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later on, he was more disposed to assent (1333), other obstacles
came in the way. His own plan, which was to offer the crown
to duke Henry of Lower Bavaria, his cousin and the son-in-law
of John of Bohemia, was opposed by the king of Naples and by
the Italian cities which were mostly disposed to be unfriendly
to the Empire. Nor was the king's offer to resign meant at all
seriously, for it was soon withdrawn. His change of attitude
was a result of the difficulties into which John had recently
been plunged through his teaching concerning the Visio
heatifica. In a sermon (All Saints, 1331) he had advocated
the view that the souls of the just attain to the vision
of God, not forthwith after death, but only subsequently
to the Last Judgment, an opinion which he afterwards

Benedict XII (1334-42), his successor and the builder of
the papal palace at Avignon, was more inclined to come to a
settlement, though he did not succeed in his endeavour. The
difficulties of the situation were increased by the opposition of
the enemies of the Bavarian, especially by that of the king of
France. Nor did the increasing pressure of the German Estates
on the Curia much improve matters, though it seems to have
had some influence. At Lahnstein the Estates bound them-
selves, by an everlasting oath, to defend the honour, rights, and
dignities of the Empire (1338). A day later, by declaring at
Reuse that the king-elect received the imperial rights by the
mere fact of his election, they practically denied the Pope any
right of confirming the election of the German king.i Even
when Lewis allied himself with Philip VI (1341), and entrusted
the king of France with the negotiations on his behalf, it was
still found impossible to come to an understanding. Owing to

* K. HoHLBAUM, Der Kwverein von Rense, 133S, in Abk. Gottvigen, N.F,
VII, 1903-4; N.A. 1905, pp. 85-112.

Avignon 9

the mutual distrust existing between Paris and Avignon,
the French king's intercession was of no avail. Lewis, more-
over, by marrying his son Lewis of Brandenburg to Margaret
Maultasch, wife of prince John Henry of Bohemia and
heiress to the Tyrol, committed, in the following year, a
deed which infringed one of the laws of Christian marriage,
and rendered nugatory any further attempts at a recon-

Nevertheless, on the election of a new pontiff, efforts were
again made to secure peace, though with no better success.
The demands made of Lewis by the splendour-loving Clement
VI (1342-52) were so great that they were rejected even by the
German Estates. But as the latest doings of the emperor had
caused deep dissatisfaction among the people, and as there
seemed no other means of obtaining peace, the majority of the
prince-electors forsook Lewis and chose in his place Charles IV
(1346-78), king of Bohemia and grandson of Henry VIL As
Lewis met a sudden death in the ensuing year, whilst his
successor, Giinther of Schwarzburg, died prematurely in 1349,
after having, before his end, made peace with his opponent,
Charles was soon in undisputed possession of the throne. At
Easter, 1355, he received the imperial crown at Rome from the
hand of a cardinal acting under papal instructions, and in the
next year, to regulate the royal election which had caused
thirty-five years of wrangling, he issued the Golden Bull, which
excluded all foreign interference, and made the election to
depend solely on the votes of the majority of the prince-

At about this time the absence of the popes from Italy led
to changes in the extent of the Papal States. Clement VI
bought Avignon on behalf of the Apostolic See from queen
Joanna of Naples (1348). The comte Venaissin, to the east of
the town which had formerly belonged to count Raymond
of Toulouse, had already been ceded to the Pope by the treaty of
Paris in 1229. Whilst in France the papal territory was being
enlarged, in Italy it was in dire distress. In several localities
risings took place, the people shaking off their allegiance to the
Pope. In Rome itself, after the overthrow of the nobility, the
government was seized by Cola di Rienzi (1347), who assumed
the title of Tribune, and though he fell seven months later, the

10 A Manual of Church History

city continued to be disturbed. At the beginning of the ponti-
ficate of Innocent VI (1352-62), a new Tribune arose in
Francesco BaroncelH. At his downfall, Cola again assumed
the government, though his second term of office was even
shorter than his first. The revolt stirred up by his tyranny was
the cause of his death, whereupon cardinal Albornoz, by dint of
energy and tact, little by little succeeded in again establishing
the papal sovereignty ; to the wisdom of this same cardinal the
Papal States owed a new code of law, commonly known from
his Christian name as the Constitidiones Aigidianae, which
continued in use until the commencement of the nineteenth

