Avignon Papacy

Avignon Papacy

Overview
The Avignon Papacy was the period from 1309 to 1376 during which seven Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

s resided in Avignon
Avignon
Avignon is a French commune in southeastern France in the départment of the Vaucluse bordered by the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 94,787 inhabitants of the city on 1 January 2010, 12 000 live in the ancient town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts.Often referred to as the...

, in modern-day France. This arose from the conflict between the Papacy and the French crown.

Following the strife between Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII , born Benedetto Gaetani, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 1294 to 1303. Today, Boniface VIII is probably best remembered for his feuds with Dante, who placed him in the Eighth circle of Hell in his Divina Commedia, among the Simonists.- Biography :Gaetani was born in 1235 in...

 and Philip IV of France
Philip IV of France
Philip the Fair was, as Philip IV, King of France from 1285 until his death. He was the husband of Joan I of Navarre, by virtue of which he was, as Philip I, King of Navarre and Count of Champagne from 1284 to 1305.-Youth:A member of the House of Capet, Philip was born at the Palace of...

, and the death after only eight months of his successor Benedict XI
Pope Benedict XI
Blessed Pope Benedict XI , born Nicola Boccasini, was Pope from 1303 to 1304.Born in Treviso, he succeeded Pope Boniface VIII , but was unable to carry out his policies...

, a deadlocked conclave finally elected Clement V
Pope Clement V
Pope Clement V, born Raymond Bertrand de Got was Pope from 1305 to his death...

, a Frenchman, as pope in 1309. Clement declined to move to Rome, remaining in France, and then moved his court to the papal enclave at Avignon
Comtat Venaissin
The Comtat Venaissin, often called the Comtat for short , is the former name of the region around the city of Avignon in what is now the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of France. It comprised roughly the area between the Rhône, the Durance and Mont Ventoux, with a small exclave located to the...

, where it remained for the next 67 years.
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Encyclopedia
The Avignon Papacy was the period from 1309 to 1376 during which seven Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

s resided in Avignon
Avignon
Avignon is a French commune in southeastern France in the départment of the Vaucluse bordered by the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 94,787 inhabitants of the city on 1 January 2010, 12 000 live in the ancient town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts.Often referred to as the...

, in modern-day France. This arose from the conflict between the Papacy and the French crown.

Following the strife between Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII , born Benedetto Gaetani, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 1294 to 1303. Today, Boniface VIII is probably best remembered for his feuds with Dante, who placed him in the Eighth circle of Hell in his Divina Commedia, among the Simonists.- Biography :Gaetani was born in 1235 in...

 and Philip IV of France
Philip IV of France
Philip the Fair was, as Philip IV, King of France from 1285 until his death. He was the husband of Joan I of Navarre, by virtue of which he was, as Philip I, King of Navarre and Count of Champagne from 1284 to 1305.-Youth:A member of the House of Capet, Philip was born at the Palace of...

, and the death after only eight months of his successor Benedict XI
Pope Benedict XI
Blessed Pope Benedict XI , born Nicola Boccasini, was Pope from 1303 to 1304.Born in Treviso, he succeeded Pope Boniface VIII , but was unable to carry out his policies...

, a deadlocked conclave finally elected Clement V
Pope Clement V
Pope Clement V, born Raymond Bertrand de Got was Pope from 1305 to his death...

, a Frenchman, as pope in 1309. Clement declined to move to Rome, remaining in France, and then moved his court to the papal enclave at Avignon
Comtat Venaissin
The Comtat Venaissin, often called the Comtat for short , is the former name of the region around the city of Avignon in what is now the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of France. It comprised roughly the area between the Rhône, the Durance and Mont Ventoux, with a small exclave located to the...

, where it remained for the next 67 years. This absence from Rome is sometimes referred to as the "Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy". A total of seven popes reigned at Avignon; all were French, and all were increasingly under the influence of the French crown. Finally in 1377 Gregory XI
Pope Gregory XI
Gregory XI was pope from 1370 until his death.-Biography:He was born Pierre Roger de Beaufort, in Maumont, in the modern commune of Rosiers-d'Égletons, Limousin around 1336. He succeeded Pope Urban V in 1370, and was pope until 1378...

 moved his court to Rome, officially ending the Avignon papacy.

However, in 1378 the breakdown in relations between the cardinals and Gregory's successor, Urban VI
Pope Urban VI
Pope Urban VI , born Bartolomeo Prignano, was Pope from 1378 to 1389.-Biography:Born in Itri, he was a devout monk and learned casuist, trained at Avignon. On March 21, 1364, he was consecrated Archbishop of Acerenza in the Kingdom of Naples...

, gave rise to the Western Schism
Western Schism
The Western Schism or Papal Schism was a split within the Catholic Church from 1378 to 1417. Two men simultaneously claimed to be the true pope. Driven by politics rather than any theological disagreement, the schism was ended by the Council of Constance . The simultaneous claims to the papal chair...

. This started a second line of Avignon popes, though these are now regarded as illegitimate. Henry Scarampo, Bishop of Feltre
Diocese of Feltre
The Italian Catholic diocese of Feltre, in the Veneto existed from 1462 to 1818. It was then united into the diocese of Belluno e Feltre. It had previously had an independent existence, up to 1197.-History:...

, prepared the Council of Constance
Council of Constance
The Council of Constance is the 15th ecumenical council recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, held from 1414 to 1418. The council ended the Three-Popes Controversy, by deposing or accepting the resignation of the remaining Papal claimants and electing Pope Martin V.The Council also condemned and...

, he was the treasurer to Pope Boniface IX
Pope Boniface IX
Pope Boniface IX , born Piero Tomacelli, was the second Roman Pope of the Western Schism from November 2, 1389, until October 1, 1404...

 and the Secretary to Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor
Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor
Sigismund of Luxemburg KG was King of Hungary, of Croatia from 1387 to 1437, of Bohemia from 1419, and Holy Roman Emperor for four years from 1433 until 1437, the last Emperor of the House of Luxemburg. He was also King of Italy from 1431, and of Germany from 1411...

