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Ausculta Fili

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Ausculta Fili (Latin, literally "Give ear, my son") is a letter addressed 5 December 1301, by Pope Boniface VIII to Philip the Fair, King of France.

This letter is couched in paternalistic terms. It points out the evils the king has brought to his kingdom, to Church and State; it invites him to do penance and mend his ways. It went unheeded by Philip, and was followed by the papal Bull Unam Sanctam.

Background

Philip was at enmity with the Pope. He had aggressively expanded what he saw as royal rights: he conferred benefices, and appointed bishops to sees, regardless of papal authority. He drove from their sees those bishops who were in opposition to his will and supported the Pope.

This article incorporates text from the entry Ausculta Fili in Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913, a publication now in the public domain.

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