Excommunication Against Wrongdoers In The Guild A.D. 1501
Moycullen Historical Society
Alexander the bishop, servant of the servants of God, (sends) greetings and apostolic blessing to his venerable brothers, the archbishop of Tuam, and to the bishops of Clonfert and Milo potamen.
The warden of our beloved son and the chief of St. Nicholas’ Church in Canole town, Annotanensis – Galway, Enachdunensis – has pointed out to us that some sons of injustice whom he wholly is unaware of, have caused serious loss and harm on the goods and income of the said Church in the current month and on the warden and chief themselves, and also on the goods, fruits, profits, products, goblets, church ornaments, glasses, land, homes, possessions, water ways, buildings, wine, tools, com, gold and silver minted and non-minted, oils and other things, gold vases, bronze, copper, silver and clothing both of wool and silk, garments, toys, plus domestic utensils, books, public and private scripts, wills and other documents, horses, oxen, sheep and other animals, debts, credits, bequests, loans set aside, sums of money, rules, edicts, and several other moveable and fixed goods concerning the monthly value of that same respected church, and they presume – rashly and evilly – to hide these things and to keep them hidden, not caring to present these to the said warden and chief or to make satisfaction for losses like this, to the danger of their souls, and the great loss of both warden and chief, beyond which the same warden and chief beg for a remedy from the apostolic seat.
Wherefore we instruct your fraternity through apostolic letter that you advise those who inflict these losses and those who are secretly hiding the said property and goods – on our part, publicly , in the Churches openly – through you or any others, that within a fixed period, which you will have notified to them, they restore and lay bare to the said warden and chief what is owed by them and that they pay back full and due satisfaction for losses of this type if they have not fulfilled this within an agreed time which you should have strictly placed on them, you are then to pronounce on them a general sentence of excommunication and to outline where you may do it and when you may witness it and this (is) to be published for very worthy satisfaction .
But if all of you are not able to be present to carry out these things, one or two of you may nonetheless pursue the matter.
(This is) given at Rome at St. Peter’s, i n the year of the Lord 1501, 6 Jan., in the tenth year of our Papacy.