by Simon
Lien-yueh Wei





Unam Sanctam





The issues at stake in the conflict between Philip the Fair and Boniface VIII which led to the publication of Unam Sanctam

The war broke out between France and England. Pope Boniface VIII tried to stop the war by forbidding the taxing of church property. Philip mobilized the French bishops against the pope. Finally, the Pope allowed the king to determine when the church lands should be taxed. Philip then accused a bishop of treason who had rebel against him at the tome of conflict between him and pope. Philip demanded that Boniface approve the judicial action. Boniface insisted that the king had no right to bring a bishop to trial. The key question was whether the king was the head of people and state? Or the Pope is the head of the head? In his declaration, Unam Sanctam, Boniface asserted that as the agent of Christ, the Pope is the sovereign over every nation and king. Every creature must be subject to the Pope.   



Burns, Patout, Lectures of “The Formation of Christian Tradition” in Vanderbilt Divinity school, 2004 Fall.


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