Alright. My list of events (concisely):
The Avignon Papacy (Frenchies) lasted from (1309-1377). In 1378 a new Italian Pope was named:
--Pope Urban VI (1378-1389) (Italian)
The college of Cardinals were still mostly Frenchies. Pope Urban not only was proud to be an Italian Pope, he showed it. He openly lorded over them. After 3.5 months, the French cardinals said "non" to this new Pope and decided it was invalid. The election was conducted under considerable pressure. This is questioned as to if it actually invalidates the election.
In any case, a new Pope from Naples was elected:
--Clement VII (1378-1394)
And begins the Great Papal Schism of 1378-1417 (dum dum duummmm). The Split:
-Urban VI backed by Germany, Italy, northern and eastern Europe, and England
-Clement VII backed by Iberian Peninsula (except Portugal), France, and Scotland --> And his successor Benedict XIII (1394-1417)
Up to this point there had been three papal schisms (1080-1100, 1130-1138, and 1159-1177), but they had been resolved by one of the two Popes gaining full recognition. In this Schism both sides had successors, and the support ran deep. This also means none of the previous Popes have been intervened by a council.
The best solution was via conventionis
. That is, mutual resignation through bilateral agreement for the sake of Christian unity.
They both agreed to meet in 1408 to do this by meeting in Savona. Benedict XIII (Avignon) went to Savona, but Gregory XII (Roman successor, 1406-1415) did not. Benedict went partway to meet Gregory, but they never still never met.
Enter "Concilliarism". That is, the doctrine that a council stands above the Pope. Until now, the only way a Pope could be deposed was if he was claimed a heretic (papa haereticus
). Otherwise, he was the faithful 'vicar of Christ' that no one could judge (prima sedes a nemine iudicatur
Since the Council of Vienne (1311-1312), there had been plenty of voices that agreed with the position the Papacy was the greatest obstacle to reform. What reform? Financial corruption. Reservations, annates, and expectancies had caused finance to be the dominant force within the Roman church. Simony had become far too common. With the current problem, the concilliar voices became stronger.
Since via conventionis
was rejected, via concilii
took it's shot at fixing the schism. Since the Pope couldn't call a council, the next in line was the college of cardinals. They met in 1409 at the council of Pisa. They put BOTH Popes on trial and deposed them as heretics.
Heretics (the only way they could be deposed) for refusing to resign in order to facilitate union. They had violated the faith that the Church is "one" and "holy".
The council then elected Alexander V (1409-1410) as the new pope, who was followed by John XXIII (1410-1415).
But.... it didn't work. It was a trinitas non benedicta, sed maledicta
. Despite the greater support of the church being behind the concilliar Pope (Pisa), the other two still had their supporters.
-Benedict XIII(Avignon) was still supported by Spain and Scotland.
-Gregory XII was still supported by some of Germany and now Naples.
A second attempt
was then made to resolve by council.
The German King Sigismund now took control and called a council. Working with Pope John XXII, Sigismund called a council (who because of greater support, were obedient to John). Now the method was more diplomatic by showing great concern for the legitimacy of each Pope in order to achieve unity.
The Council of Constance supported John XXII. They needed him to be recognized as legitimate and get Gregory XII and Benedict XIII to resign. But Sigismund saw that the Pisan Pope would have to resign as well. And this is where is gets funny.
John XXII first agrees to resign. Then flees Constance due to being afraid for his life. Sigismund sent messengers to John, but he then fled again! He also revoked his promise to resign saying it was forced and invalid. Additionally, he called the cardinals to him (attempts to dissolve the council).The cardinals, against previous thought, refuse to submit and stand on their own rights.
They submit Haec Sancta in 1415. They declare being "legitimately assembled in the Holy Spirit" and representing the church, receiving their power from Christ, and EVERYONE is bound to obey (even Popes).
-John XXII was arrested, tried, and deposed.
-Gregory XII agrees to resign. Formally calls a council for himself, and resigns.
-Benedict said the cardinals weren't legitimate. The only legitimate cardinals were the ones originally who were appointed one before the schism (1378). Guess who the only cardinal left that was from then? That's right.... Benedict. So, he was the only legit cardinal.... Long story short he was deposed in 1417 and lived in a castle in Aragon until his death which he called his "Noah's ark". (He had excommunicated the whole Church and thus was the only true Christian left.)
They then elected a new Pope: Martin V (1417-1431).
Part of the decisions at the Council was to have regular councils to regulate and reform the church. BUT, that was more tedious than realized (generally every 10 years), because not everyone could show that often. The process eventually broke down.