Loading...

Boniface VIII

Pope from 1294. During his pontificate relations between the papacy and the Western monarchs reached a crisis. Philip IV* and Edward I claimed the right to tax without papal consent. Unfortunately Boniface had come to the papal throne under circumstances that cast doubt on the legality of his title. His predecessor, [[Celestine V]], was a holy hermit who could not adjust to his papal role and resigned after five months; many argued that abdication from the papacy was impossible and that therefore Boniface’s election was invalid. Also, Celestine’s experience seemed to prove that no holy man could be pope. Boniface seemed to confirm that view. Against the claim of Philip and Edward he issued the bull Clericis Laicos (1296), stating that the clergy were prohibited from paying taxes without papal approval. Any ruler, moreover, who levied such taxes would be automatically excommunicated. In retaliation, Philip forbade the export of money from his realm, thus halting papal revenue from