|The meeting of Pope and Emperor|
Aquinas believed that there was no inherent connection between the State and sin, and that the State, as a natural institution approved by God, would have existed even if the Fall in Eden had not taken place. Putting the State and the Church on equal footing supported the metaphor of the Two Swords. Pope Gelasius I (pope from 492 until his death in 496) had offered this metaphor, but he saw the State as the temporal support of the superior Church.
The papacy preferred this view, which was further explicated by Giles of Rome (1246-1316) in his De ecclesiastica potestate (On ecclesiastical power). Giles repeats the metaphor of the Two Swords, and reinforces that the Church possesses the power of the State. The Church does not wield temporal authority directly, but should wield it indirectly, by telling the State what to do.
This idea was drawn on by Pope Boniface VIII in his bull Unam Sanctam, in which he declared that everyone must be subordinate to the pope. Boniface thought he was establishing the last word on the subject, and that he would at least have the clergy on his side. Boniface was wrong.
[to be continued]