, and miracle
Miracle
A miracle often denotes an event attributed to divine intervention. Alternatively, it may be an event attributed to a miracle worker, saint, or religious leader. A miracle is sometimes thought of as a perceptible interruption of the laws of nature. Others suggest that a god may work with the laws...

s of his piety
Piety
In spiritual terminology, piety is a virtue that can mean religious devotion, spirituality, or a combination of both. A common element in most conceptions of piety is humility.- Etymology :...

 relate to him. The schism ended in 1417 at the Council of Constance after only two popes had reigned in opposition to the papacy in Rome. The last Avignon pope, Benedict XIII
Antipope Benedict XIII
Benedict XIII, born Pedro Martínez de Luna y Pérez de Gotor , known as in Spanish, was an Aragonese nobleman, who is officially considered by the Catholic Church to be an antipope....

, had fled to Perpignan
Perpignan
-Sport:Perpignan is a rugby stronghold: their rugby union side, USA Perpignan, is a regular competitor in the Heineken Cup and seven times champion of the Top 14 , while their rugby league side plays in the engage Super League under the name Catalans Dragons.-Culture:Since 2004, every year in the...

 in 1403.

Avignon Popes


Among the Popes who resided in Avignon, subsequent Catholic historiography grants legitimacy to these:
  • Pope Clement V
    Pope Clement V
    Pope Clement V, born Raymond Bertrand de Got was Pope from 1305 to his death...

    : 1305–1314
  • Pope John XXII
    Pope John XXII
    Pope John XXII , born Jacques Duèze , was pope from 1316 to 1334. He was the second Pope of the Avignon Papacy , elected by a conclave in Lyon assembled by Philip V of France...

    : 1316–1334
  • Pope Benedict XII
    Pope Benedict XII
    Pope Benedict XII , born Jacques Fournier, the third of the Avignon Popes, was Pope from 1334 to 1342.-Early life:...

    : 1334–1342
  • Pope Clement VI
    Pope Clement VI
    Pope Clement VI , bornPierre Roger, the fourth of the Avignon Popes, was pope from May 1342 until his death in December of 1352...

    : 1342–1352
  • Pope Innocent VI
    Pope Innocent VI
    Pope Innocent VI , born Étienne Aubert; his father was Adhemar Aubert seigneur de Montel-De-Gelas in Limousin province. His niece was Catherine Aubert, Dame de Boutheon, also the wife of Randon II baron de Joyeuse; she is La Fayette's ancestor...

    : 1352–1362
  • Pope Urban V
    Pope Urban V
    Pope Urban V , born Guillaume Grimoard, was Pope from 1362 to 1370.-Biography:Grimoard was a native of Grizac in Languedoc . He became a Benedictine and a doctor in Canon Law, teaching at Montpellier and Avignon...

    : 1362–1370
  • Pope Gregory XI
    Pope Gregory XI
    Gregory XI was pope from 1370 until his death.-Biography:He was born Pierre Roger de Beaufort, in Maumont, in the modern commune of Rosiers-d'Égletons, Limousin around 1336. He succeeded Pope Urban V in 1370, and was pope until 1378...

    : 1370–1378


The two Avignon-based antipope
Antipope
An antipope is a person who opposes a legitimately elected or sitting Pope and makes a significantly accepted competing claim to be the Pope, the Bishop of Rome and leader of the Roman Catholic Church. At times between the 3rd and mid-15th century, antipopes were typically those supported by a...

s were:
  • Clement VII
    Antipope Clement VII
    Robert of Geneva was elected to the papacy as Pope Clement VII by the French cardinals who opposed Urban VI, and was the first Avignon antipope of the Western Schism.-Biography:...

    : 1378–1394
  • Benedict XIII
    Antipope Benedict XIII
    Benedict XIII, born Pedro Martínez de Luna y Pérez de Gotor , known as in Spanish, was an Aragonese nobleman, who is officially considered by the Catholic Church to be an antipope....

    : 1394–1423 (expelled from Avignon in 1403)


Benedict XIII was succeeded by three antipopes, who had little or no public following, and were not resident at Avignon:
  • Clement VIII
    Antipope Clement VIII
    Clement VIII was one of the antipopes of the Avignon line, reigning from 10 June 1423 to 26 July 1429. He was born between 1369–1370, as Gil Sanchez Muñoz y Carbón, and died on 28 December 1446....

    : 1423–1429 (recognized in the Kingdom of Aragon; abdicated)
  • Benedict XIV (Bernard Garnier)
    Antipope Benedict XIV
    Benedict XIV was the name used by two closely related minor antipopes of the 15th century. The first, Bernard Garnier became antipope in 1424 and died ca. 1429. The second, Jean Carrier, became antipope ca. 1430 and apparently left office, whether by death or resignation, by 1437.Neither of these...

    : 1424–1429 or 1430
  • Benedict XIV (Jean Carrier)
    Antipope Benedict XIV
    Benedict XIV was the name used by two closely related minor antipopes of the 15th century. The first, Bernard Garnier became antipope in 1424 and died ca. 1429. The second, Jean Carrier, became antipope ca. 1430 and apparently left office, whether by death or resignation, by 1437.Neither of these...

    : 1430?–1437


The period from 1377 to 1417 when there were rival claimants to the title of pope is referred to as the "Western schism
Western Schism
The Western Schism or Papal Schism was a split within the Catholic Church from 1378 to 1417. Two men simultaneously claimed to be the true pope. Driven by politics rather than any theological disagreement, the schism was ended by the Council of Constance . The simultaneous claims to the papal chair...

" or "the great controversy of the antipope
Antipope
An antipope is a person who opposes a legitimately elected or sitting Pope and makes a significantly accepted competing claim to be the Pope, the Bishop of Rome and leader of the Roman Catholic Church. At times between the 3rd and mid-15th century, antipopes were typically those supported by a...

s" by some Roman Catholic scholars and "the second great schism" by many secular and Protestant historians. Parties within the Roman Church were divided in their allegiances among the various claimants to the office of pope. The Council of Constance
Council of Constance
The Council of Constance is the 15th ecumenical council recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, held from 1414 to 1418. The council ended the Three-Popes Controversy, by deposing or accepting the resignation of the remaining Papal claimants and electing Pope Martin V.The Council also condemned and...

 finally resolved the controversy in 1417.

The Pontifical States (today limited to Vatican City
Vatican City
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano , which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of...

