Western Schism


Western Schism

▪ Roman Catholic history
also called  Great Schism, or Great Western Schism,  

      in the history of the Roman Catholic church, the period from 1378 to 1417, when there were two, and later three, rival popes (papacy), each with his own following, his own Sacred College of Cardinals, and his own administrative offices.

      Shortly after the return of the papal residence to Rome following almost 70 years in Avignon, the archbishop of Bari was elected pope as Urban VI amid demands by the Roman populace for “a Roman or at least an Italian.” Urban VI proved to be so hostile to the cardinals, who had assumed great powers during the years at Avignon, that a group of cardinals retired to Anagni and elected one of themselves, Robert of Geneva, as Clement VII (Clement (VII)), claiming the election of Urban VI had been invalid because it was made under fear. Clement VII then took up residence at Avignon (Avignon papacy). Although Roman Catholic church historians generally agree that Urban VI and his successors were the legitimate popes, there has never been an official pronouncement to this effect.

      The double election had disastrous effects upon the church. The followers of the two popes were divided chiefly along national lines, and thus the dual papacy fostered the political antagonisms of the time. The spectacle of rival popes denouncing each other produced great confusion and resulted in a tremendous loss of prestige for the papacy.

      Various proposals for ending the schism were made, especially by the University of Paris (Paris I–XIII, Universities of), which suggested either mutual resignation or a decision by an independent tribunal or a general council. This last proposal was in line with the growing conciliar movement (conciliarism), according to which a general council has greater authority than a pope. Both lines of popes refused to submit. Eventually cardinals from both obediences, seeking to end the schism, arranged a council in Pisa (Pisa, Council of), which met in 1409 and elected a third pope, Alexander V (Alexander (V)), who was succeeded shortly thereafter by John XXIII (John (XXIII)). Under pressure from the emperor Sigismund, John XXIII convoked, in 1414, the Council of Constance, which deposed him, received the resignation of the Roman pope, Gregory XII, and dismissed the claims of the Avignon pope, Benedict XIII. This series of events opened the way to the election of Martin V in November 1417, whereby the schism was ended.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Western Schism — • Only a temporary misunderstanding, even though it compelled the Church for forty years to seek its true head; it was fed by politics and passions, and was terminated by the assembling of the councils of Pisa and Constance Catholic Encyclopedia …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Western schism — Schism Schism, n. [OE. scisme, OF. cisme, scisme, F. schisme, L. schisma, Gr. schi sma, fr. schi zein to split; akin to L. scindere, Skr. chid, and prob. to E. shed, v.t. (which see); cf. {Rescind}, {Schedule}, {Zest}.] Division or separation;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Western Schism — The Great Schism of Western Christianity or Papal Schism (also known as the Western Schism) was a split within the Roman Catholic Church from 1378 to 1417. By its end, three men simultaneously claimed to be the true pope. Driven by politics… …   Wikipedia

  • Western schism — (great) Western schism The division in the Western Church from 1378 to 1417, when there were antipopes under French influence at Avignon • • • Main Entry: ↑schism …   Useful english dictionary

  • Western Schism — /wɛstən ˈskɪzəm/ (say westuhn skizuhm), /ˈsɪzəm/ (say sizuhm) noun → Great Schism (def. 1) …   Australian English dictionary

  • Western Schism —  Западный раскол …   Вестминстерский словарь теологических терминов

  • great Western schism — (great) Western schism The division in the Western Church from 1378 to 1417, when there were antipopes under French influence at Avignon • • • Main Entry: ↑schism …   Useful english dictionary

  • (great) Western schism — The division in the Western Church from 1378 to 1417, when there were antipopes under French influence at Avignon ● schism …   Useful english dictionary

  • Schism — Schism, n. [OE. scisme, OF. cisme, scisme, F. schisme, L. schisma, Gr. schi sma, fr. schi zein to split; akin to L. scindere, Skr. chid, and prob. to E. shed, v.t. (which see); cf. {Rescind}, {Schedule}, {Zest}.] Division or separation;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Schism act — Schism Schism, n. [OE. scisme, OF. cisme, scisme, F. schisme, L. schisma, Gr. schi sma, fr. schi zein to split; akin to L. scindere, Skr. chid, and prob. to E. shed, v.t. (which see); cf. {Rescind}, {Schedule}, {Zest}.] Division or separation;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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