Is it true that Pope Boniface VIII was distinguished by a special thirst for power and money?
QUESTION: is it true that Pope Boniface VIII was distinguished by a special thirst for power and money, and Dante justly placed him in one of the circles of hell? How can you believe in the doctrine of the infallibility of the popes when faced with such stories?
ANSWER: As for the dogma of “infallibility”, the word “infallibility” does not very well convey in Russian what it would be more correct to call “infallibility.” But the dogma says not just about the “infallibility of the Popes”, but about their infallibility when they proclaim the doctrine of faith and morality. The Pope’s dogma of infallibility means that when the Pope speaks out as the head of the Church on matters of doctrine and morality, he cannot be wrong. The Pope’s infallibility is a privilege promised and bestowed upon him by Jesus Christ. However, this infallibility should not be confused with sinlessness in private life and with infallibility in the administration of the Church. Therefore, we should not be shocked by the fact that some popes were by no means exemplary of impeccable behavior and made various mistakes in their lives and in their pontificate. According to historians, Boniface VIII also belonged to such popes.