|Papacy began||19 February 607|
|Papacy ended||12 November 607|
|Created cardinal||15 October 590|
by Gregory I
|Died||12 November 607 (aged 67)|
Rome, Byzantine Empire
|Previous post||Cardinal-Deacon of the Holy Roman Church (590-606)|
|Other popes named Boniface|
Pope Boniface III (Latin : Bonifatius III; died 12 November 607) was the Pope of the Catholic Church from 19 February 607 to his death on 12 November that same year. Despite his short time as Pope he made a significant contribution to the Catholic Church.
The pope, also known as the supreme pontiff, is the bishop of Rome, leader of the worldwide Catholic Church, and head of state representing the Holy See. Since 1929, the pope has official residence in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican City, the Holy See's city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. The current pope is Francis, who was elected on 13 March 2013, succeeding Benedict XVI.
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration is the Holy See.
The son of John Cataadioce, he was of Roman extraction.
As a deacon, Boniface had impressed Pope Gregory I, who described him as a man "of tried faith and character" and selected him to be apocrisiarius (legate, essentially the papal nuncio) to the court of Constantinople in 603. This was to be a significant time in his life and helped to shape his short but eventful papacy.
A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christian churches that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Major Christian churches, such as the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican church, view the diaconate as part of the clerical state.
Pope Gregory I, commonly known as Saint Gregory the Great, was Pope from 3 September 590 to 12 March 604 AD. He is famous for instigating the first recorded large-scale mission from Rome, the Gregorian Mission, to convert the then-pagan Anglo-Saxons in England to Christianity. Gregory is also well known for his writings, which were more prolific than those of any of his predecessors as Pope. The epithet Saint Gregory the Dialogist has been attached to him in Eastern Christianity because of his Dialogues. English translations of Eastern texts sometimes list him as Gregory "Dialogos", or the Anglo-Latinate equivalent "Dialogus".
An apocrisiarius, the Latinized form of apokrisiarios, sometimes Anglicized as apocrisiary, was a high diplomatic representative during Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. The corresponding (purist) Latin term was responsalis. The title was used by Byzantine ambassadors, as well as by the representatives of bishops to the secular authorities. The closest modern equivalent is a papal nuncio; the title apocrisiarius is also still employed by the Anglican Church.
As apocrisarius he had the ear of Emperor Phocas and was held in esteem by him. This was to prove important when he was instructed by Pope Gregory to intercede with Emperor Phocas on behalf of Bishop Alcison of Cassiope on the island of Corcyra. Alcison found his position as bishop being usurped by Bishop John of Euria in Epirus, who had fled his home along with his clergy to escape from attacks by the Slavs and Avars. John, having found himself safe on Corcyra, was not content to serve under Bishop Alcison; instead he set about trying to usurp his episcopal authority. Normally this behaviour would not have been tolerated, but Emperor Phocas was sympathetic to Bishop John and not inclined to interfere. Alcison appealed to Pope Gregory, who left the problem to Boniface to resolve. In a stroke of diplomatic genius, Boniface managed to reconcile all the parties while still retaining the confidence of the Emperor.
Phocas was Byzantine Emperor from 602 to 610. The early life of Phocas is largely unknown, but he rose to prominence in 602, as a leader in the revolt against Emperor Maurice. Phocas captured Constantinople and overthrew Maurice on 23 November 602, and declared himself Byzantine Emperor on the same day. Phocas deeply distrusted the elite of Constantinople, and therefore installed his relatives in high military positions, and brutally purged his opponents. Phocas was an incompetent leader, both of the administration and army, and under him the Byzantine Empire was threatened by multiple enemies, with frequent raids in the Balkans from the Avars and Slavs, and a Sassanid invasion of the eastern provinces. Because of Phocas' incompetence and brutality, the Exarch of Africa, Heraclius the Elder, rebelled against him. Heraclius the Elder's son, Heraclius, succeeded in taking Constantinople on 5 October 610, and executed Phocas on the same day, before declaring himself the Byzantine Emperor.
A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight.
