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.

The incipit is modeled on that of the Rule of St Benedict. The letter is couched in firm, paternal 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.


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 support the Pope.