During the next pontificate the question of the Pope's
residence entered a new stage. The exile had already lasted too
long. Save in France, the absence of the Pope from Rome was
regarded as something contrary to nature. Many were the
appeals for a return to the Eternal City, the emperor Charles IV,
the poet Petrarch, and St. Bridget, who since her husband's
death had been living the life of an ascetic in Rome, all joined
in beseeching the Pope to revert to Rome. Urban V (1362-70)
gave way before this widespread feeling and quitted Avignon
(1367), only to return thither again towards the close of his life.
The evil therefore continued, and soon new dangers threatened
the temporal sovereignty of the popes in Italy. The rule of the
legates had aroused much discontent in the Papal States, and
the republic of Florence took advantage of this feeling to stir
up the Romans to rebellion, the revolt soon spreading through-
out the country. Gregory XI (1370-78), a nephew of Clement
VI, was obliged to exert his might to the utmost in order to cope
with it. He excommunicated Florence, laid it under an inter-
dict (1376), and sent bands of Breton mercenaries into Italy.
But it was now seen that the best, and, in fact, the only way of
appeasing the trouble — as St. Catherine of Siena, who acted as
intermediary between the contending parties, urged — was for
the Pope to return to Rome. This he did in the autumn, 1376.
The state of Italy continued, however, to afford ground for
anxiety, though the Florentines, after a short time, consented to
come to terms. It is even said that on this account Gregory
meditated a return to Avignon, and shortly before his death
predicted the coming schism.

The Western Schism it

The supposed Bull Quia in fuUirorum, or Ne praeiereai, of
John XXII, which decrees the separation of Italy from the German
Empire, is a document drafted at the chancery of king Robert of
Naples. Cp. W. Felten, Die Biille Ne praeiereai, 1885-87 ; Th.
Lindner, Deutsche Gesch. unier den Hahshurgern u. Luxemhurgern, I
(1890), 322 ; Th. Qu. 1886, p. 659.

From the time of the return from Avignon, the residence of
the popes has no longer been the Lateran, but the Vatican.

§ 139

The Great Schism — The Councils of Pisa and Constance 1

The schism, whether predicted or not, actually came to pass.
The very next papal election resulted in extraordinary disorders.
The Romans demanded with threats the selection of one of their
o\\-n countr}TTien, or at least of an Italian. A large mob spent
the night in sight of the conclave, and gave clamorous expres-
sion to the Romans' wishes. The cardinals were thus induced
to bring their task to a close by the election on the first day
(Aprils) of Bartolommeo Prignano, archbishop of Bari, who took
the name of Urban VI (1378-89) ; it was to be the last instance
of the choice of one not belonging to the college of cardinals.
Before the choice was yet known, the Romans in their im-
patience broke into the conclave, and as, in the confusion
which ensued, the cardinal of St. Peter's, a Roman, was pointed
out as the elect, he was overwhelmed with the customary
congratulations, the cardinals in the meantime having betaken
themselves to flight. The mistake was, however, soon corrected,
and the Romans expressed themselves satisfied. The new Pope
was enthroned on the following day, and crowned at Easter
(April 18). The cardinals, who assisted at the ceremonies, did
so, doubtless, under pressure of circumstances, but, on the other
hand, there can be no doubt that they acknowledged Urban as

' Theodericus de Nyem, De schismate, ed. G. Erler, 1890 ; Gayet, Le
grand schisme d'Occident, I-II, 1889 , L. Salembier, item. 3rd ed. 1902 (Engl.
Trans. The Great Schism of the West, 1908) ; Valois, La France et le grand
schisme d'Occident, 4 vol. 1 896-1902 ; Souchon, Die Papstwahlen in der
Zeit des grossen Schismas, 2 vol. 1898-99 ; F. Bliemetzrieder, Das General-
konzil im grossen abendldnd . Schisma, 1904 ; Th. Lindner, Gesch. d. d.
Reiches vom Ende des 14 Jahrh. bis zur Reformation, I-II, 1875-80; MICE.
1900, pp. 599-639 (on the schism of 1378, and the conduct of Charles

12 A Manual of Church Histofy

Pope, as may be seen especially from their requesting favours
of him, taking part in his consistories, &c. Hence, whatever
may have been wanting at the moment of election was
certainly made good by the subsequent action of the electors,
and Urban must accordingly be reckoned a duly elected

The new Pope soon deceived the hopes which had been built
on him. He did not tarry to make proof of an overbearing zeal,
and such a quality, at a time when the utmost moderation
and circumspection was required, was even more than usually
dangerous. For their part the cardinals were not the men to
abide the Pope's high-handedness, whilst the French members
of the Sacred College were impatient for a change which might
favour their own national and political aims. Hence the
events which had attended the Pope's election were seized as a
pretext for annulling it, the Sacred College meeting at Fondi
and electing, September 21, cardinal Robert of Geneva as
Clement VII (1378-94).

