The historian, Barbara Tuchmann wrote in The Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14c
gap between the ideal and the real [in a society] becomes too wide, the system breaks down.
the validity of this thesis by analyzing the major political, economic, social, and intellectual forces that
contributed to a breakdown of society in the late 14c and early 15c
We are taught by the words of the Gospel that in this church and in her power there are two
swords, a spiritual one and a temporal one . . . . Certainly anyone who denies that the temporal sword is
in the power of Peter has not paid heed to the words of the Lord when he said, 'Put up thy sword into its
sheath' (Matthew 26:52). Both then are in the power of the church, the material sword and the spiritual.
But the one is exercised for the church, the other by the church, the one by the hand of the priest, the
other by the hand of kings and soldiers, though at the will and sufferance of the authority subject to the
spiritual power . . . . For, according to the blessed Dionysius, it is the law of divinity for the lowest to be led
to the highest through intermediaries. In the order of the universe all things are not kept in order in the
same fashion and immediately but the lowest are ordered by the intermediate and inferiors by superiors.
But that the spiritual power excels any earthly one in dignity and nobility we ought the more openly to
confess in proportion as spiritual things excel temporal ones. Moreover we clearly perceive this from the
giving of tithes, from benediction and sanctification, from the acceptance of this power and from the very
government of things. For, the truth bearing witness, the spiritual power has to institute the earthly power
and to judge it if it has not been good. So it is verified the prophecy of Jeremiah (1:10) concerning the
church and the power of the church, 'Lo, I have set thee this day over the nations and over kingdoms.'
Pope Boniface VIII in his papal bull,
We now wish . . . to adduce the truths of the holy Scripture . . . which explicitly command or counsel
that neither the Roman bishop called pope, nor any other bishop or priest, or deacon, has or ought to
have any rulership or coercive judgment or jurisdiction over any priest or non-priest, ruler, community,
group, or individual of whatever condition . . . . Christ himself came into the world not to dominate men,
nor to judge them [coercively] . . . not to wield temporal rule, but rather to be subject as regards the . . .
present life; and moreover, he wanted to and did exclude himself, his apostles and disciples, and their
successors, the bishops or priests, from all coercive authority or worldly rule, both by his example and by
his word of counsel of command . . . . When he was brought before Pontius Pilate . . . and accused of
having called himself king of the Jews, and [Pilate] asked him whether he had said this . . . [his] reply