Church History
Babylonian Captivity

Church History : The Great Schism, 1378-1409

In 1377, POPE GREGORY XI., with civilian name Pierre Roger de Beaufort, pope since 1370, at the age of 48, moved to Rome, where he died a year later. Gregory had undertaken the move against the advice of both the King of France and the administration at Avignon; he had followed his conscience and the appeals of St. Birgitta and St. Catherine.

In 1378, both the Romans and the administration in Avignon felt legitimized to elect a new pope. From now on there were two claimants to the papacy, and the church provinces of Europe had the choice where to pay it's tenth, which candidate to support. The result was that the papacy in general lost authority.
The situation of the Catholic world split in two rival camps is called the GREAT SCHISM or WESTERN SCHISM. The reader should beware not to confuse it with the SCHISM, the separation of the Latin and Greek churches in 1054.

List of Popes, 1378-1409
Links to biographies from Catholic Encyclopedia
Urban VI.
Boniface IX.
Innocent VII.
Gregory XII.

Clement VII.
Benedict XIII.

A series of Files on the Babylonian Captivity from History of Western Civilization at Boise State Univ.

This page is part of World History at KMLA
Last revised on May 29th 2001


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