Epirus is a geographical and historical region in southeastern Europe, now shared between Greece and Albania. It lies between the Pindus Mountains and the Ionian Sea, stretching from the Bay of Vlorë and the Acroceraunian mountains in the north to the Ambracian Gulf and the ruined Roman city of Nicopolis in the south. It is currently divided between the region of Epirus in northwestern Greece and the counties of Gjirokastër, Vlorë, and Berat in southern Albania. The largest city in Epirus is Ioannina, seat of the region of Epirus, with Gjirokastër the largest city in the Albanian part of Epirus.
On the death of Pope Sabinian in February 606, Boniface was elected his successor, although his return from Constantinople to Rome was delayed by almost a year. There is much debate over why there was such a long interregnum. Some authorities believe that it was to allow Boniface to complete his work in Constantinople, but the more widely held belief is that there was dissension between those who supported the policies of the late Pope Gregory and those who did not.Boniface himself is thought to have insisted on the elections being free and fair and may have refused to take up the papacy until convinced that they had been. This view is given credence by his actions on being consecrated to the office of Pope.
Pope Sabinian was Pope of the Catholic Church from 13 September 604 to his death in 606, during the Byzantine domination of the Papacy; he was the fourth former apocrisiarius to Constantinople to be elected pope.
An interregnum is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organization, or social order. Archetypally, it was the period of time between the reign of one monarch and the next, and the concepts of interregnum and regency therefore overlap. Historically, the longer and heavier interregna were typically accompanied by widespread unrest, civil and succession wars between warlords, and power vacuums filled by foreign invasions or the emergence of a new power. A failed state is usually in interregnum.
He made two significant changes to papal selections. The first was the enacting of a decree forbidding anyone during the lifetime of a pope to discuss the appointment of his successor under pain of excommunication. The second change established that no steps could be taken to provide for a papal successor until three days after a pope's burial. This suggests that he was serious in his desire to keep papal elections free.
Excommunication is an institutional act of religious censure used to end or at least regulate the communion of a member of a congregation with other members of the religious institution who are in normal communion with each other. The purpose of the institutional act is to deprive, suspend, or limit membership in a religious community or to restrict certain rights within it, in particular, those of being in communion with other members of the congregation, and of receiving the sacraments.
His other notable act resulted from his close relationship with Emperor Phocas. He sought and obtained a decree from Phocas which restated that "the See of Blessed Peter the Apostle should be the head of all the Churches". This ensured that the title of "Universal Bishop" belonged exclusively to the Bishop of Rome, and effectively ended the attempt by Patriarch Cyriacus of Constantinople to establish himself as "Universal Bishop".
Boniface III was buried in St. Peter's Basilica, Rome, on 12 November 607.
Pope Benedict VII was Pope from October 974 to his death in 983.
Pope Boniface IV was Pope from 25 September 608 to his death in 615. He is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church with a universal feast falling annually on 8 May. Boniface had served as a deacon under Pope Gregory I, and like his mentor had made his house into a monastery. As Pope, he encouraged monks and monasticism. With permission of the Emperor, he converted the Pantheon into the Church of St. Mary and the Martyrs. In 610, he conferred with Mellitus, first bishop of London, regarding the needs of the English Church.
Pope Gregory II was Bishop of Rome from 19 May 715 to his death in 731. His defiance of the Byzantine emperor Leo III the Isaurian as a result of the iconoclastic controversy in the Eastern Empire prepared the way for a long series of revolts, schisms and civil wars that eventually led to the establishment of the temporal power of the popes.
Pope Gregory III was Bishop of Rome from 11 February 731 to his death in 741. His pontificate, like that of his predecessor, was disturbed by Byzantine iconoclasm and the advance of the Lombards, in which he invoked the intervention of Charles Martel, although ultimately in vain. He was the fifth Syrian pope and the last pope born outside of Europe for 1,272 years, until the election of Pope Francis in 2013.
Pope Gregory VI, born John Gratian in Rome, was Pope from 1 May 1045 until his abdication at the Council of Sutri on 20 December 1046.
