Pope Clement V
THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY 1309 -
xxxxxWorthy Popes there had been, like Gregory VII, Urban II and Alexander III, but by the beginning of the 14th century the papacy was at an all-
xxxxxDespite their failings, under the leadership of men like Pope Gregory VII, -
xxxxxBut by the beginning of the fourteenth century the prestige and power of the papacy had fallen to an all-
xxxxxPope Clement V was himself a Frenchman, and he was doubtless persuaded -
xxxxxAt Avignon, of course, the papacy came under strong French influence, and it is hardly surprising that all seven Avignonese popes were in fact Frenchmen. (And of the 134 cardinals appointed during this period 111 were French!). It was here that Clement V was virtually forced by Philip IV to suppress the Knight Templars, in 1312, and to rescind the two major bulls issued by his predecessor, the Clericis Laicos and the Unam Sanctam, both of which had affirmed papal supremacy.
xxxxxThe papal stay at Avignon was not without benefit. During this period, the reorganisation of church administration and the reform of clerical conditions were achieved, and missionary work was also expanded, notably under John XXII. However, there was much opposition to this “captivity”, especially in England and Germany, and this did much damage to the prestige of the papacy.
xxxxxFurthermore, as we shall see, when Gregory XI eventually took his court back to Rome in 1377 (E3) matters became worse. The following year saw the beginning of the Great Schism during which two, and later, three popes contended -
Clement V: by French painter Henri Serrur (1794-