It was on this date, January 23, 1295, that Boniface VIII (Benedetto Gaetano) was made Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. He was born about 1235 in Agnani, Italy, and served the papacy for many years as a canon lawyer. On the death of Nicholas IV, Celestine V, a pious monk, was drafted to be Pope, an office he tried to flee. On the rather self-interested counsel of Boniface, who had opposed Celestine’s election in the first place, Celestine issued a decree giving popes the right to abdicate and then did so in 1294...
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Originally published January 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.
Here’s your Week in Freethought History: This is more than just a calendar of events or mini-biographies – it’s an affirmation that we as freethinkers are neither unique nor alone in the world, no matter how isolated and alone we may feel at times. Last Sunday, May 13, but 440 years ago, was the election […]