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Boniface of Savoy
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Religious Figure
    (1217-July 18, 1270)
    Born in Savoy, France
    Catholic priest and Bishop of Belley, France from 1232 - 1241 and 37th Archbishop of Canterbury from 1241-1270
    Member of the Carthusian religious order of monks
    Chiefly remembered for his near constant conflicts with the papacy, British nobility, and his own clergy
    He was French.
    He was constantly embroiled in various conflicts with English royalty who were suspicious of him due to his French birth.
    His family got very rich from its dealings with the Catholic Church during his time as archbishop.
    He just wasn't that bright.
    He was nominated as Archbishop of Canterbury in 1241, was not consecrated in that role until 1245, and didn't actually take office until 1249.
    He spent fourteen of his twenty-nine years as archbishop outside of England usually looking after his own private business matters in France.
    He probably owed his appointment as archbishop to the influence of King Henry III of England.
    Although he died in 1270, he wasn't beatified until 1839 (the first step towards being declared a saint) and has been waiting since then to be canonized.
    Almost all of his records as Archbishop of Canterbury were destroyed in a fire.
    Carthusians are supposed to be monks who reject worldly wealth and stay in their monasteries.
    His conflicts with his own clergy, usually over their own desire for worldly wealth was brought to papal attention at least twice.
    He was 'royal' birth and the kings of France and of England were married to two of his nieces.
    His own personal honesty in financial matters has been unquestioned.
    When he was installed as Archbishop of Canterbury, his archdiocese was 22,000 marks in debt, the equivalent of millions in today's dollars. By the time he died, the entire debt has been retired, in large part by taxing wealthy clergymen.
    He worked very hard to help the poor and the everyday working man and was consequently very popular with them.
    He fought very hard to keep the Church free from royal control.
    He was the eleventh of eleven children.
    He did not hesitate to excommunicate his own clergy including at least two bishops for malfeasance.
    When his cause for sainthood was being considered, his body was exhumed and found to be perfectly preserved but his remains were destroyed during the French Revolution.
    The pope came down decisively on his side in his conflicts with his clergy.
    His being a bishop of dioceses in two different countries may be unique in the history of the Catholic Church.
    He played a crucial role in keeping the Catholic Church free from royal control, a freedom that was maintained until the reign of King Henry VIII.

Credit: tom_jeffords


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