Pope Boniface II, the Fifty-Fifth Pope (Successors of Peter – Part 55)

Pope Boniface II, the Fifty-Fifth Pope (Successors of Peter – Part 55)

Pope Boniface II, the fifty-fifth pope of the Holy Catholic Church, was born in Rome and was the first pope of Germanic descent. Pope Boniface was the archdeacon of his Saint Felix IV.

During his illness, Pope Felix summoned Boniface to his side along with the clergy, gave Boniface his pallium, his pastoral insignia, and ordered him to be crowned as his successor and next pope. The Roman Senate strongly opposed this papal edict and forbade any discussion of the pope's successor while he was alive, as well as the nomination of a person by nomination as his successor. The majority of the clergy in Rome accepted the decision of the senate.

Clergy gathered at the Lateran Basilica to elect a new Pope after the pontificate of Felix IV. Dioscorus of Alexandria, a confidant and close aide of Pope Symmachus and Pope Hormisdas, was chosen as the next successor of Peter. But few priests who supported Pope Felix gathered in a room adjacent to the Lateran Basilica and elected Boniface, his archdeacon, whom Pope Felix proposed as his successor, as the new pope.

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Like his predecessor, Pope Boniface II made efforts during his reign to secure the election of a Gothic nobleman as his successor. At a synod held in Rome in AD531, Pope Boniface officially nominated Vigilius as the next pope. However, after strong opposition, the Pope rescinded the decree nominating Vigilius as his successor. Moreover, in another synod, in the presence of the members of the senate, he burned the documents nominating his successor.

In AD 531 Pope Boniface II approved the teachings of the Second Council of Orange against Semipelagianism. He taught that although man could exercise his freedom from the beginning of his creation, God's grace was essential to salvation. During the outbreak of a famine in Rome, he was a generous benefactor. Pope Boniface II attained eternal rest on October 17, 532 and was buried in St. Peter's Basilica.
-edit&transl. SM

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