledges or obligations soever that have been made in any way concerning it, so that neither now nor hereafter shall they be of any validity."
The Bull appears to have been originally preserved in the Treasury of the Exchequer; it afterwards passed like the earlier Bull exhibited in this case, into the collection of Sir Robert Cotton. Cotton MS. Cleopatra E. 1 155b-156.
Today, many believe its existence is threatened by the possible absorption of the United Kingdom into the European Union. Perhaps Britain will yet understand their role in YEHOVAH God's Plan.
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