) included land in Avignon (Comtat Venaissin
Comtat Venaissin
The Comtat Venaissin, often called the Comtat for short , is the former name of the region around the city of Avignon in what is now the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of France. It comprised roughly the area between the Rhône, the Durance and Mont Ventoux, with a small exclave located to the...

) and a small enclave to the east. They remained part of the Pontifical States up to the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

, during which they became part of France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 in 1791.

Temporal role of the Roman Church


The Papacy in the Late Middle Ages
Late Middle Ages
The Late Middle Ages was the period of European history generally comprising the 14th to the 16th century . The Late Middle Ages followed the High Middle Ages and preceded the onset of the early modern era ....

 played a major temporal role in addition to its spiritual role. The conflict between the Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

 and the Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

 was fundamentally a dispute over which of them was the leader of Christendom
Christendom
Christendom, or the Christian world, has several meanings. In a cultural sense it refers to the worldwide community of Christians, adherents of Christianity...

 in secular matters. In the early 14th century, the papacy was well past the prime of its secular rule – its importance had peaked in the 12th and 13th centuries. The success of the early crusades added greatly to the prestige of the Popes as secular leaders of Christendom, with monarchs like the Kings of England, France, and even the Emperor merely acting as Marshal
Marshal
Marshal , is a word used in several official titles of various branches of society. The word is an ancient loan word from Old French, cf...

s for the popes and leading "their" armies. One exception to this was Frederick II
Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor
Frederick II , was one of the most powerful Holy Roman Emperors of the Middle Ages and head of the House of Hohenstaufen. His political and cultural ambitions, based in Sicily and stretching through Italy to Germany, and even to Jerusalem, were enormous...

, who was twice excommunicated by the Pope during a single crusade. Frederick II ignored this and was moderately successful in the Holy Land
Holy Land
The Holy Land is a term which in Judaism refers to the Kingdom of Israel as defined in the Tanakh. For Jews, the Land's identifiction of being Holy is defined in Judaism by its differentiation from other lands by virtue of the practice of Judaism often possible only in the Land of Israel...

.

Beginning with Clement V
Pope Clement V
Pope Clement V, born Raymond Bertrand de Got was Pope from 1305 to his death...

, elected 1305, all popes during the residence of the papacy in Avignon were French. However, this fact can make French influence seem greater than it was. Southern France at that time had a culture quite independent from Northern France, where most of the advisers to the King of France were based. Arles
Kingdom of Arles
The Kingdom of Arles or Second Kingdom of Burgundy of the High Middle Ages was a Frankish dominion established in 933 from lands of the early medieval Kingdom of Burgundy at Arles...

 was at that time still independent, formally a part of the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

. The literature produced by the "troubadour
Troubadour
A troubadour was a composer and performer of Old Occitan lyric poetry during the High Middle Ages . Since the word "troubadour" is etymologically masculine, a female troubadour is usually called a trobairitz....

" age in the Languedoc
Languedoc
Languedoc is a former province of France, now continued in the modern-day régions of Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées in the south of France, and whose capital city was Toulouse, now in Midi-Pyrénées. It had an area of approximately 42,700 km² .-Geographical Extent:The traditional...

 area is unique and strongly distinct from that of Royal circles in the north. Even in terms of religion, the South produced its own variant, the Cathar
Cathar
Catharism was a name given to a Christian religious sect with dualistic and gnostic elements that appeared in the Languedoc region of France and other parts of Europe in the 11th century and flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries...

 movement, which was ultimately declared heretical. The movement was fueled in no small part by the South's strong sense of independence, even though the South had been severely weakened during the Albigensian Crusade
Albigensian Crusade
The Albigensian Crusade or Cathar Crusade was a 20-year military campaign initiated by the Catholic Church to eliminate Catharism in Languedoc...

, a hundred years before. By the time of the Avignon Papacy, the power of the French King in this region was uncontested, although legally still not binding.

A stronger impact was made by the move of the Roman Curia
Roman Curia
The Roman Curia is the administrative apparatus of the Holy See and the central governing body of the entire Catholic Church, together with the Pope...

 from Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 to Avignon
Avignon
Avignon is a French commune in southeastern France in the départment of the Vaucluse bordered by the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 94,787 inhabitants of the city on 1 January 2010, 12 000 live in the ancient town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts.Often referred to as the...

 in 1305. Following the impasse during the previous conclave
Papal conclave
A papal conclave is a meeting of the College of Cardinals convened to elect a Bishop of Rome, who then becomes the Pope during a period of vacancy in the papal office. The Pope is considered by Roman Catholics to be the apostolic successor of Saint Peter and earthly head of the Roman Catholic Church...

 and to escape from the infighting of the powerful families that had produced earlier Popes, such as the Colonna
Colonna family
The Colonna family is an Italian noble family; it was powerful in medieval and Renaissance Rome, supplying one Pope and many other Church and political leaders...

 and the Orsini
Orsini family
Orsini: the origin of learning.We love Mrs. Orsini forever! ~8F Social Studies 2011The Orsini family is an Italian noble family; it was one of the most influential princely families in medieval Italy and renaissance Rome...

, the Roman Church looked for a safer place and found it in Avignon
Avignon
Avignon is a French commune in southeastern France in the départment of the Vaucluse bordered by the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 94,787 inhabitants of the city on 1 January 2010, 12 000 live in the ancient town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts.Often referred to as the...

, which was surrounded by the lands of the papal fief of Comtat Venaissin
Comtat Venaissin
The Comtat Venaissin, often called the Comtat for short , is the former name of the region around the city of Avignon in what is now the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of France. It comprised roughly the area between the Rhône, the Durance and Mont Ventoux, with a small exclave located to the...

. Formally it was part of Arles, but in reality it was under the influence of the French king. During its time in Avignon the Papacy adopted many features of the Royal court: the life-style of its cardinals
Cardinal (Catholicism)
A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official, usually an ordained bishop, and ecclesiastical prince of the Catholic Church. They are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, which as a body elects a new pope. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and...

 was more reminiscent of princes than clerics; more and more French cardinals, often relatives of the ruling pope, took key positions; and the proximity of French troops was a constant reminder of where secular power lay, with the memory of Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII , born Benedetto Gaetani, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 1294 to 1303. Today, Boniface VIII is probably best remembered for his feuds with Dante, who placed him in the Eighth circle of Hell in his Divina Commedia, among the Simonists.- Biography :Gaetani was born in 1235 in...

 still fresh. This feature of papacy remained for centuries to follow, which eventually led to Reformation
Reformation
- Movements :* Protestant Reformation, an attempt by Martin Luther to reform the Roman Catholic Church that resulted in a schism, and grew into a wider movement...

