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Giovanni Pietro Carafa became Pope in 1555. He is known as the Father of the Roman Inquisition. He issued a canon that established the Jewish Ghetto in Rome, the Cum nimis absurdum. All Jews in Rome were forced to wear yellow hats and shawls. The Ghetto was locked at night and a curfew imposed.

As Pope Paul IV, he was also responsible for creation of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, the list of forbidden books introduced after the printing press. Books written by Protestants such as Martin Luther, as well as medical and scientific manuals were forbidden and destroyed under his authority. He also issued the Cum ex Apostolatus Offico, which excluded heretics and non-Catholics from becoming Pope.

Listen to the words of Pope Paul IV

Apostolic Constitution of Pope Paul IV,
"Cum ex Apostolatus Officio"
15th February 1559
(Roman Bullarium Vol. IV. Sec. I, pp. 354-357)

By virtue of the Apostolic office which, despite our unworthiness, has been entrusted to Us by God, We are responsible for the general care of the flock of the Lord. Because of this, in order that the flock may be faithfully guarded and beneficially directed, We are bound to be diligently watchful after the manner of a vigilant Shepherd and to ensure most carefully that certain people who consider the study of the truth beneath them should be driven out of the sheepfold of Christ and no longer continue to disseminate error from positions of authority. We refer in particular to those who in this age, impelled by their sinfulness and supported by their cunning, are attacking with unusual learning and malice the discipline of the orthodox Faith, and who, moreover, by perverting the import of Holy Scripture, are striving to rend the unity of the Catholic Church and the seamless tunic of the Lord. 

To read more, Download PDF.

The image on the right is a photograph of the papal bull written against the Jews of Rome.


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