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Account for the decline in prestige and authority of the papacy during the
During the fourteenth century, the papacy suffered a huge decline in prestige and authority due to many factors. These include, the open conflict between Pope Boniface VIII and King Phillip IV of France, the advancement of some city-states of Italy with Rome being left behind, the removal of the Apostolic See from Rome to Avignon, the Great Schism and the papacies focus on administrative and juristic issues rather than spiritual purity.
Since the investiture contest (1075-1122) there have been ongoing struggles between the secular and spiritual powers. Most notable is the open conflict between King Phillip IV of France and Pope Boniface VIII over the ability to tax the church and the ability to bring the clergy under the justice of the king. Secular taxing of the church was not what the papacy wanted as it gave them less money to tax for themselves. The papal bull "Clericis Laicos" forbade such taxes. King Phillip defied the bull and continued to tax the clergy. This is understandable as if he were to obey the bull; a vast amount of taxable land would be lost to him. The nature of "Criminous" clergy was also a big issue as the people saw preists mildly rebuked for serious crimes. This led to a general fealing that the church was coddling its own. Phillip claimed that anyone who breaks secular law should be tried in a secular court. Pope Boniface disagreed fealing that the Church could not be independandt if its personel could be arrested at any time. "Unam Sanctum" was isued to assert the superiority of the Church over secular poweres. "…Behold, here are two swords… both are in the power of the Church, the spiritual sword and the material, but the latter is to be used for the church and the former by her…"This illustrates the papal view of the world and effectivaly removes the secular ability to charge members…

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