Sunday, July 01, 2018

Unam Sanctum 1302 AD

I think most who "protest" against the Catholic Church and cite Unam Sanctum have never really READ all of Unam Sanctum. It is a good apologetic piece, promulgated by a non-lay apologist doing some "heavy lifting" for the cause of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church... anyway, give it a read - it's not that long! Pope Boniface VIII represents his position  succinctly with logic and from Scripture...


Bull of Pope Boniface VIII promulgated November 18, 1302
Urged by faith, we are obliged to believe and to maintain that the Church is one, holy, catholic, and also apostolic. We believe in her firmly and we confess with simplicity that outside of her there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins, as the Spouse in the Canticles [Song 6:9] proclaims: 'One is my dove, my perfect one. She is the only one, the chosen of her who bore her,' and she represents one sole mystical body whose Head is Christ and the head of Christ is God [1 Cor 11:3]. In her then is one Lord, one faith, one baptism [Eph 4:5]. There had been at the time of the deluge only one ark of Noah, prefiguring the one Church, which ark, having been finished to a single cubit, had only one pilot and guide, i.e., Noah, and we read that, outside of this ark, all that subsisted on the earth was destroyed.

We venerate this Church as one, the Lord having said by the mouth of the prophet: 'Deliver, O God, my soul from the sword and my only one from the hand of the dog.' [Ps 21:20] He has prayed for his soul, that is for himself, heart and body; and this body, that is to say, the Church, He has called one because of the unity of the Spouse, of the faith, of the sacraments, and of the charity of the Church. This is the tunic of the Lord, the seamless tunic, which was not rent but which was cast by lot [Jn 19:23- 24]. Therefore, of the one and only Church there is one body and one head, not two heads like a monster; that is, Christ and the Vicar of Christ, Peter and the successor of Peter, since the Lord speaking to Peter Himself said: 'Feed my sheep' [Jn 21:17], meaning, my sheep in general, not these, nor those in particular, whence we understand that He entrusted all to him [Peter]. Therefore, if the Greeks or others should say that they are not confided to Peter and to his successors, they must confess not being the sheep of Christ, since Our Lord says in John 'there is one sheepfold and one shepherd.' We are informed by the texts of the gospels that in this Church and in its power are two swords; namely, the spiritual and the temporal. For when the Apostles say: 'Behold, here are two swords' [Lk 22:38] that is to say, in the Church, since the Apostles were speaking, the Lord did not reply that there were too many, but sufficient. Certainly the one who denies that the temporal sword is in the power of Peter has not listened well to the word of the Lord commanding: 'Put up thy sword into thy scabbard' [Mt 26:52]. Both, therefore, are in the power of the Church, that is to say, the spiritual and the material sword, but the former is to be administered for the Church but the latter by the Church; the former in the hands of the priest; the latter by the hands of kings and soldiers, but at the will and sufferance of the priest.

However, one sword ought to be subordinated to the other and temporal authority, subjected to spiritual power. For since the Apostle said: 'There is no power except from God and the things that are, are ordained of God' [Rom 13:1-2], but they would not be ordained if one sword were not subordinated to the other and if the inferior one, as it were, were not led upwards by the other.

For, according to the Blessed Dionysius, it is a law of the divinity that the lowest things reach the highest place by intermediaries. Then, according to the order of the universe, all things are not led back to order equally and immediately, but the lowest by the intermediary, and the inferior by the superior. Hence we must recognize the more clearly that spiritual power surpasses in dignity and in nobility any temporal power whatever, as spiritual things surpass the temporal. This we see very clearly also by the payment, benediction, and consecration of the tithes, but the acceptance of power itself and by the government even of things. For with truth as our witness, it belongs to spiritual power to establish the terrestrial power and to pass judgement if it has not been good. Thus is accomplished the prophecy of Jeremias concerning the Church and the ecclesiastical power: 'Behold to-day I have placed you over nations, and over kingdoms' and the rest. Therefore, if the terrestrial power err, it will be judged by the spiritual power; but if a minor spiritual power err, it will be judged by a superior spiritual power; but if the highest power of all err, it can be judged only by God, and not by man, according to the testimony of the Apostle: 'The spiritual man judgeth of all things and he himself is judged by no man' [1 Cor 2:15]. This authority, however, (though it has been given to man and is exercised by man), is not human but rather divine, granted to Peter by a divine word and reaffirmed to him (Peter) and his successors by the One Whom Peter confessed, the Lord saying to Peter himself, 'Whatsoever you shall bind on earth, shall be bound also in Heaven' etc., [Mt 16:19]. Therefore whoever resists this power thus ordained by God, resists the ordinance of God [Rom 13:2], unless he invent like Manicheus two beginnings, which is false and judged by us heretical, since according to the testimony of Moses, it is not in the beginnings but in the beginning that God created heaven and earth [Gen 1:1]. Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.

