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BONIFACE


659


BONIFACE


during the early centuries. Just after Zosiinus's obsequies, 27 December, 418, a faction of the Roman clergj' consisting principally of deacons seized the Lateran basilica and elected as pope the Archdeacon Eulalius. The higher clergj- tried to enter, but were violently repulsed by a mob of adherents of the Eulalian party. On the following day they met in the church of Theodora and elected as pope, much against his will, the aged Boniface, a priest highly esteemed for his charity, learning, and good char- acter. On Sunday, 29 December, both were conse- crated, Boniface in the Basilica of St. Marcellus, supported by nine provincial bishops and some seventy priests; Eulalius in the Lateran basihca in the presence of the deacons, a few priests and the Bishop of Ostia, who was summoned from his sick- bed to assist at the ordination. Each claimant pro- ceeded to act as pope, and Rome was thrown into tumultuous confusion by the clash of the rival factions. The Prefect of Rome. Sj-mmachus, hos- tile to Boniface, reported the trouble to the Em- peror Honorius at Ravenna, and secured the im- perial confirmation of Eulalius's election. Boniface was expelled from the city. His adherents, however, secured a hearing from the emperor who called a sjTiod of Italian Bishops at Ravenna to meet the rival popes and discuss the situation (February, March, 419). Unable to reach a decision, the sj-nod made a few practical provisions pending a general coimcil of Italian, Gaulish, and African bishops to be convened in May to settle the difficulty. It ordered both claimants to leave Rome tmtil a deci- sion was reached and forbade return under penalty of condemnation. As Easter, 30 March, was approach- ing, Achilleus, Bishop of Spoleto, was deputed to conduct the paschal services in the vacant Roman See. Boniface was sent, it seems, to the cemeterj- of St. Felicitas on the Via Salaria, and Eulalius to Antium. On 18 March, Eulalius boldly returned to Rome, gathered his partisans, stirred up strife anew, and spuming the prefect's orders to leave the city, seized the Lateran basilica on Holy Satur- day (29 March), determined to preside at the paschal ceremonies. The imperial troops were required to dispossess him and make it possible for Achilleus to conduct the services. The emperor was deeply indignant at these proceedings and refusing to con- sider again the claims of Eulalius, recognized Boni- face as legitimate pope (.3 April, 418). The latter re-entered Rome 10 April and was acclaimed by the people. Eulalius was made Bishop either of \epi in Tuscany or of some Campanian see, according to tlie conflicting data of the sources of the "Liber Pontificalis". The schism had lasted fifteen weeks. Early in 420, the pope's critical illness encouraged the partisans of Eulalius to make another effort. On his recoverj' Boniface requested the emperor (1 July, 420) to make .some provision against possible renewal of the schism in the event of his death. Honorius enacted a law providing that, in contested papal elections, neither claimant should be recog- nized and a new election should be held.

Boniface's reign was marked by great zeal and activity in disciplinary organization and control. He reversed his predecessor's policy of endowing certain Western bishops with extraordinary papal vicariate powers. Zosimus had given to Patroclus, Bi.shop of Aries, extensive jurisdiction in the provinces of Vienna, and Narbonne, and had made him an intermediary between these provinces and the Apos- tolic See. Boniface diminished these primatial rights and restored the metropolitan powers of the chief bishops of provinces. Thus he sustained Hilarj', Arclibishop of Xarbonne in his choice of a bishop of the vacant See of Lodeve, against Patro- clus, who tried t.o intrude another (422). So, too, he insisted that Maximus, Bishop of Valence should


be tried for his alleged crimes, not by a primate, but by a synod of the bishops of Gaul, and promised to sustain their decision (419). Boniface succeeded to Zosimus's difficulties with the African Church regard- ing appeals to Rome and, in particular, the case of Api- arius. The Council of Carthage, having heard the rep- resentations of Zosimus's legates, sent to Boniface on 31 May, 419, a letter in reply to the commonitorium of his predecessor. It stated that the council had been unable to verify the canons which the legates had quoted as Nicene, but which were later found to be Sardican. It agreed, however, to observe them tmtil verification could be established. This letter is often cited in illustration of the defiant attitude of the African Church to the Roman See. An imbiased study of it, however, must lead to no more extreme conclusion than that of Dom Chapman: "it was wTitten in considerable irritation, vet in a studiously moderate tone" (Dublin Review, July, 1901, 109-119). The Africans were irritated at the insolence of Boni- face's legates and incensed at being urged to obey laws which they thought were not consistently en- forced at Rome. This they told Boniface in no uncertain language; yet, far from repudiating his authority, they promised to obey the suspected laws, thus recognizing the pope's office as guardian of the Church's discipline. In 422 Boniface received the appeal of Anthony of Fussula who, through the efforts of St. Augustine, had been deposed by a pro\nncial sjTiod of Numidia, and decided that he should be restored if his innocence be established. Boniface ardently supported St. Augustine in com- bating Pelagianism. Having received two Pelagian letters calumniating Augustine, he sent them to him. In recognition of this solicitude Augustine dedi- cated to Boniface his rejoinder contained in "Contra duas Epistolas Pelagianoriun Libri quatuor".

In the East he zealously maintained his jurisdiction over the ecclesiastical provinces of IlljTicum, of which the Patriarch of Constantinople was trj'ing to secure control o:i account of their becoming a part of the Eastern empire. The Bishop of Thessalonica had been constituted papal vicar in this territory, exercising jurisdiction over the metropolitans and bishops. By letters to Rufus, the contemporary incumbent of the see, Boniface watched closely over the interests of the lUjTian church and insisted on obedience to Rome. In 421 dissatisfaction expressed by certain malcontents among the bishops, on ac- coimt of the pope's refusal to confirm the election of Perigines as Bishop of Corinth unless the candidate was recognized by Rufus, served as a pretext for the young emperor Theodosius II to grant the ecclesi- astical dominion of IlljTicum to tne Patriarch of Constantinople (14 July, 421). Boniface remon- strated with Honorius against the violation of the rights of his see, and prevailed upon him to urge Theodosius to rescind his enactment. The law w'as not enforced, but it remained in the Theodosian (439) and Justinian (534) codes and caused much trouble for succeeding popes. By a letter of 1 1 March, 422, Boniface forbade the consecration in IlljTicum of any bishop whom Rufus would not recognize. Boniface renewed the legislation of Pope Soter, pro- hibiting women to touch the sacred linens or to minister at the burning of incense. He enforced the laws forbidding slaves to become clerics. He was buried in the cemetery of Maximus on the Via Sa- laria, near the tomb of his favourite, St. Felicitas, in whose honour and in gratitude for whose aid he had erected an oratory over the cemeten,' bearing her name. The Church keeps his feast on 25 October.

Liber Pontificalis. e>i. Ducbesxk (Paris, 18Sr)\ I, pp. Lxii, 227-229; Jaff^. Regesta Romanorum Ponlificum (Leipzig, 1885). 1,51-54; Acta SS., XIII. G2*; LIX. 605-G16; Baron- ids. Annates (Bar-le-Duc, 1866). VII, 152-231; Tillemont, Mi-moires (Venice. 17.32). XII, 385-407; 666-670; P. L., XVIII, 397—406; XX, 745-792; Hefele, Conciliengeschiehte and traiui-