BONIFACE: The name of nine popes.
Boniface I: Pope 418-422. After the death of Zosimus, a part of the clergy and people chose the archdeacon Eulalius to succeed him (Dec. 27, 418); he was recognized by the prefect Symmachus and consecrated in the Lateran two days later. But another faction held an election on the 28th, and
When Boniface I intervened in any ecclesiastical disputes, he showed great justice and moderation. The clergy of Valence accused their bishop Maximus of grievous crimes; Boniface referred the matter to a Gallic synod, reserving to himself the right to review its decision. Considering the privilege granted by Pope Zosimus (417) to Bishop Patroclus of Arles, to consecrate bishops for the provinces known as Viennensis, Narbonensis prima, and Narbonensis secunda, to be an infringement of earlier canonical provisions, he did not hesitate to withdraw it so far as to allow the bishop of Narbonne this metropolitan privilege for the Provincia Narbonensia prima. He was involved in long-drawnout negotiations with the patriarch of Constantinople. Certain Illyrian bishops, wishing to bring charges against Bishop Perigenes of Patras, who had been chosen metropolitan of Corinth, getting satisfaction neither from the papal delegate for Illyria, Bishop Rufus of Thessalonica, nor from the pope himself, turned to Atticus of Constantinople for redress. The latter procured an edict from the emperor Theodosius II (421), placing Illyria under the jurisdiction of Constantinople. Boniface made strong representations to the Byzantine court (Mar., 422), but would probably not have been successful had not the influence of the Western emperor Honorius prevailed with Theodosius, who withdrew the edict. Finally, Boniface had inherited from his predecessor a difficult controversy with the African church (see ZOSIMUS); he had no better success than Zosimus in securing the recognition in Africa, of the right of appeal to Rome. On the contrary, the Synod of Carthage in 419 confirmed the seventeenth canon of the synod of 418, which positively forbade to priests and lower clergy any such appeals, and tolerated them for bishops only on condition that the prescription appealed to could be shown to be Nicene; as a matter of fact, it came from the Council of Sardica. Boniface died Sept. 4, 422, and is reckoned among the saints of the Roman Catholic Church.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Liber pontificalis, ed. Duchesne, i, 227, Paris, 1886; ASB, Oct., xi, 605-616; F. Gregorovius, Geschichte der Stadt Rom, i, 170 sqq., Stuttgart, 1875, Eng. transl., London, 1900; J. Langen, Geschichte der römischen Kirche bis Leo I., pp. 763 sqq., Bonn, 1881; Jaffé, Regesta, i, 52; Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, ii, 122, Eng. transl., ii, 466; Bower, Popes, i, 162-166; Neander, Christian Church, ii, 208, 235, 652.
Boniface II: Pope 530-532. After the death of Felix IV (middle of Sept., 530), a contested election followed. The minority, in obedience to the dying charge of Felix, chose the archdeacon Boniface, a Goth; the majority elected Dioscurus, a Greek, and both were consecrated on the same day (Sept. 22). The Roman senate took cognizance of the matter, forbidding under heavy penalties any proceedings in the lifetime of a pope looking toward the elevation of a successor. The schism was soon ended by the death of Dioscurus, Oct. 14. The Liber pontificalis asserts that Boniface proceeded with great violence against his adherents; and we have evidence that five years later the bitterness caused by this was not extinct among the Roman clergy. The close of the Semi-Pelagian controversy falls in the pontificate of Boniface II. In a letter to Cæsarius of Arles he pronounced against the opinion that man could attain faith in Christ by his own resources, without the help of divine grace; and at the same time, in accordance with the wishes of Cæsarius, he confirmed the decisions of the Synod of Orange. He was always zealous in maintaining, if it was not possible to extend, the papal claims to jurisdiction. When Bishop Stephen of Larissa in Thessaly appealed to him from a sentence of deposition pronounced by the patriarch of Constantinople, Boniface endeavored to reassert the old rights of the Roman See over Illyria, which had been obsolete for a hundred years. The proceedings of a synod held in Rome for this purpose (Dec., 531) seem to have been fruitless, for soon afterward the see of Larissa was filled by a nominee of Constantinople. After attempting in vain to designate the deacon Vigilius as his successor, Boniface died in Oct., 532.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Liber pontificalis, ed. Duchesne, i, 281, Paris, 1886; F. Gregorovius, Geschichte der Stadt Rom, i, 329, Stuttgart, 1875, Eng. transl., London, 1900; L. Duchesne, La Succession du pape Félix IV., Rome, 1884; J. Langen, Geschichte der römischen Kirche von Leo I. bis Nikolaus I., p. 305, Bonn, 1885; R. Baxmann, Die Politik der Päpste von Gregor I. bis auf Gregor VII., i, 20 sqq., Elberfeld, 1868; Jaffé, Regesta, i, 111; Schaff, Christian Church, iii, 326, 869; Neander, Christian Church, ii, 711; Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, ii, 737-742, Eng. transl., iv, 165, 167, 171 sqq.; Bower, Popes, i, 331-333.
