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BONIFACE


666


BONIFACE


papacy (Zaccaria De anno Jubilsei, Rome, 1775), was formally inaugurated by the pope on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul (29 June). Giovanni Villani, an eyewitness, relates in his Florentine chronicle that about 200.000 pilgrims were constantly in the City. It was necessarj' to make an opening in the wall of the Leonine City, near the Tiber, so that the multi- tude might have a larger freedom of movement. Pilgrims came from every countrj- in Europe and even from distant Asia. Ominously enough, if we except the elder son of the King of Naples, none of the kings or princes of Europe came to pay their respects to the Vicar of Christ. The second crown in the papal tiara, indicative of the temporal power, is said to date from the reign of Boniface, and may have been added at this time.

In the meantime Philip continued in a merciless way his fiscal oppression of the Church, and abused more than ever the so-called reqalia. or royal privilege of collecting the revenues of a diocese during its vacancy. Since the middle of 1297 the exiled Colonna had found refuge and sympathy at the court of Philip, whence they spread calumnious charges against Boniface, and urged the calling of a general council for his deposition. The royal absolutism was now further incited by suggestions of a universal Christian dominion under the hegemony of France. The new state was to secure, besides the Holy Land, a universal peace. Both empires, the Byzantine and the German, were to be incorporated in it, and the papacy was to become a purely spiritual patriarch- ate, its temporalities administered by the French king, who would pay the pope an annual salary corresponding to his office. Such was the new Byzantinism outlined in a work on the recovery of the Holy Land ("De recuperatione terras sancta?", in Bongars, "Gesta Dei per Francos", II, 316-61, ed. Langlois, Paris, 1S91), and though only the private work of Pierre Dubois, a civil servant of Philip, it probably reflected some fantastic plan of the king (Finke, Zur Charakteristik, 217-18).

In the first half of 1301 Boniface commissioned Bernard de Saissct, Bishop of Pamiers (Languedoc), as legate to Philip. He was to protest against the continued oppression of the clergj-, and to urge the king to apply conscientiously to a crusade the ec- clesiastical tithes collected by papal indults. For various reasons De Saisset was not a welcome envoy (Langlois, Hist, de France, ed. Lavisse, III, 2, 143). On his return to Pamiers he was accused of treason- able speech and incitement to insurrection, was brought to Paris (12 July, 1301), thence to Senlis, where he was found guilty in a trial directed by Pierre Flote, and known to modern historians (Von Reumont) as "a model of injustice and violence". De Saisset in vain protested his innocence and denied the competency of the civil court; he was committed temporarily to the care of the Archbishop of Nar- bonne, while Pierre Flote and Guillaume de Nogaret went to Rome to secure from Boniface the degrada- tion of his legate and his delivery to the secular au- thority. Boniface acted with decision. He de- manded from the king the immediate liberation of De Saisset and wrote to the Archbishop of Narbonne to detain the latter no longer. By the Bull ' ' Salvator Mundi" he withdrew the indults by which the French king collected canonically ecclesiastical revenue for the defence of the kingdom, i. e., he re-established in vigour the"Clericis laicos", and in the famous Bull "Ausculta Fih" (Listen, O Son) of 5 Dec, 1.301, he stood forth as the mouthpiece of the medieval papacy, and as the genuine successor of the Gregories and the Innocents. In it he appeals to the king to listen to the Vicar of Christ, who is placed over kings and kingdoms (cf. Jer., i. 10). He is the keeper of the keys, tlie judge of the living .and the dead, and sits on the throne of justice, with power to extirpate


all iniquity. He is the head of the Church, which is one and stainless, and not a many-headed mon.ster, and has full Divine authority to pluck out and tear down, to build up and plant. Let not the king imagine that he has no superior, is not subject to the higliest authority in the Church. The pope is con- cerned for the welfare of all kings and princes, but particularly for the house of France. He then goes on to relate his many grievances against the king, the application of ecclesiastical goods to secular uses, despotic procedure in dragging ecclesiastics before civil courts, hindrance of episcopal authority, disrespect for papal provisions of benefices, and oppression of the clergy. He will no longer be re- sponsible for the protection (custodm) of the mon- arch's soul, but has decided, after consulting his cardinals, to call to Rome for 4 Nov., 1302, the French bishops and doctors of theologj', principal abbots, etc.. to "dispose what is suitable for the correction of abuses, and for the reformation of the king and the kingdom". He invites the king to be present personally or through representatives, warns him against his evil counsellors, and finally reminds him eloquently of the royal neglect of a crusade. An impartial reader, says Von Reumont, will see that the document is only a repetition of previous papal utterances and resumes the teaching of the most esteemed medieval theologians on the nature and extension of papal authority. It was presented to the king (10 Feb.. 1.302) by Jacques de Normans, Archdeacon of Narbonne. The Comte d'Artois tore it from the archdeacon's hands and cast it into the fire; another copy destined for the French clergy was suppressed (Hefele, 2d ed., VI, 329). In the place of the" Ausculta Fill", there was at once circu- lated a forged Bull, "Deum time" (Fear God), very probably the work of Pierre Flote, and with equal probability approved by the king. Its five or six brief haughty lines were really drawn up to include the fateful phrase. Scire te I'olumiis qxwd in spiritiiali- bus et temporalibus riobis siibes (i. e., We wish thee to know that thou art our subject both in spiritual and in temporal matters). It was also added (an odious thing for the grandson of St. Louis) that whoever denied this was a heretic.

In vain did the pope and the cardinals protest against the forgerj-; in vain did the pope explain, a little later, that the subjection spoken of in his Bull was only ratione peccati, i. e., that the morality of every royal act, private or public, fell within the papal prerogative. The general tone of the "Aus- culta Fill", its personal admonitions couched in severe Scriptural language, its proposal to provide from Rome a good and prosperous administration of the French Kingdom, were not calculated to soothe at this juncture the minds of Frenclmien already agitated by the events of the preceding years. It is also improbable that Boniface was personally very popular with the French secular clergy, whose peti- tion (1290) against the encroachments of the regular orders he had rejected in his rough sarcastic manner, when legate at Paris (Finke in "Romische Quartal- schrift", 189.5, IX. 171; "Journal des Savants", 189.5, 240). The national concern for the independ- ence and honour of the French king was further heightened by a forged reply of the king to Boniface, known as"Si-iat maxima tua fatuitas". It begins: " Philip, by the grace of God King of the Franks, to Boniface who acts as Supreme Pontiff. Let thy very great fatuity know that in temporal things we are

subject to no one " Such a document, though

probably never officially presented at Rome (Hefele), certainly made its way thither. After forbidding the French clergj' to go to Rome or to send thither any moneys, and setting a watch on all roads, ports, and passes leading to Italy, Philip forestalled the pope's November council by a national assembly at