The consequences of this step were far-reaching. As both
Clement and Urban stood by their respective elections, a double
papacy was the result, having one its headquarters in the
Eternal City and the other at Avignon, whither the anti-Pope
migrated (1379) as soon as he found it impossible to maintain
himself at Rome. The Church likewise separated ij;serf into
two obediences, France, Savoy, Spain, Scotland, and certain
German States acknowledging Clement, and the rest of Europe,
Urban. As, moreover, each of the popes excommunicated his
opponent, together with all his adherents, it came about that
the whole of the West was under an excommunication. This
position of affairs was as unbearable as it was unnatural, and the
wish to put an end to it was increased by the grievous burden of
expenditure which the political enterprises of the popes and
the upkeep of a twofold court laid on the shoulders of the people,
to say nothing of the many quarrels regarding bishoprics and
other ecclesiastical emoluments to which the strange situation
gave rise. At Paris Henry of Langenstein [Epishila pads,
1379) "^^^ Conrad of Gelnhausen {Epistula concordiae, 1380)
were demanding the assembling of a General Council, and in
1381 the university, too, decided to support their appeal. But
the evil had to grow far worse to compel both parties to agree

The Western Schism 13

to make an end of it. The kingdom of Naples, to begin with,
was the occasion of disastrous complications. As Queen Joanna
espoused the cause of the anti-Pope, Urban excommunicated and
deposed her, and bestowed her crown on Charles of Durazzo,
giving also several cities in the kingdom to an unworthy nephew
of his own. For her support Joanna thereupon, with the con-
sent of Clement VII and the French king, adopted Lewis of
Anjou as her son. It is true that Lewis himself and most of his
army perished during the course of the expedition to Lower
Italy, but the disorders nevertheless persisted throughout the
pontificate, Lewis II taking his father's place. Not long after a
quarrel broke out between Urban and Charles (1385), and on
Charles's death the war was carried on by his son Ladislaus.
Yet another complication now came to add to the trouble.
Owing to the conduct of Urban, and possibly having been won
over by Charles of Durazzo, six cardinals evolved a plan to
bring the Pope's action under some kind of control. Their plot
was, however, discovered and the\^ were tortured, imprisoned,
and finally put to death. Under these circumstances, the Pope's
death was greeted with a certain reUef. Its effect on the situa-
tion was, however, not great, and the hope that the Roman
cardinals would refrain from proceeding to a new election, and
would acknowledge Clement VII, turned out to be idle. After
a few weeks, Boniface IX (1389-1404) was elected at Rome ;
and as the newly-elect, conscious of his better right, would hear
of no mediation, the matters stood in much the same position
as before. In Naples, however, the war came to an end,
Ladislaus making peace with Boniface, and then overcoming his

At Avignon, in the meantime, difficulties were likewise being
experienced. After the death of Clement (1394), in spite of the
very strong feeling against any new election, cardinal Peter
de Luna was chosen as Benedict XIII after an interval of
twelve days.^ Before entering the conclave, like the other
cardinals, he had taken an oath to do his best to restore unity
to the Church, and for the sake of it to resign his ofhce at any
time should the majority of the cardinals demand of him this

• Ehrle, Archiv. f. Lit. u. KG. d. MA. V-VII, 1889-1900 ; M. de
Alpartils, Chronica actitatorn»i temporibus D, Benedicti XIII, ed. F. Ehrle, I,

14 A Manual of Church History

sacrifice. This promise led to the opening of negotiations, but
the Pope proved so refractory that France, Castile, and Navarra
withdrew from his obedience (autumn, 1398) ; most of the
cardinals abandoned him, and he was kept a prisoner in his
palace. This ' Subtraction,' as the measure was called, was
one which could not endure, and it soon found adversaries,
especially as it injured so many interests, and it was ultimately
revoked in the spring of 1403. Benedict, who, shortly before,
had escaped from prison, and had quitted Avignon never to
return, now opened negotiations on his own account, and dis-
patched an embassy to Rome (1404). His proposal was that his
opponent should meet him at some safe spot, or that the matter
should be referred to arbitration. These terms were rejected
by Rome, the discourteous behaviour of Benedict's legates con-
tributing to discredit his advances. On Boniface's death, which
occurred a few days after, he was succeeded by Innocent VII
(1404-6),! during whose reign the troubles at Rome drove all
other events into the background. The situation seemed
all the more hopeless when king Wenzel was deposed and
replaced by Rupert of the Rhine Palatinate (1400-10), thus
causing a political division in an empire already torn by
ecclesiastical schism.