Given by Pope Boniface VIII on November 18, 1302


  1. Unam Sanctum, or "One Holy," is the title of this papal bull given in 1302. Many Protestants take issue with this bull because of the last line: "Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff." They tend to focus on that last line and ignore the rest of the bull and the scriptural support which Pope Boniface VIII cites. Why? Because they resist authority, specifically Catholic authority regardless as to whether or not this authority was put in place by Jesus Christ - they do not want to give assent, in any way, to another man to be over them, and potentially infallibly over them - so they "protest," hence the moniker of "Protestant."

    Keep in mind, this is given over 200 years prior to Luther's defiance at the Catholic Church in Wittenberg - there was no such thing as a "Protestant" when this was promulgated. Essentially, if you were a Christian back then you were either Catholic or Eastern Orthodox, period. Unam Sanctum, therefore, would be more directed to those who rejected the papacy in 1302. Yes, it infallibly applies to 2018 as well, for to stand in rejection of the authority which Jesus Christ put in place for His Church is to be in defiance of Jesus Christ Himself.

    Do we agree that it is the desire of our Lord, Jesus Christ, that we be ONE just as He and the Father are One? [John 17:21] If so, why do Protestants have so much difficulty with belonging to THE, ONE CHURCH which existed for more than 1500 years before Luther and company came around? If they wish to "reform" - then do so from the INSIDE, not as one separated from that One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.


  2. Ummm...Boniface was out of his bloody mind. If there is only one name under heaven by which we must be saved...(I trust you know the verse?)...then it is downright satanic for him to demand that we be in subjection to HIS name in order to be saved. Were I a snake, I would immediately sink my fangs into that horrible document and inject as much venom into it as possible. Truly, the requirement that papal subordination is mandatory for heaven, is a lie straight from the pit of hell.
    Furthermore, his sentence here is obnoxious: "This one and unique Church, therefore (has) not two heads, like a monster, but one body and one head, Christ, ***and*** his vicar, Peter's successor..."

    Excuse me, but Boniface's attempt at logic, FAILS. He can stand on his head in Macy's window trying to tell us that he doesn't believe in a two-headed monster, but that is EXACTLY what this con-man is selling. He specifically defines his "one" head as consisting of "Christ AND his vicar, Peter". Now according to my calculations, 1 + 1 will always be 2. Boniface says 1 + 1 = 1.
    Again, Christ ***AND*** the pope cannot both be head of the Church. Need I remind you of the axiom, "you cannot serve two masters"? Further, Eph. 1:22 teaches that Christ is “head over all things to the church, which is His body.” And Peter is a MEMBER of the body, not the head of the church.
    You are refuted.
    By the way, I have no idea what "AMDG" means when you sign off, so I'll hazard a guess. "Actively Managing Delirious Gameplans" to heaven.

  3. Greetings Malakye,
    I think you misunderstand what Pope Boniface said. Consider it this way - if Jesus indeed left someone to watch after His Sheep (John 21:15-17) as He was leaving - and since the Apostles, including St. Peter, were to "do as He did," then St. Peter too would need a successor - so, anyone willfully not in communion (or subject to) the current successor will likely find themselves in a precarious situation come Judgment Day. Considering the concept of successors - your math is off.

    "AMDG" is a Latin abbreviation of "ad majorem Dei gloriam" which means, "To the greater glory of God" (which a quick Google search would show you).

    May God continue to guide you to the One, True Faith.



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