Boniface IX The second Roman pope of the Western Schism, Boniface IX was born Pietro Tomacelli in Naples c. 1350/1355. Urban VI appointed him cardinal deacon of San Giorgio in 1381 and cardinal priest of Santa Anastasia in 1385. Cardinal Tomacelli was elected pope four years later. The major issues of his papacy were the schism and the lack of money in the Roman coffers. Boniface refused to convoke a council to end the schism, and when Anti-pope Benedict XIII sent envoys to Rome in 1404, Boniface refused to receive them as equals. When Boniface died shortly after their arrival, the Romans took the envoys hostage and received a large ransom for them. Boniface addressed the financial problems by increasing taxes and by selling preferments, indulgences, and exemptions. He also insisted upon a portion of any benefice he bestowed. Although he got along better with the cardinals than his predecessor, Urban VI, did, Boniface's financial practices make him more enemies than friends.
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By St Therese of Lisieux
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