.

Centralization of Church administration


The temporal role of the Catholic Church increased the pressure upon the Papal court to emulate the governmental practices and procedures of secular courts. The Catholic Church successfully reorganised and centralized its administration under Clement V
Pope Clement V
Pope Clement V, born Raymond Bertrand de Got was Pope from 1305 to his death...

 and John XXII
Pope John XXII
Pope John XXII , born Jacques Duèze , was pope from 1316 to 1334. He was the second Pope of the Avignon Papacy , elected by a conclave in Lyon assembled by Philip V of France...

. The Papacy now directly controlled the appointments of benefice
Benefice
A benefice is a reward received in exchange for services rendered and as a retainer for future services. The term is now almost obsolete.-Church of England:...

s, abandoning the customary election process that traditionally allotted this considerable income. Many other forms of payment brought riches to the Holy See and its cardinals: tithe
Tithe
A tithe is a one-tenth part of something, paid as a contribution to a religious organization or compulsory tax to government. Today, tithes are normally voluntary and paid in cash, cheques, or stocks, whereas historically tithes were required and paid in kind, such as agricultural products...

s, a ten-percent tax on church property; annates
Annates
Annates were the whole of the first year's profits of a benefice which were generally given to the papal treasury. They were also known as the "First Fruits" , a concept which dates back to earlier Greek, Roman, and Hebrew religions.-History:This custom was only of gradual growth...

, the income of the first year after filling a position such as a bishopric
Diocese
A diocese is the district or see under the supervision of a bishop. It is divided into parishes.An archdiocese is more significant than a diocese. An archdiocese is presided over by an archbishop whose see may have or had importance due to size or historical significance...

; special taxes for crusades which never took place; and many forms of dispensation, from the entering of benefices without basic qualifications like literacy for newly appointed priests to the request of a converted Jew to visit his unconverted parents. Popes such as John XXII
Pope John XXII
Pope John XXII , born Jacques Duèze , was pope from 1316 to 1334. He was the second Pope of the Avignon Papacy , elected by a conclave in Lyon assembled by Philip V of France...

, Benedict XII
Pope Benedict XII
Pope Benedict XII , born Jacques Fournier, the third of the Avignon Popes, was Pope from 1334 to 1342.-Early life:...

 and Clement VI
Pope Clement VI
Pope Clement VI , bornPierre Roger, the fourth of the Avignon Popes, was pope from May 1342 until his death in December of 1352...

 reportedly spent fortunes on expensive wardrobe, and at banquet
Banquet
A banquet is a large meal or feast, complete with main courses and desserts. It usually serves a purpose such as a charitable gathering, a ceremony, or a celebration, and is often preceded or followed by speeches in honour of someone....

s, silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

 and gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

 plates were used.

Overall the public life of leading church members began to resemble the lives of princes rather than members of the clergy. This splendor and corruption at the head of the Church found its way to the lower ranks: when a bishop had to pay up to a year's income for gaining a benefice
Benefice
A benefice is a reward received in exchange for services rendered and as a retainer for future services. The term is now almost obsolete.-Church of England:...

, he sought ways of raising this money from his new office. This was taken to extremes by the pardoners who sold absolution
Absolution
Absolution is a traditional theological term for the forgiveness experienced in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This concept is found in the Roman Catholic Church, as well as the Eastern Orthodox churches, the Anglican churches, and most Lutheran churches....

s for all kinds of sins to the poor. Where pardoners were hated but needed to redeem one's soul, the friar
Friar
A friar is a member of one of the mendicant orders.-Friars and monks:...

s who failed to follow the Church's moral commandments by failing their vows of chastity
Chastity
Chastity refers to the sexual behavior of a man or woman acceptable to the moral standards and guidelines of a culture, civilization, or religion....

 and poverty
Poverty
Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...

 were despised. This sentiment strengthened movements calling for a return to absolute poverty, relinquishment of all personal and ecclesiastical belongings, and preaching as the Lord and his disciples did.

A political Church


For the Catholic Church, an institution embedded in the secular structure and its focus on property, this was a dangerous development, and in the early 14th century most of these movements were declared heretical
Heresy
Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

. These included the Fraticelli
Fraticelli
The Fraticelli, sometimes confusingly called Fratricelli, were medieval Roman Catholic groups that could trace their origins to the Franciscans, but which came into being as a separate entity. The Fraticelli were declared heretical by the Church in 1296 by Boniface VIII...

 and Waldensian
Waldensians
Waldensians, Waldenses or Vaudois are names for a Christian movement of the later Middle Ages, descendants of which still exist in various regions, primarily in North-Western Italy. There is considerable uncertainty about the earlier history of the Waldenses because of a lack of extant source...

 movements in Italy, and the Hussite
Hussite
The Hussites were a Christian movement following the teachings of Czech reformer Jan Hus , who became one of the forerunners of the Protestant Reformation...

 movement in Bohemia (inspired by John Wycliff in England). Furthermore, the display of wealth by the upper ranks of the church, which contrasted with the common expectation of poverty and strict adherence to principles, was used by the Papacy's enemies in raising charges against the popes: King Philippe of France employed the strategy, as did Emperor Louis IV
Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Louis IV , called the Bavarian, of the house of Wittelsbach, was the King of Germany from 1314, the King of Italy from 1327 and the Holy Roman Emperor from 1328....