Pope Zachary reigned from 3 December or 5 December 741 to his death in 752. A Greek from Santa Severina, Calabria, he was the last pope of the Byzantine Papacy. Most probably he was a deacon of the Roman Church and as such signed the decrees of the Roman council of 732, and succeeded Gregory III on 5 December 741.
Pope Innocent III, born Lotario dei Conti di Segni reigned from 8 January 1198 to his death in 1216.
Pope Formosus was Cardinal-bishop and Pope, his papacy lasting from 6 October 891 to his death in 896. His brief reign as Pope was troubled, marked by interventions in power struggles over the Patriarchate of Constantinople, the kingdom of West Francia, and the Holy Roman Empire. Formosus's remains were exhumed and put on trial in the Cadaver Synod.
Year 607 (DCVII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 607 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
Pope Leo IX, born Bruno of Egisheim-Dagsburg, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 12 February 1049 to his death in 1054. He was a German aristocrat and a powerful ruler of central Italy while holding the papacy. He is regarded as a saint by the Catholic Church, his feast day celebrated on 19 April.
Pope Constantine was Bishop of Rome from 25 March 708 to his death in 715. With the exception of Antipope Constantine, he was the only pope to bear such a "quintessentially" Eastern name of an emperor. During this period, the regnal name was also used by emperors and patriarchs.
The history of the papacy, the office held by the pope as head of the Catholic Church, according to Catholic doctrine, spans from the time of Peter to the present day.
Papal supremacy is the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church that the Pope, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ and as the visible foundation and source of unity, and as pastor of the entire Christian Church, has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered: that, in brief, "the Pope enjoys, by divine institution, supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls."
Crescentius the Younger, son of Crescentius the Elder, was a leader of the aristocracy of medieval Rome. During the minority of Holy Roman Emperor Otto III, he declared himself Consul of Rome and made himself de facto ruler of Rome. After being deposed, he led a rebellion, seized control of Rome, and appointed an antipope, but the rebellion failed and Crescentius was eventually executed.
Papal appointment was a medieval method of selecting a pope. Popes have always been selected by a council of Church fathers, however, Papal selection before 1059 was often characterized by confirmation or "nomination" by secular European rulers or by their predecessors. The later procedures of the papal conclave are in large part designed to constrain the interference of secular rulers which characterized the first millennium of the Roman Catholic Church, and persisted in practices such as the creation of crown-cardinals and the jus exclusivae. Appointment might have taken several forms, with a variety of roles for the laity and civic leaders, Byzantine and Germanic emperors, and noble Roman families. The role of the election vis-a-vis the general population and the clergy was prone to vary considerably, with a nomination carrying weight that ranged from near total to a mere suggestion or ratification of a prior election.
There was no uniform procedure for papal selection before AD 1059. The Bishops of Rome and Supreme Pontiffs (Popes) of the Catholic Church were often appointed by their predecessors or by political rulers. While some kind of election often characterized the procedure, an election that included meaningful participation of the laity was rare, especially as the Popes' claims to temporal power solidified into the Papal States. The practice of papal appointment during this period would later result in the jus exclusivae, i. e., a right to veto the selection that Catholic monarchs exercised into the twentieth century.
The Byzantine Papacy was a period of Byzantine domination of the Roman papacy from 537 to 752, when popes required the approval of the Byzantine Emperor for episcopal consecration, and many popes were chosen from the apocrisiarii or the inhabitants of Byzantine-ruled Greece, Syria, or Sicily. Justinian I conquered the Italian peninsula in the Gothic War (535–554) and appointed the next three popes, a practice that would be continued by his successors and later be delegated to the Exarchate of Ravenna.
The Ostrogothic Papacy was a period from 493 to 537 where the papacy was strongly influenced by the Ostrogothic Kingdom, if the pope was not outright appointed by the Ostrogothic King. The selection and administration of popes during this period was strongly influenced by Theodoric the Great and his successors Athalaric and Theodahad. This period terminated with Justinian I's (re)conquest of Rome during the Gothic War (535–554), inaugurating the Byzantine Papacy (537-752).
The Tusculan Papacy was a period of papal history from 1012 to 1048 where three successive Counts of Tusculum installed themselves as pope.
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