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Posts Tagged ‘dublo filios gehennae’

Your Holiness Pope Benedict XVI,

greetings from Turku, South West of Finland, the city where Christianity first arrived in the country.

If I could accompany this email with music there would be Mozart’s clarinet concerto on the background. I’ve learned it is one of Your Holiness’ favorite pieces of Mozart’s music.

I write to Your Holiness with a question in mind. The first official document about Finland is called Gravis admodum. It was a letter that Pope Alexander III wrote to archbishop of Uppsala and to other bishops of Sweden either in 1171 or 1172. I cite the whole letter in original latin below:

Alexander papa III Vpsalensi archiepiscopo et suffraganeis eius et Guthermo duci. Grauis admodum et difficilis est ad apostolicam sedem querela perlata, quod Phinni semper, imminente sibi exercitu inimicorum, fidem seruare christianam promittunt et prædicatores et eruditores christianæ legis desideranter requirunt, et recedente exersitu fidem abnegant, praedicatores contemnunt et grauiter persequuntur. Ynde quoniam in hoc Deo illudere et christianam religionem deridere videntur, et illis se duplo filios gehennæ constituentibus salus et vita eorum tota in terrenis, neglectis cœlestibus, conspicitur consistere, nec est dignum, vt eis aduersitate christianum nomen defensionem conferat, quod in prosperitate despicere et horrere probantur; vniuersitatem vestram monemus atque mandamus, quatimus a fallacijs et fraudibus eorum ita prudenter et discrete de cætero caueatis, quod, si ingruerit necessitas, ad auxilium et defensionem vestram non possint recurrere, nisi munitiones, si quas habent, vobis tenendas assignent aut alias adeo sufficientem cautionem exhibeant et securitatem, quod a modo nullatenus pedes retrahere aut vestram prudentiam valeant circumuenire, sed christianæ fidei documenta cogantur tenere firmiter et seruare; ne amplius de eorum numero videantur, de quibus dictum est: Confitebitur tibi, cum benefeceris ei. Datum Tuscul. V. idus septembris.

The letter says that the Finns are not trustworthy and that they are indeed “twice children of hell” (“dublo filios gehennae”) because they ask help from the church in times of need but turn their backs to Christianity when they don’t need the church to help them. This is a very heavy allegation and no Pope has repealed this during the 840 years that has passed since. My question to Your Holiness is that do you confirm the allegation that Pope Alexander III did against the Finns or do you repeal the allegation? Are the Finns still officially “twice children of hell” in Vatican’s books?

Sincerely,

Mesikämmen

 

[This email was sent to Pope Benedict XVI’s email benedictxvi@vatican.va on Monday 8th of November 2010].

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