. In his conflict with the latter, Pope John XXII
Pope John XXII
Pope John XXII , born Jacques Duèze , was pope from 1316 to 1334. He was the second Pope of the Avignon Papacy , elected by a conclave in Lyon assembled by Philip V of France...

 excommunicated two leading philosophers, Marsilius of Padua
Marsilius of Padua
Marsilius of Padua Marsilius of Padua Marsilius of Padua (Italian Marsilio or Marsiglio da Padova; (circa 1275 – circa 1342) was an Italian scholar, trained in medicine who practiced a variety of professions. He was also an important 14th century political figure...

 and William Ockham, who were outspoken critics of the Papacy, and who had found refuge with Ludwig of Bavaria
Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Louis IV , called the Bavarian, of the house of Wittelsbach, was the King of Germany from 1314, the King of Italy from 1327 and the Holy Roman Emperor from 1328....

 in Munich
Munich
Munich The city's motto is "" . Before 2006, it was "Weltstadt mit Herz" . Its native name, , is derived from the Old High German Munichen, meaning "by the monks' place". The city's name derives from the monks of the Benedictine order who founded the city; hence the monk depicted on the city's coat...

. In response William Ockham charged the pope with seventy errors and seven heresies.

The proceedings against the Templars
Knights Templar
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon , commonly known as the Knights Templar, the Order of the Temple or simply as Templars, were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders...

 in the Council of Vienne
Council of Vienne
The Council of Vienne was the fifteenth Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church that met between 1311 and 1312 in Vienne. Its principal act was to withdraw papal support for the Knights Templar on the instigation of Philip IV of France.-Background:...

 are representative of this time, reflecting the various powers and their relationships. In 1314 the collegium
Collegium
A collegium may be:*collegium , a term applied to any association with a legal personality in ancient Rome....

 at Vienne
Vienne
Vienne is the northernmost département of the Poitou-Charentes region of France, named after the river Vienne.- Viennese history :Vienne is one of the original 83 departments, established on March 4, 1790 during the French Revolution. It was created from parts of the former provinces of Poitou,...

 convened to make a ruling concerning the Templars. The council, overall unconvinced about the guilt of the order as a whole, was unlikely to condemn the entire order based on the scarce evidence brought forward. Exerting massive pressure in order to gain part of the substantial funds of the Order, the King managed to get the ruling he wanted. Pope Clement V ordered by decree the suppression of the order. In the cathedral
Cathedral
A cathedral is a Christian church that contains the seat of a bishop...

 of St-Maurice in Vienne, the King of France and his son the King of Navarre were sitting next to him when he issued the decree. Under pain of excommunication
Excommunication
Excommunication is a religious censure used to deprive, suspend or limit membership in a religious community. The word means putting [someone] out of communion. In some religions, excommunication includes spiritual condemnation of the member or group...

, no one was allowed to speak at that occasion, except when asked by the Pope. The Templars who appeared in Vienne to defend their order were not allowed to present their case: originally cardinals of the collegium ruled that they should be allowed to raise a defense, but after the arrival of the King of France in Vienne, putting pressure on the collegium, this decision was revoked.

Curia


After the arrest of the Bishop of Pamiers by Philip IV
Philip IV of France
Philip the Fair was, as Philip IV, King of France from 1285 until his death. He was the husband of Joan I of Navarre, by virtue of which he was, as Philip I, King of Navarre and Count of Champagne from 1284 to 1305.-Youth:A member of the House of Capet, Philip was born at the Palace of...

 in 1301, Pope Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII , born Benedetto Gaetani, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 1294 to 1303. Today, Boniface VIII is probably best remembered for his feuds with Dante, who placed him in the Eighth circle of Hell in his Divina Commedia, among the Simonists.- Biography :Gaetani was born in 1235 in...

 issued the bull Salvator Mundi, retracting all privileges granted to the French king by previous popes, and a few weeks later Ausculta fili with charges against the king, summoning him before a council to Rome. In a bold assertion of Papal sovereignty, Boniface declared that "God has placed us over the Kings and Kingdoms."

In response, Philippe wrote "Your venerable conceitedness may know, that we are nobody's vassal in temporal matters," and called for a meeting of the Estates General
French States-General
In France under the Old Regime, the States-General or Estates-General , was a legislative assembly of the different classes of French subjects. It had a separate assembly for each of the three estates, which were called and dismissed by the king...

, a council of the lords of France, who had supported his position. The King of France issued charges of sodomy, simony
Simony
Simony is the act of paying for sacraments and consequently for holy offices or for positions in the hierarchy of a church, named after Simon Magus , who appears in the Acts of the Apostles 8:9-24...

, sorcery, and heresy against the pope and summoned him before the council. The pope's response was the strongest affirmation to date of papal sovereignty. In Unam Sanctam
Unam sanctam
On 18 November 1302, Pope Boniface VIII issued the Papal bull Unam sanctam which historians consider one of the most extreme statements of Papal spiritual supremacy ever made...

(November 18, 1302), he decreed that "it is necessary to salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman pontiff." He was preparing a bull that would excommunicate the King of France and put the interdict over France, and to depose the entire clergy of France, when in September of 1303, William Nogaret
Guillaume de Nogaret
Guillaume de Nogaret or William of Nogaret was councillor and keeper of the seal to Philip IV of France.- Early life :...

, the strongest critic of the Papacy in the French inner circle, led a delegation to Rome, with intentionally loose orders by the king to bring the pope, if necessary by force, before a council to rule on the charges brought against him. Nogaret coordinated with the cardinals of the Colonna family, long standing rivals against whom the pope had even preached a crusade earlier in his Papacy. In 1303 French and Italian troops attacked the pope in Anagni
Anagni
Anagni is an ancient town and comune in Latium, central Italy, in the hills east-southeast of Rome. It is a historical center in Ciociaria.-Geography:...

, his home town, and arrested him. He was freed three days later by the population of Anagni. However, Boniface VIII, then 68 years of age, was deeply shattered by this attack on his own person and died a few weeks later.

Cooperation


The death of Pope Boniface deprived the Papacy of its most able politician who could hold his ground against the secular power of the king of France. After the conciliatory Papacy of Benedict XI
Pope Benedict XI
Blessed Pope Benedict XI , born Nicola Boccasini, was Pope from 1303 to 1304.Born in Treviso, he succeeded Pope Boniface VIII , but was unable to carry out his policies...

 (1303–04), Clement V
Pope Clement V
Pope Clement V, born Raymond Bertrand de Got was Pope from 1305 to his death...

