Overview

Great Schism


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1378–1417.

After the papacy's stay from 1309 at Avignon, an enclave in southern France, the Roman populace in 1378 demanded an Italian pope and the conclave, intimidated, elected Urban VI. Within three months, his conduct had alienated many supporters, who elected Clement VII. The rival pope established himself once more at Avignon. The rift perpetuated itself and the Council of Pisa in 1409, summoned to restore church unity, merely succeeded in electing a third pope, Alexander V. Not until the Council of Constance in 1417 was unity restored with the election of Martin V. The king of France supported the Avignon popes, who were more likely to be under French influence. The English, bitterly opposed to France, recognized the Roman popes. The Scots, allied to France, joined in acknowledging Avignon.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500).


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