The Papal Bull Exsurge Domine was given by Leo X in 1520 to answer Martin Luther and the nascent reformation. The bull includes a long list of heretical propositions put forward by Luther, one of which caught my eye:
L: “That heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit.”
Pope Leo says, with reference to this proposition:
“We have therefore held a careful inquiry, scrutiny, discussion, strict examination, and mature deliberation with each of the brothers, the eminent cardinals of the holy Roman Church, as well as the priors and ministers general of the religious orders, besides many other professors and masters skilled in sacred theology and in civil and canon law. We have found that these errors or theses are not Catholic, as mentioned above, and are not to be taught, as such; but rather are against the doctrine and tradition of the Catholic Church, and against the true interpretation of the sacred Scriptures received from the Church.”
In other words, it’s against the catholic faith to hold that heretics ought not to be burned. The burning of heretics is an essential part of the doctrine of the catholic church, according to Leo X. Now, I’d like to ask my catholic friends, is this just a personal opinion of the Pope’s, or is the necessity of heretic burning a part of the infallible ordinary and universal magisterium of the church?