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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2.djvu/735

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BONIFACE


665


BONIFACE


agents to Boniface with letters in which he denied having slain King Adolph, nor had he sought the battle voluntarily, nor borne the royal title while Adolph li\ed, etc. Boniface eventually recognized his election (30 Apr., 1303). A litt'le later (17 July) Albert renewed his father's oath of fidelity to the Roman Church, recognized the papal au- thority in Cierman}' as laid down by Boniface (May, 1300), and promised to send no imperial vicar to Tuscany or Lombardy within the next five years ■without the pope's consent, and to defend the Roman Church against its enemies. In his attempt to pre- serve the independence of Scotland, Boniface was not successful. After the overthrow and imprison- ment of John Baliol. and the defeat of Wallace (1298), the Scots Council of Regency sent envoys to the pope to protest against the feudal superiority of England. Boniface, they said, was the only judge whose juris- diction extended over both kingdoms. Their realm belonged of right to the Roman See, and to none other. Boniface wrote to Edward I (27 June, 1299) reminding him, says Lingard, "alnicst in the verj' words of the Scottish memorial", that Scotland had belonged from ancient times and did still belong to the Roman See; the king was to cease all unjust aggression, free his captives, and pursue at the court of Rome within six months any rights that he claimed to the whole or part of Scotland. This letter reached the king after much delay, through the hands of Robert of Winchelsea, Archl^ishop of Canterburj-, and was laid by Edward before a parliament sum- moned to meet at Lincoln. In its reply (27 Sept., 1300) the latter denied, over the names of 104 lay lords, the papal claim of suzerainty over Scotland, and asserted that a king of England had never pleaded before any judge, ecclesiastical or secular, respecting his rights in Scotland or any other temporal rights, nor would they permit him to do so, were he thus inclined (Lingard, II, ch. vii). The king, however (7 May, 1301), supplemented this act by a memoir in which he set forth his royal view of the historical rela- tions of Scotland and England. In their reply to this plea the representatives of Scotland re-assert the im- memorial suzerainty of the Roman Church over Scot- land "the property, the peculiar allodium of the Holy See"; in all controversies, they said, between these equal and independent kingdoms it is to their •equal superior, the Church of Rome, that recourse should be had. Tliis somewhat academic conflict soon seemed hopeless at Rome, owing to the mutual violence and quarrels of the weaker party (Belles- heim, "Hist, of the Cath. Church of Scotland", London, 1887, II, 9-11), and is of le.ss importance than the strained relations between Boniface and Edward, apropos of the unjust taxation of the clergj*. In 1294, of his own authority, Edward I sequestered all moneys found in the treasuries of all churches and monasteries. Soon he demanded and obtained from the clergy one half their incomes, both from lay fees and benefices. In the following year he called for a third or a fourth, but they refused to pay more than a tenth. When, at the Convocation of Canterburj' (November, 1296), the king demanded a fifth of their income, the archbishop, Robert of Windielsea, in keeping with the new legislation of Boniface, offered to consult the pope, whereupon the king outlawed the clergy, secular and regular, and seized all their lay fees, goods, and chattels. The northern Province of York yielded; in the Province of Canterbury many resisted for a time, among them the courageous archbishop, who retired to a rural parish. Eventually he was reconciled with the king, and his goods were restored, but as Edward soon after demanded in his own right a third of all ec- clesiastical revenues, his recognition of the Bull 'Clericis laicos" was evanescent. The memorable conflict with Pliilip the Fair of


France began early in the pope's reign and did not end even mth the tragic close of his pontificate. The pope's chief aim was a general European peace, in the interest of a crusade that would break forever, at what seemed a favourable moment, the power of Islam. The main immediate obstacle to such a peace lay in the war between France and England, caused by Philip's unjust seizure of Gascony (1294). The chief combatants carried on the war at the expense of the Church, whose representatives they sorely taxed. Such taxation had often been permitted in the past by the popes, but only for the purpose (real or alleged) of a crusade; now it was applied in order to raise revenue from ecclesiastics for purely secular warfare. The legates sent by Boniface to both kings a few weeks after his elevation accomplished little; later efforts were rendered useless by the stubborn attitude of Philip. In the meantime numerous pro- tests from the French clergy moved the pope to action, and with the approval of his cardinals he published (24 Feb., 1296) the Bull "Clericis laicos", in which he forbade the laity to exact or receive, and the clergj' to give up, ecclesiastical revenues or property, without permission of the Apostolic See; princes imposing such exactions and ecclesiastics submitting to them were declared excommunicated. Other popes of the thirteenth century, and the Third and Fourth Lateran Councils (1179, 1215), had legislated similarly against the oppressors of the clergj-; apart, therefore, from the opening line of the Bull, that seemed offensive as reflecting on the laity in general {Clericis laicos infensos esse oppido tradit antiquitns, i. e., "All history shows, clearly the enmity of the laity towards the clergy," — in reality a byword in the schools and taken from earlier sources), there was nothing in its very general terms to rouse particularly the roj'al anger. Philip, however, was indignant, and soon retaliated by a roj'al ordinance (17 Aug.) forbidding the export of gold or silver, precious stones, weapons, and food from his king- dom. He also forbade foreign merchants to remain longer within its bounds. These measures affected immediately the Roman Church, for it drew much of its revenue from France, inclusive of crusade moneys, whence the numerous papal collectors were henceforth banished. The king also caused to be prepared a proclamation (never promulgated) con- cerning the obligation of ecclesiastics to bear the public burden and the revocable character of ec- clesiastical immunities. (For the generous contribu- tions of the French clergy to the national burdens, see the exhaustive statistics of Bourgain in ' ' Rev. des quest, hist.", 1890, XLVIII, 62.) In the BuU "Ineffabilis Amor" (20 Sept.) Boniface protested vigorously against these royal acts, and explained that he had never meant to forbid voluntary gifts from the clergy or contributions necessary for the defence of the kingdom, of which necessity the king and his council were the judges. During 1297 the pope sought in various ways to appease the royal embitterment, notably by the Bull "Etsi de Statu" (31 July), above all by the canonization (11 Aug., 1297) of the king's grandfather, Louis IX. The royal ordinance was withdrawn, and the painful incident seemed closed. In the meantime the truce which in 1296 Boniface had tried to impose on Philip and Edward was finally accepted by both kings early in 1298, for a space of two years. The disputed matters were referred to Boniface as arbiter, though Philip accepted him not as pope, but as a private person, as Benedetto Oaetano. The award, favour- able to Philip, was issued (27 June) by Boniface in a public consistory.

In the Jubilee of 1300 the high spirit of Boniface might well recognize a compensation and a consola- tion for previous humiliations. This imique cele- bration, the apogee of the temporal splendour of the