 (1305–1314) became the next pontiff
Pontiff
A pontiff was, in Roman antiquity, a member of the principal college of priests . The term "pontiff" was later applied to any high or chief priest and, in ecclesiastical usage, to a bishop and more particularly to the Bishop of Rome, the Pope or "Roman Pontiff".-Etymology:The English term derives...

. He was born in Gascony
Gascony
Gascony is an area of southwest France that was part of the "Province of Guyenne and Gascony" prior to the French Revolution. The region is vaguely defined and the distinction between Guyenne and Gascony is unclear; sometimes they are considered to overlap, and sometimes Gascony is considered a...

, in southern France, but not directly connected to the French court. He owed his election to the French clerics. He decided against moving to Rome and established his court in Avignon
Avignon
Avignon is a French commune in southeastern France in the départment of the Vaucluse bordered by the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 94,787 inhabitants of the city on 1 January 2010, 12 000 live in the ancient town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts.Often referred to as the...

. In this situation of dependency on the powerful neighbors in France, three principles characterized the politics by Clement V: the suppression of the heretic movements (such as the Cathar
Cathar
Catharism was a name given to a Christian religious sect with dualistic and gnostic elements that appeared in the Languedoc region of France and other parts of Europe in the 11th century and flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries...

s in southern France); the reorganization of the internal administration of the church; and the preservation of an untainted image of the church as the sole instrument of God's will on earth. The latter was directly challenged by Philippe IV when he pushed for a trial against his former adversary, Pope Boniface VIII, for alleged heresy
Heresy
Heresy is a controversial or novel change to a system of beliefs, especially a religion, that conflicts with established dogma. It is distinct from apostasy, which is the formal denunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion...

. Exerting strong influence on the cardinals of the collegium, this could mean a severe blow to the church's authority. And much of Clement's politics was designed to avoid such a blow, which he finally did. However, the price was concessions on various fronts; despite strong personal doubts, in the end he pushed for proceedings against the Templar
Knights Templar
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon , commonly known as the Knights Templar, the Order of the Temple or simply as Templars, were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders...

s, and he personally ruled to suppress the order.

One important issue during the papacy of John XXII
Pope John XXII
Pope John XXII , born Jacques Duèze , was pope from 1316 to 1334. He was the second Pope of the Avignon Papacy , elected by a conclave in Lyon assembled by Philip V of France...

 (born Jacques Duèze in Cahors
Cahors
Cahors is the capital of the Lot department in south-western France.Its site is dramatic being contained on three sides within an udder shaped twist in the river Lot known as a 'presqu'île' or peninsula...

, and previously Archbishop in Avignon), was his conflict with Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Louis IV , called the Bavarian, of the house of Wittelsbach, was the King of Germany from 1314, the King of Italy from 1327 and the Holy Roman Emperor from 1328....

. The latter refuted the right of the pope to install the Emperor by coronation. He resorted to a similar tactic as King of France Philippe earlier and summoned the nobles of Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 to back his decision. Marsilius of Padua
Marsilius of Padua
Marsilius of Padua Marsilius of Padua Marsilius of Padua (Italian Marsilio or Marsiglio da Padova; (circa 1275 – circa 1342) was an Italian scholar, trained in medicine who practiced a variety of professions. He was also an important 14th century political figure...

 gave the justification of this secular supremacy over the lands in the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

. This conflict with the Emperor, often fought out in expensive wars, drove the Papacy even more into the arms of the French king.


Pope Benedict XII (1334–1342), born Jaques Fournier in Pamiers, was previously active in the inquisition against the Cathar
Cathar
Catharism was a name given to a Christian religious sect with dualistic and gnostic elements that appeared in the Languedoc region of France and other parts of Europe in the 11th century and flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries...

 movement. In contrast to the rather bloody picture of the inquisition
Inquisition
The Inquisition, Inquisitio Haereticae Pravitatis , was the "fight against heretics" by several institutions within the justice-system of the Roman Catholic Church. It started in the 12th century, with the introduction of torture in the persecution of heresy...

 in general, he was reported to be very careful about the souls of the examined, taking a lot of time in the proceedings. His interest in pacifying southern France was also motivation for mediating between the king of France and the King of England, before the outbreak of the Hundred Years' War
Hundred Years' War
The Hundred Years' War was a series of separate wars waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Valois and the House of Plantagenet, also known as the House of Anjou, for the French throne, which had become vacant upon the extinction of the senior Capetian line of French kings...

.

Submission



Under Pope Clement VI (1342–1352) the French interests started dominating the Papacy. Clement VI had been Archbishop of Rouen
Archbishop of Rouen
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Rouen is an Archdiocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in France. As one of the fifteen Archbishops of France, the ecclesiastical province of the archdiocese comprises the majority of Normandy....

 and adviser to Philippe IV before, so his links to the French court were much stronger than those of his predecessors. At some point he even financed French war efforts out of his own pockets. He reportedly loved luxurious wardrobe and under his rule the extravagant life style in Avignon reached new heights.

Clement VI is also the pope who reigned during the Black Plague. This epidemic
Epidemic
In epidemiology, an epidemic , occurs when new cases of a certain disease, in a given human population, and during a given period, substantially exceed what is expected based on recent experience...

 swept through Europe between 1347–1350, and is believed to have killed about one-third of Europe's population
Medieval demography
This article discusses human demography in Europe during the Middle Ages, including population trends and movements. Demographic changes helped to shape and define the Middle Ages...

.

Pope Innocent VI
Pope Innocent VI
Pope Innocent VI , born Étienne Aubert; his father was Adhemar Aubert seigneur de Montel-De-Gelas in Limousin province. His niece was Catherine Aubert, Dame de Boutheon, also the wife of Randon II baron de Joyeuse; she is La Fayette's ancestor...

 (1352–1362), born Etienne Aubert, was less partisan than Clement VI. He was keen on establishing peace between France and England, having worked to this end in papal delegations in 1345 and 1348. His gaunt appearance and austere manners commanded higher respect in the eyes of nobles at both sides of the conflict. However, he was also indecisive and impressionable, already an old man when being elected Pope. In this situation, the King of France managed to influence the Papacy, although papal legates played key roles in various attempts to stop the conflict. Most notably in 1353 the Bishop of Porto, Guy de Boulogne, tried to set up a conference. After initial successful talks the effort failed, largely due to the mistrust from English side over Guy's strong ties with the French court. In a letter Innocent VI himself wrote to the Duke of Lancaster
Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster
Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster, 4th Earl of Leicester and Lancaster, KG , also Earl of Derby, was a member of the English nobility in the 14th century, and a prominent English diplomat, politician, and soldier...

