Charles I of Naples, who militarily controlled Rome, locked the cardinals into the Basilica of St. John Lateran the day after the funeral of Boniface VIII. The manhandling of Boniface VIII by the forces of France and the Colonna family before his death gave the cardinals second thoughts about electing anyone hostile to the interests of Philip IV of France.
Boccasini was Italian but not Roman, and thus considered neutral in the disputes between the Roman clans and the international struggle between Charles I and Philip IV. Benedict XI refused to excommunicate Philip IV or the Colonna, but also refused to restore to the Colonna their properties that had been seized by Boniface VIII.
- Baumgartner, Frederic J. 2003. Behind Locked Doors: A History of the Papal Elections. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-29463-8.