Boniface III: Pope 607. He was a Roman by birth, previously a deacon and apocrisiarius at the court of Constantinople, to which he had been sent by Gregory the Great in 603. Apparently he was still there when the election took place, as nearly a year elapsed between the death of his predecessor and his consecration (Feb. 19, 607). As (in modern language) nuncio at Constantinople, he had apparently maintained friendly relations with the usurper Phocas, which would account for the favorable decision made by the latter on a point of great importance to the papal claims. One of the commissions given to him by Gregory was the settlement of the strife over the title of "universal bishop" claimed by the patriarch of Constantinople, John the Faster; Gregory did not claim it for himself, but he was unwilling that it should be borne by another. The Liber pontificalis, Paulus Diaconus, and Bede all assert that Phocas recognized Rome as caput omnium ecclesiarum. Though
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Liber pontificalis, ed. Duchesne, i, 316, Paris, 1886; Paulus Diaconus, Hist. Langobardorum, iv, 36, in MGH, Script. rer. Langob., ed. G. Waitz, Hanover, 1878, Eng. transl., p. 177, Philadelphia, 1907; F. Gregorovius, Geschichte der Stadt Rom, ii, 102, Stuttgart, 1876, Eng. transl., London, 1900; J. Langen, Geschichte der römischen Kirche . . . bis Nikolaus I., p. 500, Bonn, 1885; Bower, Popes, i, 425-427; Mann, Popes, I, i, 259-262.
Boniface IV: Pope 608-615. He was the successor of Boniface III after an interregnum of ten months. He kept up the same friendly relations with Phocas, from whom he acquired the Pantheon in Rome, built as a heathen temple, and transformed it into a church. When Heraclius, who overthrew Phocas in 610, was endeavoring to find a way to reconciliation with the Monophysites, Boniface seems to have approved of his plans; which probably accounts for a letter of Columban written from Bobbio (c. 613), informing him that people call him a receiver and protector of heretics who deny the double nature of Christ, and warning him that his power will remain only so long as he maintains the true faith. Boniface died May 25, 615.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Liber pontificalis, ed. Duchesne, i, 317, Paris, 1886; Jaffé, Regesta, i, 220; Paulus Diaconus, Historia Langobardorum, iv, 36, in MGM, Script, rer. Langob., ed. G. Waitz, Hanover, 1878, Eng. transl., p. 178, Philadelphia, 1907; Bede, Hist. eccl., ii, 4, ed. Plummer, vol. i, p. 88, Oxford, 1896; R. Baxmann, Die Politik der Päpste, i, 150, Elberfeld, 1868; F. Gregorovius, Geschichte der Stadt Rom, ii, 102, Stuttgart, 1876, Eng, transl., London, 1900; J. Langen, Geschichte der römischen Kirche . . . bis Nikolaus I., p. 501, Bonn, 1885; Neander, Christian Church, iii, 32, 34, 134; Bower, Popes, i, 428-429; Mann, Popes, I, i, 268.
Boniface V: Pope 619-625. The Liber pontificalis tells that he was a Neapolitan, that he distinguished himself as pope by his love of peace and kindness, and that he issued a number of decrees affecting the functions of the different orders of the clergy. Bede and William of Malmesbury mention several letters addressed to English personages; the most important is that preserved by the latter, a letter to Justus, archbishop of Canterbury (625); confirming for all time the position of his diocese as the metropolitan see of Britain, and extending his powers. Boniface died Oct. 25, 625.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Liber pontificalis, ed. Duchesne, i, 321, Paris, 1886; Jaffé, Regesta, i, 222; Bede, Hist. eccl., ii, 7, ed. Plummer, vol. i, pp. 93-95, Oxford, 1896; F. Gregorovius, Geschichte der Stadt Rom, ii, 122, Stuttgart, 1876, Eng. transl., London, 1902; Mann, Popes, I, i, 294; Bower, Popes, i, 430-432.
