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Great Schism

Discuss great schism of the Catholic Church in the 14th Century and how it impacted society and culture.

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The Great Western Schism was the split between the Papacy in Rome and Catholic France in 1378 after the death of Pope Gregory XI. The papacy had been moved to France specifically Avignon in 1309 and was an attempt by the Catholic Church to escape the black plague. The papacy stayed in France from 1309-1378 until the "great schism" occurred.

After the death of Pope Gregory the XI in 1378; a new Pope was elected and this was Pope Urban VI. However, like many political issues, the French were not happy with the election of Pope urban or his intent to move the papacy back to Rome. There is also historical evidence to show the French Cardinals were coerced into voting for Urban XI. Therefore, in response the French appointed Clement VII as pope. The papacy had been in France for so many years that other states allied themselves with France rather than Rome. However, Rome also had several states which sided with the papacy. This was a time of loose alliances, city states, religious reformation, recovery from the black plague, and beginning of the European renaissance. Interestingly each papal court had exactly the same ceremonies, political make up, and allegiance to Rome. The only point which separated them was who each wanted for a pope. (1)

It should also be noted that historically neither Pope was an ideal candidate as evidenced by this excerpt, "Neither Urban nor Clement, on the human level, had much to commend him as leader of ...

Solution Summary

After the death of Pope Gregory the XI in 1378; a new Pope was elected and this was Pope Urban VI. However, like many political issues, the French were not happy with the election of Pope urban or his intent to move the papacy back to Rome. There is also historical evidence to show the French Cardinals were coerced into voting for Urban XI. Therefore, in response the French appointed Clement VII as pope. The papacy had been in France for so many years that other states allied themselves with France rather than Rome. However, Rome also had several states which sided with the papacy. This was a time of loose alliances, city states, religious reformation, recovery from the black plague, and beginning of the European renaissance. Interestingly each papal court had exactly the same ceremonies

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