Great Schism

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Two breaches in the Christian Church. The Great or East–West Schism (1054) marked the separation of the Eastern (Orthodox) and Western Christian churches. The Great Schism of 1378–1417 resulted from the removal of the papacy from Italy to France in 1309. Feuds among the Italian cardinals and their allies among the Italian nobility led to Pope Clement V (1305–14) moving the papal residence from Rome to Avignon in southern France. French interests came to dominate papal policy and the popes, notorious for their luxurious way of life, commanded scant respect. An attempt to return the papacy to Rome was followed by schism as two rival popes were elected by the cardinals, Urban VI by the Roman faction and Clement VII by the French faction. The period of popes and rival antipopes lasted until the Council of Constance (1417) elected Pope Martin V of the Roman party and deposed his French rival. The division of the papacy discredited the Church and was criticized by those demanding reform, notably Wyclif.

Subjects: History — Christianity.

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