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BONIFACE


660


BONIFACE


latioc, J§ 120. 122; Duchesne, Pastes Episcopaur de I'An- dmne Gaul CParis, 1894), I, 84-109; Les Ealises Separees (Paris, 1905). 229-279; Buchanan in Diet. Christ. Biog.. s. v.; Gbego- rovius-Hamilton. Hist, c' Rome in the Middle Ages (London, 1894), I, ISO-lSl.

John B. Peterson.

Boniface II, Pope, elected 17 September, 530; d. October. 5.32. In calling him the son of Sigisbald, the "Liber Pontificalis" makes first mention of a pope's Germanic ancestry. Boniface served the Roman Church from early youth. During the reign of Pope Felix IV, he was archdeacon and a personage of considerable influence with the ecclesiastical and civil authorities. His elevation to the papacy is remarkable as offering an unquestionable ex- ample of the nomination of a pope by his pred- ecessor, -n-ithout even the formality of an election. Felix IV apprehending death and fearing a contest for the papacy between Roman and Gothic fac- tions, gathered about him several of his clergy and a number of Roman Senators and patricians who happened to be near. In their presence, he solemnly conferred on his aged archdeacon the pallium of papal sovereignty, proclaiming him his successor and menacing with excommimication those refusing to recognize and obey Boniface as validly chosen pope. On Felix's death Boniface assumed succession, but nearly all of the Roman priests, sixty out of perhaps about seventy, refused to accept him and elected Dioscorus. They fearec-l the imdue influence in papal affairs of the Ostrogothic King Athalaric, whose grandfather, Theodoric I, had helped to elect Pope Felix IV, a circmnstance rendering more odious the latter's nomination of Boniface. Both popes were consecrated 22 September, 530, Boniface in the basilica of Julius, and Dioscorus in the Lateran. The Roman Church was thus involved in the seventh anti-papal schism. Fortunately it endured but twenty-two days, for Dioscorus died 1-1 October, leaving Boniface in possession. He soon convened a Roman synod and presented a decree anathematizing his late rival to which he secured the signatures of the priests who had been Dioscorus's partisans (Decem- ber, 530). Each of these expressed regret for their participation in the irregular election and pledged future obedience. Boniface reconciled many by his mild, conciliatory administration, but some resent- ment remained, for he seems not to have been ten- dered a formal election by those who, despite their submission, had impugned the validity of his nomina- tion; and five years later a pope of their own choice solemnlj' burned the anathema against Dioscorus. (See Agapetus I.) In a second sjTiod, held (531) in St. Peter's, Boniface presented a constitution at- tributing to himself the right to appoint his suc- cessor. The Roman clergj- subscribed to it and promised obedience. Boniface proposed as his choice the deacon Vigilius and it was ratified by priests and people. This enactment provoked bitter resentment and even imperial disfavour, for in a third sjTiod (531) it was rescinded. Boniface burned the con- stitution before the clergy and senate and nullified the appointment of Vigilius.

The reign of Boniface was marked by his active interest in diverse affairs of the Western and Eastern churches. Early in his pontificate he confirmed the acts of the Second Council of Orange, one of the most important of the sixth centurj', which effectually terminated the Semipelagian controversies. Its presiding officer, Cssarius, .Archbishop of Aries, an intimate friend of Boniface, had. previous to the latter's succession, sent the priest Armenius to Rome to ask Boniface to secure the pope's confirmation of the council. Being himself pope when the messenger came, Boniface sent a letter of confirmation to Caesarius (25 January, 531) in which he condemned certain Semipelagian doctrines. He received an appeal from the African bishops, who were labouring


at the reorganization of their church after the Vandal devastation, requesting him to confirm in primatial rights the Archbishop of Carthage, that the latter might be better able to profit by the help of the Roman See. In the east he asserted the rights of the pope to jurisdiction in Illyricimi. (See Boniface I.) In 531, Epiphanius, Patriarch of Constantinople, de- clared irregular the election of Stephen to the Arch- bishopric of Larissa in Thessaly. Despite the severe measures taken in Constantinople to thwart his pur- pose, Stephen appealed to Rome on the ground that Epiphanius was not competent to decide the case, maintaining his point in terms which reveal a clear conception of Roman primacy. Boniface convened a fourth Roman sjiiod 7-9 December, 531, in which some twenty-five docimients were adduced in sup- port of Rome's claim to jurisdiction in lUjTicum. ■The outcome of the sjmod is not known. Boniface was esteemed for his charity, particularly towards the suffering poor of Rome during a year of famine. He was buried in St. Peter's, 17 October, 532, where a fragment of his epitaph may yet be seen (Dufresne, Les CrjT)tes Vaticanes. Rome, 1902).

