Em 24 de Junho de 1888 - faz hoje 122 anos -, o Papa Leão XIII publicou a Encíclica Saepe Nos sobre a prática do Boicote na Irlanda.
A Catholic Encyclopedia explica a génese da questão e a orgiem do nome da coisa:
”At a public meeting in 1880 Parnell put the question to his audience: "What are we to do with a tenant who bids for a farm from which his neighbour has been evicted?" ... Parnell himself had a proposal to offer... In substance it was, that such a person should "be left severely alone, put into a moral Coventry, isolated from his kind as if he was a leper of old". …this severe isolation... affected not only the prime offender but equally anyone convicted of violating the common understanding of having no social intercourse with him. It was put in motion immediately against Captain Boycott of Connemara, agent of Lord Erne, who sent a process server to serve ejectment notices on a number of tenants for non-payment of rent. All his servants were induced to leave him, tradesmen were prevented from working for him, and shopkeepers from supplying him with goods.”O Papa Leão XIII condenou esta prática nos seguintes termos:
”Besides, in a good cause, it is not fitting to seem in some sense to imitate those who in the pursuit of an unlawful end seek to attain it by disorderly effort.
.. We have never opposed their struggling for a better state of things, but can it be regarded as admissible that in the carrying on of that struggle a way should be thrown open which might lead to evil deeds? ... it has been Our constant effort to mark off what was right from what was wrong, and to withhold Catholics from everything not sanctioned by the Christian rules of morals.
We gave to the Irish people timely counsels... to take part in nothing at variance with natural right or forbidden by the Divine law. … all the more as you yourselves, Venerable Brethren...to beware of everything contrary to public order or to charity - such as refusing to discharge just obligations; preventing others from discharging theirs; inflicting injury on anyone either in person or property; violently resisting the law or those engaged in the discharge of public duties; joining in secret societies and the like. These injunctions, most just in themselves and given most seasonably, were praised and approved by Us.
Our duty forbade us to suffer that so many Catholics, whose salvation must be Our first care, should pursue a hazardous and unsafe course leading rather to disorder than to the relief of distress.
… nothing is so harmful to a cause, however just, as recourse to violence and injustice in its defence…
… Let it be understood by all that the entire method of action, whose employment We have forbidden, is forbidden as altogether unlawful.
Let your people seek to advance their lawful interests by lawful means, and most especially, as is becoming in Christians, without prejudice to justice or to obedience to the Apostolic See…"