Bull (Papal)

Bull (Papal)

Bulls are pontifical letters from the Pope of Rome, written in old Gothic characters upon stout and coarse skins, and issued from the apostolic chancery, under a seal (bulla) of lead, which seal gives validity to the document, and is attached, if it be a "Bull of Grace," by a cord of silk, and if it be a "Bull of Justice," by a cord of hemp. The word is from Lat. bulla, a drop or bubble, used in later Latin to signify a pendent metallic seal. It is properly the pendent seal which is the bull: it is impressed on one side with the heads of St. Peter and St. Paul, and on the other with the name of the pope and the year of his pontificate. The bull is divided into five parts: the narrative of the fact, the conception, the clause, the date, and the salutation, in which the pope styles himself servus servorum, servant of servants. All bulls bear the name and title of the pope — for example: Gregorius Episcopus Servus Servorum Dei, etc., is prefixed; then follows a general introduction, of which the initial words are used to give a distinct name to the bull, as in the examples: the bull Exsurge Domine, issued by Pope Leo X against Luther in 1520; the bull In Cona Domini, the celebrated bull against heretics, often reissued since 1536; the famous Unigenitus, or bull against Quesnel's writings, 1713; the Dominus ac Redemptor Nostec; or bull for the abolition of the order of Jesuits; the Ecclesia Christi, or the bull which completed the Concordat with France in 1801; the De 'Salute Animarum, or the bull for the regulation of the Catholic Church in Prussia." The instruments, besides the lead hanging to them, have a cross with some text of Scripture or religious motto around them. Those issued by Lucius III have this device, Adjuva nos, Deus salutaris noster; the device of Urban III was, Ad to, Domine, levavi animam meam'; and that of Alexander III, Vias. tuas, Domine, demonstra mihi. Bulls are granted for the consecration of bishops, the promotion to benefices, the celebration of jubilees, etc. Bullarium is a collection of papal bulls. The bull is dated from "the day of incarnation," but briefs are dated from "the nativity." — Farrar, Eccl. Dict. s.v.; Chambers, Encyclopaedia, s.v. SEE BRIEF; SEE BULLARIUM.

Bible concordance for BULL.

Definition of bull

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

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