Boniface VI: Pope 896. He was the son of Hadrian, a Roman, and was elevated to the papal throne in April or May, 896, by a popular movement, on the death of Formosus, although he had twice been deposed from his spiritual functions by John VIII on charges affecting his moral character, and apparently was never canonically restored. He maintained his position only for fifteen days, as the party hostile to Formosus carried through the election of Stephen VI, who drove him out. Others say that he died fifteen days after his election.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Jaffé Regesta, i, 439; Annales Fuldenses, ed. G. H. Pertz, in MGH, Script., i, 412, Hanover, 1826; R. Baxmann, Die Politik der Päpste, ii, 70, Elberfeld, 1869; J. Langen, Geschichte der römischen Kirche . . . bis Gregor VII., p. 303, Bonn, 1892; Bower, Popes, ii, 229.
Boniface VII: Pope 974, 984-985. After the downfall of Benedict VI, Crescentius, the leader of the nobles, caused the election of the deacon Boniface, called Franco (June, 974). One of his first acts was to order his predecessor to be put to death. But he was able to hold his own only for six weeks, after which he fled to Constantinople. Here he remained for more than nine years–or as long as Otto II lived to protect the popes set up by him, Benedict VII and John XIV. Otto died Dec. 7, 983, and the fugitive Boniface immediately asserted his claims. He reappeared in Rome, and in the following April defeated John XIV, imprisoned him in the castle of Sant'Angelo, and had him either poisoned or starved to death there. Eleven months later, this "horrible monster" (as a contemporary calls him) met a like fate, dying, it seems probable, by assassination in the summer of 985; his body was mutilated and insulted by the infuriated populace. Gfrörer's hypothesis that his murder was caused by the empress Theophano has no support in the original authorities.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Jaffé, Regesta, i, 485; Herimannus Augiensis, Chronicon, ed. G. H. Pertz, in MGH, Script., v, 116 sqq., Hanover, 1844; Gerbert, Acta concilii Remensis, ed. G. H. Pertz, MGH, Script., iii, 672, ib. 1839; L. C. Ferucci, Investigazioni . . . su la persona ed il pontificato di Bonif. VII, Lugo, 1856 (attempts to clear Boniface of the charges); J. M. Watterich, Pontificum Romanorum vitœ, i, 66, Leipsic, 1862; J. Langen, Geschichte der römischen Kirche . . . bis Gregor VII., Bonn, 1892.
Boniface VIII (Benedetto Gaetani):
Soon after his accession, Boniface became involved in complications beyond the boundaries of Italy. Eric VIII of Denmark had imprisoned the archbishop of Lund in 1294, really to extort money from him, but nominally on the ground of conspiracy. In 1295 Boniface sent a legate to demand his release on pain of excommunication and interdict. These penalties were imposed in 1296, but Eric held out until 1302, though even then the pope did not succeed in restoring the deposed archbishop. In the contest for the throne of Hungary, on the ground that he had been "set over princes and kingdoms, to put down iniquity," and that Hungary belonged on special grounds to the Apostolic See, he claimed the deciding voice; in 1300 he sent Charles Robert, grandson of Mary of Sicily, to the Hungarians as their king; but they first clung to Andrew III, and after his death elected the son of Wenceslaus II of Bohemia as Ladislaus V. At the moment of Boniface's death, Wenceslaus was preparing to unite with Philip the Fair against him, and his interests clashed with the pope's in another place as well–in Poland, which had elected Wenceslaus in 1300, to take the place of the deposed King Ladislaus. Again Boniface claimed suzerain rights, supported the exiled king, who had sought his aid, and forbade Wenceslaus to assume the crown without the papal sanction; but, as in Hungary, his words were not heeded.
He met with somewhat greater success in Germany. The undertaking given by Adolf of Nassau, in the Treaty of Nuremberg (Aug. 21, 1294), to support Edward I of England against Philip IV, displeased the pope, who wished to see peace between France and England. He wrote to Adolf forbidding him to take up arms, and reproaching him for not having announced his election to him. Adolf returned a submissive answer, and received some privileges in return, but the papal legates were bidden still to insist on peace. He even went so far as to impose a year's truce on all three kings (1295), which, at its expiration, he renewed for another two years. In 1296 he commanded them to submit their differences to his decision; but only Adolf sent his representatives to Rome. On June 27, 1298, Boniface decided that neither Philip nor Adolf must overstep his boundaries, and that these must be restored where they had been violated. Adolf never heard of this decision; four days before it was rendered, he had been deposed by the electoral princes, and on July 2 he fell in battle against his rival Albert of Austria. Boniface took a lofty tone with Albert, summoning him to appear within six months and submit his claims to the throne, since it belonged to the pope to examine the person chosen king of the Romans, and reject him if unsuitable. Albert delayed until he made his position secure in Germany, and then sent his ambassadors (Mar., 1302) with liberal promises and the required evidence. Boniface needed his help against France too badly to raise any objection, and recognized him as king of the Romans and future emperor. Albert, in return, renounced his alliance with Philip, and made all possible theoretical and practical concessions.
