We need to consider... will Magna Carta bring peace and freedom? Why don’t you start by exploring the document and reading the transcript...
Since, 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, 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. 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 whatsoever that have been made in any way concerning it, so that neither now nor hereafter shall they be of any validity.
This document is a letter from the Pope saying that Magna Carta is null and void. It means that John is free to ignore it. John sent his servants to Rome to get this document almost immediately after he agreed to Magna Carta.
August 1215 British Library
What was a Papal Bull?
A Papal Bull is a document, such as a letter or charter, issued by the Pope. Is it called such because the seal which authenticates it is called a ‘bulla’. They have been used since the 6th century. This Papal Bull was issued by Pope Innocent III.
Test your understanding
Who does the Pope say must ignore Magna Carta?
That’s not correct... Try studying the Papal Bull again, and listening to the transcript...
Excellent, that’s correct. The Pope ordered the King and barons to ignore Magna Carta.
Will Magna Carta bring peace and freedom?
Is Magna Carta simply a collection of complaints and grumbles by the barons which will only have benefits for them?
Is Magna Carta more than this? Is it an important statement of key principles about how the king can rule and will have benefits for everyone in England?
Will this document be long lasting and bring about peace and freedom, or will King John will find a way out of it?
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