17.01.

End of the Avignon Captivity of the Catholic Church – 1377

End of the Avignon Captivity of the Catholic Church – 1377

A total of seven Popes resided in Avignon during 79 years. It was the so-called Avignon Papacy of the Catholic Church. Only Pope Gregory IX on this day managed to return in Rome.

On this day Pope Gregory XI returned from Avignon to Rome thus ending the 79- year period during which the Popes resided in Avignon (the so-called Avignon Captivity). Although Avignon was also a sovereign papal territory, this period was nevertheless considered as captivity, because popes there were under the influence of the French Crown. A total of seven Popes resided in Avignon during those 79 years, the first of which (the one that moved the Curia there) was a Frenchman Clement V (born Raymond Bertrand de Got) – the same pope who ordered the suppressing of the order of Knights Templar, under the influence of the French King Philip IV the Fair. It is not surprising that all of those seven popes were French.

After Gregory XI on this day managed to return in Rome, new problems arose. Namely, the following year he died, and then by Rome and also by Avignon, his successor tried to be chosen. In Rome, the legitimate Pope Urban VI was elected and in Avignon the antipope Clement VII, which led to the so-called Western Schism in the Catholic Church. A part of Europe supported the pope in Rome, and a part the antipope in Avignon. Later they will be joined by the third pope – in Pisa. All the conflicts will be resolved upon the arrival of Pope Martin V (Oddone Colonna), which was recognized by the entire Catholic Church.

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