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Boniface V, Pope


Pontificate: Dec. 23, 619 to Oct. 25, 625. A Neapolitan, consecrated pope after the war-torn pontificate of de usdedit i, Boniface was noted for his organizing ability. In Rome he endeavored to conform ecclesiastical usage to civil law in the matter of bequests; he established the principle of right of asylum and issued laws over the liturgical function of various orders of clerics. Concerned with England, Boniface sent the pallium as a symbol of honor and jurisdiction to justus, Archbishop of Canterbury, with a letter encouraging him to consecrate other bishops for the spread of the faith in England (624). The pope also wrote directly to King edwin of northum bria, urging him to study the Catholic faith, and to Queen ethelburga, a Christian, encouraging her to procure the Christianization of Edwin and his subjects. Some years later the Queen's confessor, paulinus of york, baptized Edwin and founded the Archdiocese of york. At the opposite end of Christendom, Boniface and his successor witnessed the capitulation of the three ancient Patriarchates of jerusalem, antioch, and alexandria to the rule of islam as they became, in effect, "Christian caliphates." Constantinople remained the sole patriarchate of the East (see patriarchate).

Bibliography: Liber pontificalis, ed. l. duchesne (Paris 188692) 1:321322. p. jaffÉ, Regesta pontificum romanorum ab condita ecclesia ad annum post Christum natum 1198 (Graz 1956) 1:222223; 2: 698. bede, Ecclesiastical History v.2. h. k. mann, The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages from 590 to 1304 (London 190232) 1:294303. f. m. stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (2d ed. Oxford 1947). p. bertolini, Dizionario biografico delgi italiani, 12 (Rome 1971). p. h. blair, Anglo-Saxon Northumbria, (London 1984). p. classen, "Der erste Römerzug in der Weltgeschichte. Zur Geschichte des Kaisertums in Westen und der Kaiserkrönung in Rom zwischen Theodosius der Groß, und Karl der Groß" Ausgewäthe Aufätze (1983) 2343. j. n. d. kelly, Oxford Dictionary of Popes (New York 1986), 6970.

[p. j. mullins]

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