Pope Boniface VIII: The Anti-Pope

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Jasmine Szucs 5-4-15 English 2 Ms. Martin Pope Boniface VIII: The Anti-Pope In the era of Dante Alighieri, religion was extremely influential in politics, society, and individuality. Benedetto Caetani, an ambitious scholar of canon law from the Holy Roman Empire, rose quickly through the church hierarchy and was elected pope, with the name of Boniface VIII. Because of the emergent power of monarchies of Western Europe during the time period, Boniface's authority was vigorously challenged during his nine year reign from 1294 to 1303. By committing sins that involve conscious fraud through simony, Pope Boniface VIII is located in the Eighth Circle of Hell of Dante’s Inferno. Boniface’s political and spiritual ambitions, along with his desires result in additional sins such as heresy, simony, embezzlement of crusade funds, warmongering, assassination, idolatry, blasphemies, fornication, and sodomy. Through his fraudulent and treacherous actions and infamous public image, Pope Boniface VIII…show more content…
His family had strong political and clerical connections. During his teenage years, Boniface lived with his uncle, the bishop of Todi. In Todi, he began the study of law, where he continued his education in Bologna, the center of legal studies in Christendom. In 1264, Boniface earned his first ecclesiastical appointment as a junior secretarial post in the legation of Cardinal Simon of Brie and later joined another legation, led by Cardinal Ottoboni Fieschi to England. Boniface acquired a consistent and progressively more responsible role in the administrative and diplomatic bureaucracy of the papacy during the thirteenth century. Not quite a priest, Boniface became the cardinal deacon of St. Nicholas in Carcere and a papal legate to France. He was finally ordained a priest in 1291, and was questionably appointed pope just three years later by allegedly bribing his

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