The Clash Between Pope Boniface VIII And King Philip IV Of France

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The clash between Pope Boniface VIII and King Philip IV of France began in the year 1296 over taxation of the French Clergy. Specifically, King Philip IV implemented taxes over the clergy and all other laymen of the French kingdom with a motive to fuel a war with King Edward I of England. Refuting this, Boniface asserted that no cleric was to pay taxes to a king without proper papal consent. If the clergy went against his commands, Boniface threatened excommunication to all who ignored him. Though on the surface it appeared as if the quarrel was over taxation, in reality it represented who had the ultimate control and power over the French Clergy. This conflict over influence between Philip and Boniface is commonly referred to as a “Crisis …show more content…
The source Unam Sanctam, authored by Boniface, seeks to remind the clergy where their loyalties truly lie. In this source, the enduring idea that the Holy Roman Catholic Church is the only means for salvation is highlighted. Outside of the church there is “neither salvation or remission of sins. (RMA p.425)” Boniface, making an indirect reference to Philip, states “there is one body and one head, --not two heads as if it were a monster. (RMA p.425)” These particular quotes from the papacy are attempting to convey to the clergy that worldly powers, such as King Philip IV, cannot promise one’s salvation and eternal life as this is an act that only the church can perform. These quotes also emphasize one of the church’s most basic reoccurring ideals that being the distancing of worldly things from Christianity. This ideal or value was commonly preached in the past, such as in the 11th and 12th centuries. There are these two worlds, one with the “law of divinity” and one with the “law of the universe (RMA p.426).” The law of divinity, belonging to the church, “leads the lowest through the intermediate to the highest,” while the law of the universe and worldly things subjects the “inferior to the superior. (RMA p.426).” Though these beliefs are not new, Boniface is trying to remind the French …show more content…
Being forced from Rome in 1309, “the popes settled at Avignon, a provincial city administered by the Angevins of Naples. (SH p.259)” The papacy would remain in this location for the next 68 years. What is interesting about this situation, is the fact that this area was under the “influence of the French crown,” revealing that the papacy couldn’t quite get away from the authority of the French kingdom. It is as if the papacy continued to operate under the French Kingdom’s umbrella, still being closely observed. Despite this, the papacy was able to regain some of its past power as they were able to take in “regular revenues” and employ “Dominicans ad Franciscans” as their foot soldiers ( SH p.259). “When a group objected to their fellows building convents and churches within the cities, the popes condemned them (p.259).” The popes were able to successfully demonstrate their authority. Even though they were able to regain some of their power, the “popes were slowly abandoning the idea of leading all of Christendom and were coming to recognize the right of secular states to regulate their internal affairs. (SH p.259)” Considering this, the papacy exhibited greater respect for and became more aware of secular powers, more than ever before. The church grew to be more mindful and respectful of opposing powers in medieval

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