Monday, October 1, 2012

Lesson 26 - The Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy and the Great Western Schism

-     Because of the French influence more and more Frenchmen were included in the college of
      Cardinals so the next popes were Frenchmen.
-       Clement V (1305-1314) did not think it necessary to go to Rome. He was consecrated in Lyons and remained in France à resided in Avignon à Babylonian Captivity[1]

-       It refers to the Papacy's sojourn in Avignon between 1309 and 1378, when the Popes became  irresolute tools in the hands of power-hungry French rulers and toy of international politics therefore seen by some as "captives" of the French Kings .As a consequence, the papacy renounced its freedom of decision and lost its supra-partisan universal ecclesiatical authority.
-       Repercussion: The transfer from Rome to Avignon  is the shifting of spiritual and political center of gravity.
-       The Eternal City of Rome is connected to
  1. century old tradition
  2. succession to the apostolic see of St. Peter
  3. concept of a western universalism founded by the Imperium Romanum.

-       situated completely within the sphere of power of the French Monarchy
-       Even if Clement VI purchased Avignon in 1348  and become an independent papal territory à still surrounded on all sides by th French Kingdom
-       Repercussion:   The Popes of the 11th and 12th centuries were free from the superiority of the emperor.They defended succefully the struggles against the Staufic Sicilian policy à now voluntary surreder to the French King by the French Popes

CLEMENT V (1305-1314)
-       The first Avignon Pope
-       As “Captive”
    1. He had to give in to the demand French king to open proceedings against the late Boniface VIII
    2. He was quiet to the request of Philip the Fair to destroy the Templars.
-       the king coveted the wealth & privileges of the Templars
-       1307 – Philip slandered by accusing them of heresy and sodomy.
-       2,000 Templars were arrested, their estates confiscated.
-       Philip used torture to extract confessions and fictitious accusations
-       Clement V take no step and after initial hesitation he also accused them of heresy
-       Clement V dissolved the Order of the Knights Templar on March 22, 1312 at the Council of Vienne.
-       Philip the Fair took their possessions and made over into Knights of St. John à Clement V is silent.
-       Clement V tolerated Philip the Fair when he burned Grand Master Jacques de Molay and other Templars in Paris in 1314 despite his protestation of innocence

JOHN XXII (1316-1334)
-       The pope removed King Louis the Bavarian (1314-1347) in office in 1323 under a shabby pretext.
-       Last great battle between the sacerdotium and imperium à issue is not one of ideas but naked political goals.


-       For the first time, there’s an imperial counterattack is not against individual pope but the papacy as an institution.
-       The Pope is just a human creation who must be in the service of the people of God.
-       In 1324, Louis the Bavarian moved against John XXII by appealing to the General Council.
-       All opponents of the pope were gathered including two scholars from the University of Paris, Marsilius of Padua and John Jandun who fled from France.
-       The General Council presented Louis as Defensor Pacis
a.     He questioned the hierarchical order of the Church and demanded a democratic structure.
b.     He denied the papal primacy and assigned the supreme power of the Church to the people alone.
c.     He asserted that the Church was the community of all believers and that the clergy is not superior to the laity.

-       The theory that basically placed the general council above the Pope.
-       Neither popes nor bishops nor priests had received an independent function from Christ; they officiated merely as agents of the congregatio fidelium which was represented by the general council.
-       General Council is the highest authority in the Church which transformed the papacy into a mere executive organ of the council, subordinated it to the council, and obliged the pope to be obedient to the council which had the right to demand an account from him at any time and if necessary, to remove him from office.
-       Radical point:   the Papacy is simply a human institution and that the real congregatio fidelis is the general council.
-       Popes and bishops are merely human creation therefore Popes can be opposed because they are not the Vicarius Christi.
-       It is extremely revolutionary ideas. It is a clash of theological, ideological ideas not physical. Papacy sank more and more.


-       It is the acquisition of money, resources, and taxes to run the Curia
-       Reasons for Fiscalism:  
a.       The Papal court had to replace the failing revenues of the Papal States.
b.     The Papacy has to adapt itself to the new circumstances of transition from agrarian to money economy which takes place because of the flowering of mercantile cities.
-       Fiscalism caused anger and disturbance because
a.       the fees for dispensation, privileges and pardons often is full of simony
b.     there were fees for provisions, reservations and expectancies
c.     payment to the archbishop for receiving the pallium
d.     Annate and spoils from the revenues of the first year and the property of deceased prelates.
e.     Crusade tax though there were no crusades.
f.      Feudal taxes and taxes from the countries which become fiefs under Innocent III
g.     And many more…
-       These demands were exacted ruthlessly under threats of censure and excommunication esp. Germany where attitude of Papacy to Louis Bavarian was considered hostile to Germany à resentment grows à this resentment found reflection in the 15th century Gravamina Nationis Germanicae[2] and final effect in the 16th century mass defections at the time of the Reformation.