A better outlook opened out on the election of cardinal
Angelo Corrario as Gregory XII to the see of Rome (1406).
Previous to his election, he had bound himself even more
stringently than his predecessors to restore the Church's unity,
and no sooner was he Pope than he put himself into connection
with Benedict, and by the treaty of Marseilles (1407) it was
settled that both popes should hand in their resignation at
Savona. In many places people now began to breathe more
freely, and the pernicious schism seemed to be nearing its end.
The treaty was, however, never carried into effect. Under the
influence of the counsels of his greedy relatives and of king
Ladislaus of Naples, who foresaw that the union would endanger
his crown, Gregory never got beyond Lucca. Benedict, indeed,
came as far as Porto Venere to meet him, but further he refused
to go. Matters seemed as far off as ever from being smoothed,
when something happened which altered the whole aspect of the
question. At about this time Gregory decided to create new

^ E. GoLLER, K, Sigismunds Kirchenpolitik, 1404-13, 1902.

The Western Schism 15

cardinals, thereby alienating from his cause his old friends in the
Sacred College. This quarrel turned out to be the first step
towards reunion. The Roman cardinals came to Livorno (1408),
where they met the cardinals of the opposite faction, and
decided to summon a General Council for the mending of the
schism to meet at Pisa in 1409.1 An attempt was made to
secure the support of the two popes, though they were not to be
induced to attend, even when invited by the Council itself.
On the contrary, each assembled a council of his own, Gregory at
Cividale near Aquileia, and Benedict at Perpignan.^ Hence
both, for having disregarded in their actions the article
of Faith regarding Una sancta Ecclesia, were deposed as
' notorious schismatics and heretics,' and Peter Philargo,
cardinal archbishop of Milan, was elected as Alexander V

The new Pope was indeed not acknowledged everywhere,
and the schism was therefore by no means at an end. In fact,
so far from unity being attained, the Council had only succeeded
in making three factions where previously there had been two,
and this state of affairs continued to prevail when, in 1410,
Alexander was succeeded b}^ Balthasar Cossa as John XXIII.^
In spite of all this the action of the cardinals did not lose its
significance. The step they had taken was a practical protest
against the schism, and after having been repeated with
greater emphasis, it was to be productive of the desired result.
This happened at the Sixteenth General Council, which held
its sessions from the autumn of 1414 until the spring of 1418
at Constance,* was one of the most memorable ecclesiastical
assemblies known to history, and in some sense a parliament of
the whole of the West, this being largely due to the fact that,

1 F. Stuhr, Organisation u. Geschdftsordnung des Pisaner u. Konstanzer
Konzils, 1891 ; R. Qu. 1895, pp. 351-75.

- On the Council of Cividale, see Hist. J. XIV, p. 320 ff. ; R. Qu. 1894, PP-
217-58 ; on that of Perpignan, Archiv f. Lit. u. KG. des MA. V, 1889.

3 Z.f. KG. XXI (on his election and personal character).

■• H. V. d. Hardt, Magnum oecum. Constant. Concilium, &c. sex tomis
comprehensum, 1 697-1 700 ; Chronicle of the Council by Ulrich v. Richental :
ed. M. R. Buck, 18S2 [Bibl. des lit. Vereins, vol. 158), illustrated ed. by Wolf,
1869, H. Sevin, 1881 ; phototype reproduction, Leipzig, 1895 ; H. Finke,
Forsch. u. Quellen z. G. d. Konst. Konzils, 1889 ; Acta cone. Constanciensis, I,
1896 ; Bilder vom Konst. Konzil, 1903 ; Hefele, CG. vol. VII ; Aschbach.
Gesch K. Sigismunds, 4 vol. 1838-45 ; B. Fromme, Die span. Nation n. das
Konst. Konzil, 1896 ; Truttmann, Das Konklave atif dem Konzil zii Konstanz,
1899; Wylie, Council of C. to Death of ] , Hus, 1900. _.^ ;.

i6 A Manual of Church History

in the meanwhile, an end had been made of the division within
the Empire, and that the premier prince of Christendom was
in a position to perform with greater strength his duty as
supreme protector of the Church.

