"Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.">/p>
So ends the papal bull Unam Sanctam of Pope Boniface VIII in 1302. As outrageous as this sounds, it is only half of the claims that this pope made. Under the doctrine of "the two swords", one spiritual, one temporal, Boniface also claimed that all kings and emperors be subject to his authority. Talk about a grab for power!
Remember how I wrote to you about my finding a parallel, or second control device that accompanied such claims? Not only did the pope and his church say that you were their earthly slaves, but they threatened your "immortal soul" with eternal torture in the next life. I mean, there was no escaping their power.
Better bow down and also ante up financially too. If you grew crops, part of their yield was owed to Rome, no matter where you lived. We don't have to look far to see why people wanted to be free from this domination.
There were immediate reactions to this attempt at total control. Kings such as Phillip of Spain rebelled. Theologians looked into the Bible, and found no basis for the bull. Some were even so bold as to ask, why, if the pope had the power to save people in this world, and even from hell, why didn't he save everyone?
Control of the Bible was necessary to keep people down. Just as misunderstanding it today is through faulty interpretation.
Dante used a multi-level hell to show his rejection of the pope, consigning him to the lowest level. Poets have power too. I am certain that more people have read The Inferno, than have read Unam Sanctam.
We can see that those who opened the Bible to the common people--men like Hus, Wycliffe, and Luther--helped to change the world and derailed the railroading of the two tracks.