Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 2.djvu/737

This page needs to be proofread.




Paris (10 April, 1301) in the Cathedral of Notre Dame. The forged BuU was read before the rspresentatives of the three estates; the pope was violently denounced by Pierre Flote as aiming at temporal sovereignty in France; the king besouglit as their friend, and as their ruler commanded all present to aid him with tiieir counsel. Nobles and burghers offered to shed their blood tor the king; the clsrg^-, confused and hesitating, sought delay, but finally yielded so far as to write to the pope quite in the sense of the king. The lay estates directed to the cardinals a defiant protest, in which they «-ithheld the papal title from Boniface, recounted the services of France to the Roman Church, and re-echoed the usual royal com- plaints, above all the calling to Rome of the principal ecclesiastics of the nation. The letter of the bishops ■was directed to Boniface and begged him to maintain the former concord, to withdraw the call for the council, and suggested prudence and moderation, since the laity was prepared to defy all papal censures. In the reply of the cardinals to the lay estates, they xissert their complete harmony with the pope, de- nounce the aforesaid forgeries, and maintain that the pope never asserted a right of temporal sover- eignty in France.

In his reply Boniface roundly scourged the bishops for their cowardice, human respect, and selfishness; at the same time he made use, after his fashion, of not a few expressions offensive to the pride of French ecclesiastics and poured sarcasm over the person of the powerful Pierre Flote (Hefele). Finally, in & public consistoiy (August, 1302) at which the envoys of the king were present, the Cardinal-Bishop of Porto formally denied that the pope had ever claimed any temporal sovereignty over France and asserted that the genuine Bull (Ausculta Fili) had been well weighed and was an act of love, despite the fatherly severity of certain expressions. He insisted that the king was no more free than any other Christian from the supreme ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the pope, and maintained the unity of ecclesiastical authority. The Apostolic See, he said, was not foreign terri- tory, nor could its nominees be rightly called for- ■eigners. For the rest, the pope had full authority in temporal matters ratione peccati, i. e., in as far as the morality of human acts w'as concerned. Ha went on, however, to say that in temporal jurisdic- tion one must distinguish the right {de jure) and its use and execution (usus et exsecutio). The former belonged to the pope as Vicar of Christ and of Peter; to deny it was to deny an article of faith, i. e,, that Christ judges the living and the dead. This claim, says Hefele (2d ed., VI, 346), "must have appeared to' the French as quite destructive of the aforesaid limitation ratione peccati. Gregory IX had main- tained (1232, 1236), in his conflict with the Greeks and with Frederick II, that Constantine the Great had given temporal power to the popes, and that emperors and kings were only his auxiliaries, bound to use the material sword at his direction (Concilien- gesch., 2d ed., V, 102, 1044). This theory, however, had never yet been officially put forth against France, and was all the more likely to rouse opposition in that nation, since it was now a question not of a theory, but of a practical situation, i. e., of the investigation of Philip's government and the menace of his deposi- tion." He refers to the closing words of the dis- course with which Boniface supplemented that of the Cardinal-Bishop of Porto, viz., that his pred- ecessors had deposed three French kings, and, though unequal to such popes, he would, however sorrow- fully, depose King Philip, fdcut unum gnrciojiem (like a servant); he thinks it not impossible (HergennJther, Kirche und Staat, 229; Hefele, IV, .344) that the present harsh conclusion of the discourse of Boniface \s one of the numerous forgeries of Pierre Flote and Nogaret. In the first half of this discourse the pope

insists on the great development of France under papal protection, the shameless forgeries of Pierre Flote, the exclusive ecclesiastical nature of the grant (coUatio) of benefices, and the papal preference for doctors of theologj' as against lay nepotism in mattei of benefices. He is wToth over the assertion that he claimed France as a papal fief. "We have been a doctor of both laws (civil and canon) these forty years, and who can believe that such foUy [fatuitas] ever entered Our head?" Boniface also expressed his willingness to accept the mediation of the Duke of Burgundy or the Duke of Brittany; the efforts of the former, however, availed not, as the cardinals insisted on satisfaction for the burning of the papal Bull and the calumnious attacks on Boniface. The king replied by confiscating the goods of the ec- clesiastics who had set out for the Roman Council, which met 30 Oct., 1302.

There were present four archbishops, thirty-five bishops, six abbots, and several doctors. Its acts have disappeared, probably during the process against the memory of Boniface (1309-11). Two Bulls, however, were issued as a result of its deliberations. One excommunicated whoever hindered, imprisoned, or otherwise ill-treated persons journeying to, or returning from, Rome. The other (IS Nov., 1302) is the famous "Ilnam Sanctam", probably the com- position of ^Egidius Colonna, Archbishop of Bourges and a member of the council, and largely made up of passages from such famous theologians as St. Bernard, Hugo of St. Victor, St. Thomas Aquinas, and others. Its chief concepts are as follows (Hergenrother- Kirsch, 4th ed., II, 593): (1) There is but one true Church, outside of which there is no salvation; but one body of Christ with one head and not two. (2) That head is Christ and His representative, the Roman pope; whoever refuses the pastoral care of Peter belongs not to the flock of Christ. (3) There are two swords (i. e., powers), the spiritual and the temporal; the first borne by the Church, the second for the Church; the first by the hand of the priest, the second by that of the king, but under the direc- tion of the priest {ad nuium et patientiam sacerdotis), (4) Since there must be a co-ordination of members from the lowest to the highest, it follows that the spiritual power is above the temporal and has the right to instruct (or establish — instituere) the latter regarding its highest end and to judge it when it does evil; w-hoever resists the highest power ordained of God resists God Himself. (5) It is necessary for salvation that all men should be subject to the Roman Pontiff — " Porro subesse Romano Pontifici omni humanie creaturte declaramus, dicimus, definimus et pronunciamus omnino esse de necessitate salutis ". (For a more detailed account of the Bull and several controversies concerning it see Unam Sanctam.)

Philip had a refutation of the Bull prepared by the Dominican Jean Quidort (Joannes Parisiensis) in his "Tractatus de potestate regia et papali" (Goldast, Monarchia, II, 108 sq.), and the conflict passed at once from the domain of principle to the person of Boniface. The king now rejected the pope as arbiter in his disputes with England and Flanders, and gave a courteous but evasive answer to the Legate, Jean Lemoine, whom the pope sent (February, 1303) on a mission of peace, but with insistence, among other conditions, on recognition of the aforesaid rights of the papacy. Lemoine was further com- missioned to declare to Philip that, in default of a more satisfactory reply to the twelve points of the papal letter, the pope would proceed spirituaKter et temporaliter against him, i. e., would excommunicate and depose him. Boniface also sent to Lemoine (13 Apr., 1303) two Briefs, in one of which he declared the king already excommunicated, and in the other ordered all French prelates to come to Rome within three montlis.