Bulas de Santa Cruzada

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Bulas de Santa Cruzada

Bulas de Santa Cruzada, ecclesiastical indulgences or remissions of temporal or purgatorial punishment dispensed for payment of a fee or donation. In 1509 Pope Julius II awarded the Spanish crown the right to collect fees for the bulas de santa cruzada (Bulls of the Holy Crusade) in Spain, which, on 5 September 1578, Pope Gregory XIII extended to the Spanish Indies. By agreement with the pope, royal income generated by indulgences was reserved exclusively for fighting the heathens, heretics, schismatics, and enemies of the Catholic faith and for building religious edifices such as Saint Peter's in Rome and San Lorenzo del Escorial in Spain. Spanish monarchs, however, used the steady revenues from the bulas for their own purposes and in the late eighteenth century to meet financial exigencies throughout the Indies. In 1800 net income from these indulgences amounted to approximately 250,000 pesos annually in Mexico and 80,000 pesos in Peru.

See alsoCatholic Church: The Colonial Period .


Recipilación de leyes de los reynos de las Indias, 4 vols. (1681; repr. 1973), libro I, título XX.

Gabriel Martínez Reyes, Finanzas de las 44 diócesis de Indias, 1515–1816 (1980).

Additional Bibliography

Hernández, Francisco Javier. Colección de bulas, breves y otros documentos relativos a la iglesia de América y Filipinas. 2 v. Vaduz, Kraus Reprint, 1964.

                                          John Jay TePaske