: "Although we were born in France and although for that and other reasons we hold the realm of France in special affection, yet in working for peace we have put aside our private prejudices and tried to serve the interests of everyone".

With Pope Urban V
Pope Urban V
Pope Urban V , born Guillaume Grimoard, was Pope from 1362 to 1370.-Biography:Grimoard was a native of Grizac in Languedoc . He became a Benedictine and a doctor in Canon Law, teaching at Montpellier and Avignon...

 (1362–70) the control of the French court over the Papacy became more direct. Urban V himself is described as the most austere of the Avignon popes after Benedict XII and probably the most spiritual of all. However, he was not a strategist and made substantial concessions to the French crown especially in finances, a crucial issue during the war with England. In 1369 Pope Urban V supported the marriage of Philip the Bold
Philip II, Duke of Burgundy
Philip the Bold , also Philip II, Duke of Burgundy , was the fourth and youngest son of King John II of France and his wife, Bonne of Luxembourg. By his marriage to Margaret III, Countess of Flanders, he also became Count Philip II of Flanders, Count Philip IV of Artois and Count-Palatine Philip IV...

 of Burgundy
Duchy of Burgundy
The Duchy of Burgundy , was heir to an ancient and prestigious reputation and a large division of the lands of the Second Kingdom of Burgundy and in its own right was one of the geographically larger ducal territories in the emergence of Early Modern Europe from Medieval Europe.Even in that...

 and Margaret of Flanders, rather than giving dispensation to one of Edward III's
Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England from 1327 until his death and is noted for his military success. Restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II, Edward III went on to transform the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe...

 sons to marry Margaret. This clearly showed the partisanship of the Papacy, and correspondingly the respect of the church dropped.

Schism


The most influential decision in the reign of Pope Gregory XI
Pope Gregory XI
Gregory XI was pope from 1370 until his death.-Biography:He was born Pierre Roger de Beaufort, in Maumont, in the modern commune of Rosiers-d'Égletons, Limousin around 1336. He succeeded Pope Urban V in 1370, and was pope until 1378...

 (1370–1378) was the return to Rome in 1378. Although the Pope was French born and still under strong influence by the French King, the increasing conflict between factions friendly and hostile to the Pope posed a threat to the Papal lands and to the allegiance of Rome itself. When the Papacy established an embargo against grain exports during a food scarcity 1374/75, Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 organized several cities into a league against the Papacy: Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, Bologna
Bologna
Bologna is the capital city of Emilia-Romagna, in the Po Valley of Northern Italy. The city lies between the Po River and the Apennine Mountains, more specifically, between the Reno River and the Savena River. Bologna is a lively and cosmopolitan Italian college city, with spectacular history,...

, Perugia
Perugia
Perugia is the capital city of the region of Umbria in central Italy, near the River Tiber, and the capital of the province of Perugia. The city is located about north of Rome. It covers a high hilltop and part of the valleys around the area....

, Pisa
Pisa
Pisa is a city in Tuscany, Central Italy, on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa...

, Lucca
Lucca
Lucca is a city and comune in Tuscany, central Italy, situated on the river Serchio in a fertile plainnear the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Lucca...

 and Genoa
Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

. The papal legate, Robert de Geneva, a relative to the House of Savoy
Savoy
Savoy is a region of France. It comprises roughly the territory of the Western Alps situated between Lake Geneva in the north and Monaco and the Mediterranean coast in the south....

, pursued a particularly ruthless policy against the league to re-establish control over these cities. He convinced Pope Gregory to hire Breton mercenaries. To quell an uprising of the inhabitants of Cesena
Cesena
Cesena is a city and comune in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy, south of Ravenna and west of Rimini, on the Savio River, co-chief of the Province of Forlì-Cesena. It is at the foot of the Apennines, and about 15 km from the Adriatic Sea.-History:Cesena was originally an Umbrian...

 he hired John Hawkwood
John Hawkwood
Sir John Hawkwood was an English mercenary or condottiero who was active in 14th century Italy. The French chronicler Jean Froissart knew him as Jean Haccoude and Italians as Giovanni Acuto...

 and had the majority of the people massacred (between 2500 and 3500 people were reported dead). Following such events opposition against the Papacy strengthened. Florence came in open conflict with the Pope, a conflict called "the war of the eight saints" in reference to the eight Florentine councilors who were chosen to orchestrate the conflict. The entire city of Florence was excommunicated and as reply the export of clerical taxes was stopped. The trade was seriously hampered and both sides had to find a solution. In his decision about returning to Rome, the Pope was also under the influence of Catherine of Siena
Catherine of Siena
Saint Catherine of Siena, T.O.S.D, was a tertiary of the Dominican Order, and a Scholastic philosopher and theologian. She also worked to bring the papacy of Gregory XI back to Rome from its displacement in France, and to establish peace among the Italian city-states. She was proclaimed a Doctor...

, later canonized, who preached for a return to Rome.

This resolution was short-lived, however, when, having returned the Papal court to Rome, Gregory XI
Pope Gregory XI
Gregory XI was pope from 1370 until his death.-Biography:He was born Pierre Roger de Beaufort, in Maumont, in the modern commune of Rosiers-d'Égletons, Limousin around 1336. He succeeded Pope Urban V in 1370, and was pope until 1378...

 died. A conclave met and elected an Italian pope, Urban VI
Pope Urban VI
Pope Urban VI , born Bartolomeo Prignano, was Pope from 1378 to 1389.-Biography:Born in Itri, he was a devout monk and learned casuist, trained at Avignon. On March 21, 1364, he was consecrated Archbishop of Acerenza in the Kingdom of Naples...

. Pope Urban alienated the French cardinals, who held a second conclave electing one of their own, Robert of Geneva
Antipope Clement VII
Robert of Geneva was elected to the papacy as Pope Clement VII by the French cardinals who opposed Urban VI, and was the first Avignon antipope of the Western Schism.-Biography:...