But a more stubborn obstacle was found in the king and parliament of England. When Edward I had conquered Scotland for the second time in 1298, Boniface claimed that country also as a fief of the Holy See, and summoned Edward before his tribunal for having ventured to lay hands upon it. Edward laid the bull before Parliament in 1301; the reply of the English people was that Scotland had never been a papal fief, that their king should not answer the summons, and that, even if he wished to, they would not permit it. On May 7 Edward informed the pope that he would not give up Scotland; and Boniface was obliged to be content with the answer, because in the mean time the memorable conflict with France had broken out.
Philip the Fair was a ruler after the very pattern of Macchiavelli's later description, knowing no law but self-interest, and sticking at nothing to accomplish his ends. His relations with Boniface had at first been friendly, but he was probably
His defeat is to be seen not in the circumstances of his captivity and his death, but in the fact that the spiritual weapons he wielded proved utterly unequal to the conquest of the aroused national feeling of France. The national spirit showed itself more powerful than the ecclesiastical. This defeat inflicted a staggering blow upon the authority of the papacy. Yet Boniface was no ordinary man. Though he was between seventy and eighty when he became pope, he showed no trace of the weakness of age; his will was unbending, his mind clear and logical. But his whole heart was set on power. In some ways he reminds of Gregory VII, and he could no more hope to escape conflicts than could the unflinching Hildebrand. But he did not in the conflict show the moral loftiness of Hildebrand–to say nothing of that of such men as Nicholas I and Innocent III. Nor is his personality without moral flaws. He had no scruple in using the funds he had raised for the recovery of the Holy Land in his own wars; nor is the reproach unfounded that he used the privileges of his position to surround his own family with princely splendor. When he strove for peace, as between England and France, his determining motive was plainly the desire to show himself the supreme arbiter of nations; when he had nothing to gain, he was ready enough to set them against each other, as he set Albert I and
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Walter de Heminghburgh, Chronicon de gestis regum Angliœ, ed. H. C. Hamilton, pp. 39 sqq., London, 1848; Rishanger, Chronica, ed. H. T. Riley, pp. 145 sqq., 483 sqq., ib. 1865; Annales Parmenses majores, in MGH, Script., xviii (1863), 715 sqq.; Chronicon Colmar, ib. xvii (1861), 263; Guilelmus de Nangiaco, Chronicon, ib. xxvi (1882), 647 sqq. The bulls Clericis laicos and Unam sanctam are translated in Thatcher and McNeal, Source Book, pp. 311-313, 314-317, and other relevant documents on pp. 276, 313; the bulls are also in Henderson, Documents, pp. 435-437; Unam sanctam is in Robinson, European History, i, 346-348; the Clericis laicos is also in Gee and Hardy, Documents, pp. 87-88; the Lat. text is in Reich, Documents, pp. 191-195. Valuable for sources is also G. Digard, M. Faucon, and A. Thomas, Les Régistres de Boniface VIII. Recueil des bulles de ce pape . . . d'après les MSS. originaux des archives du Vatican, 5 vols., Paris, 1884-90; T. H. Finke, Aus den Tagen Bonifaz VIII., Münster, 1902.
For Boniface's life and activities consult: L. Tosti, Storia di Bonifazio VIII., 2 vols., Monte Cassino, 1846; Jorry, Histoire du pape Boniface VIII., Plancy, 1850; W. Drumann, Geschichte Bonifacius VIII., 2 vols., Königsberg, 1852 (critical); A. von Reumont, Geschichte der Stadt Rom, ii, 618, Berlin, 1868; A. Potthast, Regesta pontificum Romanorum, ii, 1923-2024, 2133, Berlin, 1875; F. Gregorovius, Geschichte der Stadt Rom, v, 502, Stuttgart, 1878, Eng. transl., London, 1898; W. Wattenbach, Geschichte des römischen Papsttums, 216 sqq., Berlin, 1876; Balan, Il Processo di Bonifazio VIII., Rome, 1881; F. Rocquain, La Papauté au moyen âge. . . . Boniface VIII., Paris, 1881; idem, Philippe le Bel et la bulle Ausculta fili, in Bibliothèque de l'école des chartes, 1883, pp. 393-394; B. Jungmann, Dissertationes selectœ, vol. vi, Regensburg, 1886; J. Berchtold, Die Bulle Unam sanctam, Munich, 1887; W. Martens, Das Vaticanum und Bonifaz VIII., Freiburg, 1888; Neander, Christian Church, iv, 67, 632, v, 1-13 and passim; Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, vi, 281 sqq.; Bower, Popes, iii, 43-55, 64; R. Scholz, Die Publizistik zur Zeit . . . Bonifaz VIII., Leipsic, 1903.
