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Larger context for LACK in Corpus USbrown_UKbncw/US_brown.txt


Boniface had to uphold the sacredness of the feudal contract at all costs, for it was only as suzerain of Sicily and of the Patrimony of Peter that he had any justification for his Italian wars, but in the English-Scottish-French triangle it was almost impossible for him to recognize the claims of any one of the contestants without seeming to invalidate those of the other two.
Because of these involvements in the matter at stake, Boniface lacked the impartiality that is supposed to be an essential qualification for the position of arbiter, and in retrospect that would seem to be sufficient reason why the English embassies to the Curia proved so fruitless.
But when the situation was so complicated that even Nogaret, one of the principal actors in the drama, could misinterpret the pope's motives, it is possible that Othon and his companions, equally baffled, attributed their difficulties to a more immediate cause.
This was Boniface's monumental tactlessness.
"Tact", by its very derivation, implies that its possessor keeps in touch with other people, but the author of Clericis Laicos and Unam Sanctam, the wielder of the two swords, the papal sun of which the imperial moon was but a dim reflection, the peer of Caesar and vice-regent of Christ, was so high above other human beings that he had forgotten what they were like.