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  • Writer's pictureBruce Lamb

Papal Bull - Unam Sanctam

Updated: Feb 17, 2020

Cardinal Benedict Gaetani, a canon lawyer and diplomat from a leading Roman family who had spent many years working his way up in the papal government, was chosen pope in 1294 to replace the elderly Celestine V, a saintly former hermit who found himself totally out of his depth. Boniface, who had encouraged Celestine to resign, locked the old man away in a castle, where he died before long. The new pope quickly found himself in conflict with Philip IV (the Fair) of France and Edward I of England.

The strong-minded rulers of these developing European nation-states would not allow undue papal meddling in their affairs and were supported by many of their clergy. Already in 1296 Boniface issued a bull forbidding governments to tax the clergy without papal permission, but he had to drop it against Philip the Fair's countermeasures and a suspiciously convenient rising against Boniface by the Colonna family in Rome, which took time to put down. Full Article

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