Liber Pontifiealis. ed. Duchesne (Paris, 1886), pp. xl-xli, 281-284; Jaffe. Regesta Ronutnorum Pontificum (Leipzig, 188o\ I. 111-112; Acta SS., XIII. 78-79; Baronius, Annates Eccl. (Bar-le-Duc. 18671. IX, 3S9-405; Hefele. Concilien- geschiehte. and translations §§ 242, 244; P. L., LXV, 29-48; LXXXIV, 675-680.

On the election of Boniface no literature is reliable which antedates 1883. when .\melli pubhshed the documents on which he comments in Scuola Cattolica (Milan). XXI. fascic. 123; Duchesne. La siu:cessum du Pape Felix IV in Melanges de VEcole de Rome (1883). Ill, 238, 266; Cheagh in Ecclesias- tical Review (Januam-, 1903), XXVIII, 41-50: Ewald, Akten zum Schisma des Jahres SSO in Xeues Archiv. (1885-86); Grego- rovius-Hamilton, Hist, of the Citu of Rome in the Middle Ages (London. 1S94\ I, 346-348; Hutton, The Church of the Sixth Century (London, 1897).

John B. Peterson.

Boniface III-VII, Popes. — Boniface III, Pope, of Roman extraction and the son of John Cataadioce, was elected to succeed Sabinian after an interregnum of nearly a year; he was consecrated 19 February, 607; d. 12 Xovember of the same year. He had been ordained a deacon of the Roman Church, and in 603 sent by Gregorv' the Great as apocrisiarnis, or legate, to the "court of Constantinople, where, by his tact and prudence, he appears to have gained the favourable regard of the Emperor Phocas. After his elevation to the See of Rome, Boniface obtained a decree from Phocas, against CjTiacus. Bishop of Constantinople, by which it was ordained, that "the See of Blessed Peter the Apostle should be the head of all the Churches", and that the title of "Universal Bishop" belonged exclusively to the Bishop of Rome — an ac- knowledgment somewhat similar to that made by Justinian eighty years before (Novell., 131, c. ii, tit. xiv). At Rome Boniface held a comicil, attended by seventy-two bishops and all the Roman clergy, wherein he enacted a decree forbidding anyone under pain of excommunication, during the lifetime of a pope or of a bishop, to treat of or to discuss the ap- pointment of his successor, and setting forth that no steps were to be taken to provide for a successor until three days after the burial of the deceased. The acts of the council are lost, and it is not known what may have been the occasion for the decree. Pope Boniface was a man "of tried faith and character" (St. Greg., ep. xiii, 41). He died within a year of his elevation and was buried in St. Peter's. His epitaph is found in the works of Duchesne and Mann.

Liber Pontificalis (ed. DuchesneI. I. 316; jAFFt. Regesta RR. PP. i2nd ed.). I. 220: Mann. The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle .Ages (London. 1902). I, 259-267: Gregobovius, Geseh. der Stadt' Rom. im M. A. (4th ed., Stuttgart, 1889), II, 104, also in Eng. trans.; Grisar. Gesch. Rams und der Papste in M A (Freiburg im Br.. 1901 1. I. 273; Hefele. Cono/ifn- gesch., 2nd ed., II, 737: Hergenrotheh, Photitis (Ratisbon, 1867), I. 195; Langen. Gesch. der romischen Kirehe von Leo I. W.s Xikolaas /. (Bonn, 1885): Jungmann, Dissertatio7ies,ll. 388.

Boniface IV, Saint, Pope, son of" John, a physician