John XXIII himself attended at Constance, under the
impression that the Council would confirm him in his position.
In this he was, however, deceived. As Gregory and Benedict
refused to bow to the sentence of the Council of Pisa, further
attempts had to be made to induce them to resign, and they
would hear of nothing of the sort unless the third Pope did the
same as they. John soon found that his resignation was also
expected. After a little while formal charges of misconduct
began to be made against him, and it became clear that his
chance of re-election was exceedingly remote. Under these
circumstances he found it convenient to quit Constance one
day when his ally duke Frederick of Austria had diverted the
attention of the town by a tournament. His intention in so
doing was, without a doubt, to cause the dissolution of the
Council which had offended him by re-arranging the manner
of voting ; to prevent the undue predominance of the over-
numerous Italian bishops, it had enacted that the votes should
be taken by nations, and that in each nation not only the
prelates, but also the procurators of the chapters and univer-
sities, and also the envoys of civil princes should be allowed
the suffrage. John had, however, miscalculated, and though
his flight caused great consternation, the Council w^as prevailed
on to continue its sessions, owing principally to the efforts of
the emperor Sigismund — ^present in person at its dehberations
— and of several prominent ecclesiastics. To guard against
any action on the Pope's part, the step was taken of proclaiming
that the Council had been duly summoned and declared open,
that John's departure, or that of any other prelate, could
not avail to dissolve it, that until the Church had been reformed
in both head and members, the Council was to remain in
session, that it was not to be transferred to another place
save for weighty reasons and by its own decision (Sess. Ill),
that it held its power directly from Christ, and that every
Christian, and even the Pope himself, was obhged on pain of
punishment to obey it in those things for which it had met
(Sess. I V-V) . These decrees, though they were in disagreement

TJie Western Schism ly

with the law regarding the relations of Pope and Council
as it had been settled by mediaeval practice, were in some sense
an historical necessity. Judging by previous experience, a
Council seemed the only means of restoring the unity of the
Church, and as the right of the Council had been challenged
by the Pope, it could only fulfil the task for which it had been
summoned by claiming a right superior to his. In point of
fact this superiority had already been tacitly assumed by the
Council of Pisa, but the conduct of the Pope now furnished an
occasion for distinctly formulating it. The object of these
decrees was to prevent the breaking up of the Council, and tc
render possible its task. As soon as this was done, formal
proceedings were started against John, who was deposed
on the charge of having furthered the schism by his cowardly
flight, and of having been guilty of simony and of evil life
(twelfth Session, May 29, 1415). Gregory XII abandoned
his cause of his own accord (fourteenth Session, July 4, 1415).
It was hoped that Benedict XIII would likewise be induced to
resign, and, with this in view, Sigismund even journeyed to
Perpignan, where the anti-Pope had been in residence since
1408. As Benedict, however, remained obdurate, it was
found necessary to proceed against him also. In this case the
duty of the Council was considerably facilitated by the action
of the Spanish princes, who, before the end of 1415, had been
persuaded to sever their connection with Benedict by the
treaty of Narbonne. He was ultimately deposed in the
summer, 1417. In the course of the next autumn a new
pope was elected, though not until after long and vehement
discussion. Sigismund, and the Germans generally, claimed
that the reform of the Church should first be proceeded with ;
another point in dispute concerned the electors, namely to
what extent their numbers should be increased by the addition
of deputies of the Nations. The former demand was withdrawn
on the Council consenting to issue a decree before the conclusion
of the Council, obhging the future Pope to complete the
reform of the Curia. With regard to the latter point it was
ultimately agreed that thirty other members of the Council
should join the cardinals in performing the election. The
unanimous choice of the conclave fell on cardinal Odo Colonna,
who assumed the title of Martin V.


l8 A Manual of Church History

By these measures the Council had succeeded in one of its
principal tasks, the causa unionis. Its success was not however
entire, for Benedict continued to hold his own in the stronghold
of Pefiiscola (between Tarragona and Valencia) — whither he
had withdrawn after the treaty of Narbonne,— and at his death,
in 1424, mainly owing to the doing of the king of Aragon, who had
fallen out with Martin V, he was succeeded by Muiioz, a canon of
Barcelona, who called himself Clement VIII. A dissentient
cardinal even put up yet another anti-Pope known as Benedict
XIV. By this time the number of schismatics had been reduced
to about 2000. Clement VIII submitted as early as 1429, and

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