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The Bull of Boniface VIII., Unam Sanctam, Nov. 18, 1302.
[Since the proclamation of the dogma of papal infallibility, 1870, deliverances issuing from the Vatican on biblical and theological subjects have assumed an importance, not definitely assigned to them previously by the canons of the Roman Church. Boniface's bull was called forth by the appeals against the exactions of Philip IV. on French ecclesiastical property for his wars against England. In reprisal, Philip had the pope seized by French troops and imprisoned at Anagni. See Schaff: Ch. Hist., V., Part I., pp. 15–29. The bull asserts (1) the supreme authority of the pope over the whole church; (2) the supremacy of the spiritual over the temporal power; (3) obedience to the Roman pontiff as the necessary condition of salvation. The translation is based upon the Latin text of W. Römer, Die Bulle unam sanctam, Schaffhausen, 1889. See also the text in Mirbt, p. 210.]
Boniface, Bishop, Servant of the servants of God. For perpetual remembrance. Urged on by our faith, we are compelled to believe and hold that there is One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and we firmly believe and clearly profess that outside of her there is neither salvation nor remission of sins as the bridegroom declares in the Canticles, my dove, my undefiled is one; she is the only one of her mother, the chosen one of her that bare her. And she represents the mystical body of Christ whose head is Christ and God the head of Christ. In her there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism. For, in the time of the flood there was the single ark of Noah which prefigures the one Church, and was finished according to the measurement of one cubit and had one Noah for pilot and captain, and outside of it every living creature on the earth, as we read, was destroyed. And this Church we revere as the only one even as the Lord said to the prophet, Deliver my soul from the sword, my darling from the power of the dog. Ps. xxii, 20. He prayed for his life that is for himself, head and body. And this body, that is the Church, he called one— unicam —on account of the one bridegroom; and the oneness of the faith, the sacraments and the love in the Church. She is that seamless shirt of the Lord which was not rent but was allotted by the casting of lots. Therefore, this one and only Church has one head and not two heads,—for had she two 606heads, she would be a monster—that is, Christ and Christ's vicar, Peter and Peter's successor. For the Lord said to Peter himself, Feed my sheep. 'My,' he said (using the plural) that is all, not individuals, these and those; and by this he is understood to have committed to him all the sheep—oves universas. When, therefore, either the Greeks or others say that they were not committed to the care of Peter and his successors, they must confess that they are not of Christ's sheep, even as the Lord says in John, There is one fold and one shepherd, John x, 10.
That in this Church and within her power are the two swords, we are taught in the Gospels, namely, the spiritual sword and the temporal sword. For when the Apostle said, Lo here—that is in the Church— are two swords the Lord did not reply to the Apostles, It is too much, but It is enough. For, certainly, he who denies that the temporal sword is in Peter's power, listens badly to the Lord's words Put up thy sword into its sheath. Matthew xxvi, 52. Therefore, both are in the power of the Church, namely, the spiritual sword and the temporal sword,—the latter to be used for the Church, the former by the Church; the former by the hand of the priest, the latter by the hand of princes and kings, but at the nod and instance of the priest. The one sword must of necessity be subject to the other, and the temporal power to the spiritual power. For the Apostle said, There is no power but of God and the powers that be are ordained of God, Romans xiii, 1, but not ordained except as sword is subjected to sword and so the inferior is brought by the other to the highest end. For, according to St. Dionysius, it is a divine law that the lowest things are made by mediocre things to attain to the highest. Therefore, it is not according to the order of the universe that all things in an equal way and directly should reach their end, but the lowest through the mediocre and the lower through the higher; and, that the spiritual power excels the earthly power in dignity and worth, we will the more clearly acknowledge in the proportion that the spiritual is higher than the temporal. This we perceive quite distinctly from the donation of the tithe and the functions of benediction and sanctification, from the mode in which power itself is received and the government of things themselves. Truth being the witness, the spiritual power has the function of establishing the temporal power and sitting in judgment on it if it should prove not to be 607good. And to the Church, and the Church's power, Jeremiah's prophecy, i, 9, applies: See I have set thee this day over the nations and the kingdoms to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.
And, if the earthly power deviates from the right path, it is judged by the spiritual power, but if a minor spiritual power deviate from the right path, the minor is judged by the superior power, but if the supreme power [the papacy or the Church] deviate, it can be judged not by man but by God only. And so the Apostle testifies, He which is spiritual judges all things but he himself is judged of no man, I Cor., ii, 15. But this authority, although it is given to a man and exercised by a man, is not a human power, nay, much rather a divine power given by the divine lips to Peter, to Peter himself and to his successors in Christ, whom Peter confessed when the Rock was established— petra firmata — when the Lord said unto him, Whatsoever thou shalt bind, etc., Matt., xvi, 19.
Whoever, therefore, resists this power ordained by God, resists God's ordinance, unless perchance he imagines two principles to exist, as did Manichæus, a thing which we pronounce false and heretical because, as Moses testified, 'God created the heaven and the earth not in the beginnings, but "in the beginning".'
Further, we declare, say, define and pronounce it to be altogether necessary for salvation for every human creature that he be subject to the Roman pontiff.397397 The Roman Catholic historian, Funk, Kirchengeschl. Abhandlungen, I. 483–89, seeks to confine the application of the last words to princes and kings. But Hergenröther-Kirsch, Hefele-Knöpfler and other R. C. historians give to them their natural meaning. The passage of Jeremiah, 'See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms to root out and to pull down,' etc., was used at least eight times by Gregory VII. to prove the supremacy of the spiritual over the temporal power. Clement VII. applied it to himself in writing to Henry VIII. Pius V. used it in his letter deposing Elizabeth, as did also Bellarmine and, as late as 1910, Pius X.
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