On his relations to the various European states consult: F. C. Dahlmann, Geschichte von Dänemark, i, 425 sqq., Hamburg, 1840; R. Pauli, Geschichte von England, vol. iv, Gotha, 1855; E. Boutaric, La France sous Philippe le Bel, pp. 88 sqq., Paris, 1861; A. Baillet, Histoire des démêlés du pape Boniface VIII. avec Philippe le Bel, Paris, 1818; E. Engelmann, Der Anspruch der Päpste auf Konfirmation bei den deutschen Königswahlen, Breslau, 1886; Fessler, Geschichte von Ungarn, i, 451 sqq., ii, 3 sqq., Leipsic, 1867-69; J. B. Sagmüller, Die Tkätigkeit und Stellung der Cardinäle bis Bonifaz VIII, Freiburg, 1895; J. Caro, Geschichte Polens, Gotha, 1863.
Boniface IX (Pietro Tomacelli): Pope 1389-1404. He came of a noble Neapolitan family, and was made a cardinal by Urban VI, whom he succeeded Nov. 2, 1389. He is said to have been judicious, affable, and pious, but without learning or knowledge of affairs. His principal aim was the restoration of the papal authority in Rome and the States of the Church, for which he labored not unsuccessfully. The Romans, it is true, expelled him from the city in 1392, but fearful that he might fix his residence permanently elsewhere, they recalled him in the following year. He returned on condition of the surrender of a great part of the civic liberties; and another rising in 1398 gave him the opportunity to limit them still further. He was fortunate also in regard to Naples, where things were in a condition very unfavorable to the papacy, owing to the confused policy of Urban VI. Clement VII and Louis II of Anjou thought the time had come to make a thorough conquest of the kingdom, but Boniface made a close alliance with King Ladislaus and finally gained a complete victory over the French, holding Naples in the Roman obedience. By the aid of his political influence, Boniface hoped to succeed in ending the great schism, at first depending on the German king Wenceslaus, whom he invited to Rome for coronation as emperor; but matters were in too critical a state in Germany for him to leave. An appeal to Charles VI of France in 1392 to abandon his allegiance to Clement had no good result; nor had a similar attempt in Castile. The hope of accommodation raised by the death of Clement VII (Sept. 16, 1394) was destroyed by the action of the Avignon cardinals, who elected Benedict XIII. In the contests resulting in the deposition of Wenceslaus and the attempt to put the count palatine Rupert in big place, Boniface wavered from side to aide, and only expressed his willingness to recognize Rupert in 1403 from a fear that he would be thrown into the arms of the king of France. Boniface acquired an unenviable reputation for avarice, nepotism, and simoniacal transactions. He died Oct. 1, 1404.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Some of the sources for a history of Boniface IX are the following: The bulls are in O. Raynaldus, Annales ecclesiastici, ed. Baronius, continued by A. Theiner, Paris, 1864 sqq.; the Diplomata are in Monumenta vaticana historiam Hungariœ illustrantia, vol. iii, Budapest, 1888; Dietrich von Nieheim, De Schismate, book ii, chap. 6 sqq., ed. G. Erler, pp. 129 sqq., Leipsic, 1880; Gobelinus Persona, Cosmodromium, in H. Meibom, Rerum Germanicarum, i, 316 sqq., Helmstadt, 1688; and a Vita in L. A. Muratori, Rerum Italicaram script., III, ii, 830, 25 vols., Milan, 1723-38. Consult further: M. Jansen, Papst Bonifatius IX., Freiburg, 1904; Historia . . . de Bonifazio nono, Venice, 1613; N. Valois, La France et le grand schisme, ii, 157, Paris, 1898; Creighton, Papacy, i, 111-183; Pastor, Popes, i, passim; Neander, Christian Church, vol. v, passim; Bower, Popes, iii, 143-152; Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, vi, 812.
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