Adrian, Bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his dearest son in Christ, the illustrious king of England, greeting, and apostolic benediction.
Full laudably and profitably hath your magnificence conceived the design of propagating your glorious renown on earth, and completing your reward of eternal happiness in heaven; while, as a Catholic prince, you are intent on enlarging the borders of the church, teaching the truth of the Christian faith to the ignorant and rude, exterminating the roots of vice from the field of the Lord, and, for the more convenient execution of this purpose, requiring the counsel and favour of the apostolic see. In which, the maturer your deliberation, and the greater the discretion of your procedure, by so much the happier, we trust, will be your progress, with the assistance of the Lord ; as all things are used to come to a prosperous end and issue, which take their beginning from the ardour of faith and the love of religion.
There is indeed no doubt but that Ireland, and all the islands on which Christ the Sun of Righteousness hath shone, and which have received the doctrines of the Christian faith, do belong to the jurisdiction of St. Peter and of the holy Roman church, as your excellency also doth acknowledge. And therefore we are the more solicitous to propagate the righteous plantation of faith in this land, and the branch acceptable to God, as we have the secret conviction of conscience that this is more especially our bounden duty.
You, then, most dear son in Christ, have signified to us your desire to enter into the island of Ireland, in order to reduce the people to obedience unto laws, and to extirpate the plants of vice; and that you are willing to pay from each house a yearly pension of one penny to St. Peter, and that you v^^ill preserve the rights of the churches of this land whole and inviolate. We, therefore, with that grace and acceptance suited to your pious and laudable design, and favourably assenting to your petition, do hold it good and acceptable, that, for extending the borders of the church, restraining the progress of vice, for the correction of manners, the planting of virtue, and the increase of religion, you enter this island, and execute therein whatever shall pertain to the honour of God and welfare of the land; and that the people of this land receive you honourably, and reverence you as their lord: the rights of their churches still remaining sacred and inviolate ; and saving to St. Peter the annual pension of one penny from every house.
If then you be resolved to carry the design you have conceived into effectual execution, study to form this nation to virtuous manners; and labour, by yourself, and others whom you shall judge meet for this work, in faith, word, and life, that the church may be there adorned, that the religion of the Christian faith may be planted and grow up, and that all things pertaining to the honour of God and the salvation of souls be so ordered, that you may be entitled to the fulness of eternal reward from God, and obtain a glorious renown on earth throughout all ages.