In Coena Domini

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In Coena Domini was a recurrent papal bull between 1363 and 1770, so called from its opening words (Latin "At the table of the Lord", referring to the liturgical feast on which it was annually published in Rome: the feast of the Lord's Supper), formerly issued annually on Holy Thursday (in Holy Week), or later on Easter Monday.

Its first publication was in 1363 under Pope Urban V. It was a statement of ecclesiastical censure against heresies, schisms, sacrilege, infringement of papal and ecclesiastical privileges, attacks on person and property, piracy, forgery and other crimes. For two or three hundred years it was varied from time to time, receiving its final form from Pope Urban VIII in 1627.

Owing to the opposition of the sovereigns of Europe, both Protestant and Catholic, who regarded the bull as an infringement of their rights, its publication was discontinued by Pope Clement XIV in 1770.


The ceremony took place in the loggia of St. Peter's Basilica in the presence of the pope, the College of Cardinals and the Roman Court. The Bull was read first in Latin by an auditor of the Sacred Roman Rota, and then in Italian by a Cardinal Deacon. When the reading was over, the pope flung a lighted waxen torch into the piazza beneath.

The Bull contained a collection of censures of excommunication against the perpetrators of various offences, absolution from which was reserved to the pope. The custom of periodical publication of censures is...
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