, to succeed Gregory XI, thus founding a second line of Avignon popes. However Clement VII, along with his successors are not now regarded as legitimate, and are referred to as antipope
Antipope
An antipope is a person who opposes a legitimately elected or sitting Pope and makes a significantly accepted competing claim to be the Pope, the Bishop of Rome and leader of the Roman Catholic Church. At times between the 3rd and mid-15th century, antipopes were typically those supported by a...

s by the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

.
This situation, known as the Western Schism
Western Schism
The Western Schism or Papal Schism was a split within the Catholic Church from 1378 to 1417. Two men simultaneously claimed to be the true pope. Driven by politics rather than any theological disagreement, the schism was ended by the Council of Constance . The simultaneous claims to the papal chair...

, persisted for over 20 years, until the ecumenical
Ecumenical council
An ecumenical council is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice....

 Council of Constance
Council of Constance
The Council of Constance is the 15th ecumenical council recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, held from 1414 to 1418. The council ended the Three-Popes Controversy, by deposing or accepting the resignation of the remaining Papal claimants and electing Pope Martin V.The Council also condemned and...

  resolved the question of Papal succession and declared the French conclave of 1378 to be invalid. A new Pope, Martin V
Pope Martin V
Pope Martin V , born Odo Colonna, was Pope from 1417 to 1431. His election effectively ended the Western Schism .-Biography:...

, was elected in 1417; other illegitimate claimants to succeed to the line of the Avignon Popes (though not resident at Avignon) continued until c. 1437.

The establishment of the church councils, with the power to decide over the position of Pope, was one of the main outcomes of the schism. However, it did not survive long beyond 1417.

Historiography


The period has been called the "Babylonian captivity
Babylonian captivity
The Babylonian captivity was the period in Jewish history during which the Jews of the ancient Kingdom of Judah were captives in Babylon—conventionally 587–538 BCE....

" of the popes. When and where this term originated is uncertain though may have sprung from Petrarch
Petrarch
Francesco Petrarca , known in English as Petrarch, was an Italian scholar, poet and one of the earliest humanists. Petrarch is often called the "Father of Humanism"...

, who in a letter to a friend (1340–1353) written during his stay at Avignon, described Avignon of that time as the "Babylon of the west," referring to the worldly practices of the church hierarchy. The nickname is polemical, in that it refers to the claim by critics that the prosperity of the church at this time was accompanied by a profound compromise of the Papacy's spiritual integrity, especially in the alleged subordination of the powers of the Church to the ambitions of the French kings. As noted, the "captivity" of the popes at Avignon lasted about the same amount of time as the exile of the Jews in Babylon, making the analogy convenient and rhetorically potent. The Avignon papacy has been and is often today depicted as being totally dependent on the French kings, and sometimes as even being treacherous to its spiritual role and its heritage in Rome.

Almost a century and a half later, Protestant reformer Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

 wrote his treatise On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church
On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church
thumb||FrontspiecePrelude on the Babylonian Captivity of the Church was the second of the three major treatises published by Martin Luther in 1520, coming after the Address to the Christian Nobility of the German Nation and before On the Freedom of a Christian...

(1520), but he claimed it had nothing to do with the Western Schism or papacy in Avignon.

Effects on the Papacy


The relationship between the papacy and France changed drastically over the course of the 14th century. Starting with open conflict between Pope Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII , born Benedetto Gaetani, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 1294 to 1303. Today, Boniface VIII is probably best remembered for his feuds with Dante, who placed him in the Eighth circle of Hell in his Divina Commedia, among the Simonists.- Biography :Gaetani was born in 1235 in...

 and King Philip IV of France, it turned to cooperation from 1305 to 1342, and finally to a Papacy under strong influence by the French throne up to 1378. Such partisanship of the Papacy was one of the reasons for the dropping esteem for the institution, which in turn was one of the reasons for the schism
Western Schism
The Western Schism or Papal Schism was a split within the Catholic Church from 1378 to 1417. Two men simultaneously claimed to be the true pope. Driven by politics rather than any theological disagreement, the schism was ended by the Council of Constance . The simultaneous claims to the papal chair...

 from 1378–1417. In the period of the Schism, the power struggle in the Papacy became a battlefield of the major powers, with France supporting the Pope in Avignon
Avignon
Avignon is a French commune in southeastern France in the départment of the Vaucluse bordered by the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 94,787 inhabitants of the city on 1 January 2010, 12 000 live in the ancient town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts.Often referred to as the...

 and England supporting the Pope in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

. At the end of the century, still in the state of schism, the Papacy had lost most of its direct political power, and the nation
Nation
A nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, and/or history. In this definition, a nation has no physical borders. However, it can also refer to people who share a common territory and government irrespective of their ethnic make-up...

 states of France and England were established as two of the main powers in Europe.

See also

  • Lollardy
    Lollardy
    Lollardy was a political and religious movement that existed from the mid-14th century to the English Reformation. The term "Lollard" refers to the followers of John Wycliffe, a prominent theologian who was dismissed from the University of Oxford in 1381 for criticism of the Church, especially his...

  • Hussite
    Hussite
    The Hussites were a Christian movement following the teachings of Czech reformer Jan Hus , who became one of the forerunners of the Protestant Reformation...

  • Anglicanism
    Anglicanism
    Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

  • Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France.-History:Châteauneuf-du-Pape is firmly entwined with papal history. In 1308, Pope Clement V, former Archbishop of Bordeaux, relocated the papacy to the city of Avignon...

    , the wine
    Wine
    Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

    , means "pope's new castle" and was named after the papal residence in Avignon
  • Gallicanism
    Gallicanism
    Gallicanism is the belief that popular civil authority—often represented by the monarchs' authority or the State's authority—over the Catholic Church is comparable to that of the Pope's...

  • History of the Papacy
    History of the Papacy
    The history of the papacy, the office held by the Pope as head of the Catholic Church, spans from the time of Saint Peter to present day.During the Early Church, the bishops of Rome enjoyed no temporal power until the time of Constantine...

  • Papal States
    Papal States
    The Papal State, State of the Church, or Pontifical States were among the major historical states of Italy from roughly the 6th century until the Italian peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia .The Papal States comprised territories under...

  • Restorationism (middle ages)