What was the Significance of the Conflict Between Philip IV and Boniface VIII?

Throughout the medieval period, popes and kings fought against each other over who should rightly be allowed to dominate the other. Another one of these conflicts between a king and a pope was between a king named Philip IV and a pope named Boniface Vlll. The conflicts between these two individuals were rather similar to every other conflict between a pope and a king; but the significance was different. So what was the significance of the conflict between these two individuals?

The Conflict

The conflict began when Philip needed more money for his constant war against England; like a lot of power figures who needed money he raised taxes, and even began to tax the clergy without the Pope’s consent. Which on his part was rather rash and foolish. Of course Boniface responds, and rather harshly states that anyone who pays Philip this tax money would be excommunicated. Philip is rather angered by this statement from Boniface, so he cuts off all resources that would be shipped to Rome. This put the Church in jeopardy, for now it’s income was cut off, which of course concerns Boniface. Boniface backs down and allows the clergy to pay the demanded taxes to Philip.

After this when peace was thought to be restored between the two, another issue arose and the conflict began once more. Eventually Boniface excommunicated Philip, which led to a whole other level of conflict between the two. At last the conflict closed after a confrontation between the two parties. Boniface died a month later after the conflict, and is replaced by a new pope who is in the favor of Phillip.


From reading above, it most likely seems that this whole conflict had no significance whatsoever, and the whole thing seems ridiculous, which I rather agree with. But from studying the situation I was able to conclude what was the significance of this whole conflict. So the significance was the fact that this conflict was another example of the church’s struggle with the state. Also this example in particular is a great example on how power hungry rulers and even religious figures could be. In short power can be the driving force of any conflict, and that has been constantly proven by history.

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