-       The Avignon exile  contributed to the great crisis which followed:   The Great Western Schism (378-1415) and the epoch of Conciliarism

-       Schism[3] occurred with the death of Gregory XI (1370-1378) the schism occurred. Influenced by the great prophetic announcements of Catherine of Siena (+1380) and Bridget of Sweden[4] (+1373) + the chaotic conditions in the Papal States.  Gregory XI returned to Rome in 1377 but died before he can leave again.

-       The law on Papal election requires that the conclave had to be held in Rome for the first time in 70 years.
-       11 out of 16 Cardinals were Frenchmen and Romans fear that another Frenchman would be elected Pope
-       To prevent à they put the electors under severe pressure, armed bands made it to the conclave and demanded that a Roman be elected.
-       The cardinals realized that they have to acquiesce of they want to survive the conclave.
-       April 8, 1378 à Urban II, an Italian was elected
-       The Cardinals fled the city for safety and they return for Urban’s coronation on April 18, 1378 and swore allegiance to him.

-       3 months later, 11 Frenchmen and a sole Spaniard Peter Luna[5] left Urban’s court and declared that because of the use of force, under grave fear and coercion, the election was annulled.
-       September 20, 1378 à French Pope Clement VII (1378-1394) was elected. He stayed in Avignon.
-       The three Italian Cardinals (the fourth had died) renounced Urban and supported Clement VII
-       The Church now has two popes!
-       Although French nationalistic and egoistic intrigues were a major cause of the double election, the fact of the riotous character of Urban’s selection cannot be denied.
-       Under such circumstances the validity of Urban’s election cannot be proven, conversely the invalidity of Clement’s election cannot simply be maintained either.

-       After Urban VI inauguration, he showed himself so overbearing, cruel, and fanatical not only to the cardinals but also his curial officials and supporters were of the opinion that his sudden elevation had left him mentally deranged.
-       According to canon law, the election of a mentally deranged person to the papacy is invalid.

-       St. Catherine of Siena defended Urban VI sole legitimacy
-       St. Vincent Ferrer stood for the exclusive validity of Clement VII’s election.

-       Both Popes were so deeply convinced of their own legitimacy and the illegality of other.
-       They regarded it as a principle of conscience to defend the Papacy with all means and to combat their opponent
-       To voluntarily resign from the papal office to free the way of the Church to unity, which was suggested to them frequently, was rejected  by both popes with Non Possumus
-       It is in first person plural, we which means the Church is involved.
-       Given the conviction of their conscience such a step had to appear to them as treason to the legitimacy and validity of the apostolic succession which is obligated to them by God to preserve.

ROMAN LINE OF SUCCESSION                                                                                                                                                                
Urban VI (1378-1389)                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
Boniface IX (1389-1404)  

AVIGNON LINE OF SUCCESSION                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Clement VII (1378-1394)
Benedict XIII (1394-1417)[6]
Innocent VII (1404-1406)                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Gregory XII (1406-1415)

-       In 1394, the University of Paris suggested three alternatives.
a.     Via Cessionis (voluntary renunciation)
b.     Via Compromissi  (submission of the Pope to arbitration)
c.     Via Concilii (Decision by a general council)

a.     Western Europe was politically divided over which pope to support. Of course France supported the Avignon pope. Along with France were Sicily, Scotland, Castile, Aragon, and Portugal. On the other side, Rome supported the Roman pope, as did Flanders, Poland, Hungary and Germany.
b.     There was a constitutional crisis between two popes. The two popes were constant rivals. De facto all Christianity was under ban. The subjects of the one pope was excommunicated the other. It was common to hear each calling the other the anti-pope and also trying to get him out of a position of leadership.
c.     The influence extended to all countries, dioceses and parishes and caused discord and conflict, as both popes appointed their own candidates and all offices were filled doubly.
d.     Many citizens were confused over this split.” The papal office suffered the most; the pope's authority diminished as pious Christians became bewildered and disgusted."

[1] It refers to the Papacy's sojourn in Avignon between 1306 and 1378, when the Popes were seen by some as "captives" of the French Kings.
[2] Gravamina Nationis Germanicae (Grievances of the German “Nation”) is the articulation of grievances of various   German princes and Holy Roman Emperors against Rome which started as early as 1417 Council of Constance.
[3] Schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of the communion with the members of the Church subject to him (CCC 2089)
[4] She went to see the Grandeur of the Eternal City as a pilgrim of Rome for the Jubilee of 1350 but what she saw was a shocking despicable place. 
[5] The future Avignonese Pope Benedict XIII (1394-1417)
[6] Peter Luna

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