Pope Boniface VIII: Clericis Laicos and Unam Sanctam

(1296 and 1302)

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Explanation and Analysis of the Document

Boniface VIII issued Clericis laicos on February 25, 1296, and Unam sanctam on November 18, 1302. The titles of the bulls come from their opening sentences; naming bulls thus was typical. “Clericis laicos” comes from the phrase “laymen are in a high degree hostile to the clergy” (“clericis laicos infestos oppido tradit antiquitas”), while “Unam sanctam” comes from “one holy catholic and apostolic church” (“unam sanctam ecclesiam catholicam”). Both bulls...