- BBC News World
When Benedict XVI left the Petrine ministry in February 2013, he did not cause a stir in the Catholic Church because he was the first pope to renounce his papacy (in fact, he was only the fourth to do so), but the closest predecessor was traced back 600 years.
After Joseph Ratzinger reflected on the “rapid changes” of the world, “due to advanced age” the cardinals felt that Gregory XII, in 2005, did not have the strength to exercise the office that elected him in 1415. , there were other problems.
Because if the condemnations of hundreds of pedophilia cases within the Church or the conflicts with the Vatican Bank seem to us the most serious conflicts that the Pope could face, Gregorio is no more and no less than others. Two parallel popesEach with their own followers, their own sacred college of cardinals and their own administrative offices.
The crisis went down in history under the names of the Western Schism, the Great Schism, or the Great Western Schism.
Rome vs. He was
On November 30, 1406, Angelo Coror, a member of the Venetian aristocracy, was elected Pope with the name Gregory XII and in Rome named Cardinal after Innocent VII, the year before.
Correr was Bishop of Castello in the Papal States (1380) and Latin Patriarch of Constantinople (1390).
But his ecclesiastical life brought him closer to Peter’s seat in Rome, There was already another pope In another chair: Benedict XIII, from the French city of Avignon.
A schism in the Catholic Church began in 1378, when a group of cardinals hostile to Pope Urban VI elected another cardinal as pope, Robert of Guinevere, who settled in Avignon as Clement VII.
Benedict XIII succeeded Clement VII as the French co-pontiff in 1394.
Before the papacy of Gregory XII, every cardinal meeting in Rome was held in order to end the schism. If elected, the Pope will resignHis rival at Avignon did the same.
Gregory XII repeated his vow after becoming pope, and on December 12, 1406, announced to Benedict XIII both his election and the condition on which it took place.
After extensive negotiations, the two popes agreed to meet in Savona, but this meeting never took place. disbelief Charges were leveled between the French city and the Italian city, and tensions between the two men of the Church escalated.
The presence of two popes in Rome and Avignon only represented schisms in the religious temples. Political conflicts and Conflicts NationalistsDifferent kings supported different popes.
When the situation became untenable, various proposals arose to end the schism and in 1409 the Council of Pisa was held with cardinals from both factions.
Both Gregory XII and Benedict XIII were invited to that Italian city, but neither attended.
The Council of Pisa deposed both popes Chose a new one: Alexander V.
But neither Gregory nor Benedict resigned, so the Catholic Church tried to reunite. There were not two potatoes but three.
Faced with such confusion, a new council called the Council of Constance was convened in Germany in 1414. Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund played an important role in this call.
The new council, John XXIII (who succeeded Alexander V), rejected any claim by Benedict 13 to be pope from Avignon, and finally accepted the resignation of Roman Pope Gregory XII. This ended a very serious crisis In History of the Catholic Church.
Gregory XII abdicated on July 4, 1415 and died on October 18, 1417 at the age of ninety.
That same year, Martin V was elected as legitimate and sole pope.
Angelo Corer died Cardinal Bishop of PortoA title bestowed upon him by the last council.
For historians of the Catholic Church, Urban VI and his successors (including Gregory XII) were legitimate popes, which is why the Avignon popes are sometimes called antipopes.
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