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Ecclesiastical Breakdown

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1 Ecclesiastical Breakdown
Crisis in the 14th century Church

2 Background By the 14th western Christendom had experienced 3 centuries of incredible growth Economically- agriculture, town life, commerce, population Politically- powerful kings brought order and security Religiously- the pope’s strength, reformed clergy Culturally- solid worldview based on faith and reason This began to change in the 14th First decade there was food shortage and in the 2nd was famine the plague kills million Seen as divine punishment Attempts to return serfs to their manors caused peasant revolts

3 War In addition to peasant revolts and other rural debaucheries there was war Hundred Years War English kings ruled parts of France It looked as if England (Henry V) would conquer France Joan of Arc When France comes out victorious they have a large standing army and a sense of solidarity The English came out with similar solidarity Peasants had been beaten down hard though Farmers were killed and farmland was destroyed

4 Decline of the Papacy The sign that the middle ages was declining was the waning authority and prestige of the pope The medieval concept of a Christian civilization with the pope at its helm was shattering As the kings increased in power the papacy declined He got mixed up in European politics and people felt that was acting as a temporal leader as opposed to a spiritual one

5 The Church in France In the early 14th Philip IV was taxing the church without papal permission to pay for the war 1296 Pope Boniface VIII issued Clericis Laicos which said that kings and lords that taxed the church and clergy that paid would all be excommunicated Philip did not back down and asserted his authority The pope had to declare that France could tax in the case of national emergencies Later Philip tried and imprisoned a French bishop after the Pope warned him not to because the church tries its clergy; Boniface threatened to excommunicate Philip Angry Philip attacked the papal summer palace at Anagni and took the pope captive He released the pope but he died a month later

6 Placating Philip Boniface’s 2 successors tried to keep Philip happy (Benedict XI and Clement V ) Clement built a temporary residence in Avignon The Babylonian Captivity The popes were all French and all lived in Avignon Here they became dependent on the French king Antipapalism began to damage the pope’s reputation Marsiglio of Padua wrote The Defender of the Peace which said that the state had nothing to do with religious commands but on reason; it needed no instruction from a higher realm; the church deserved no temporal power

7 Schism In 1377 Gregory XI returned the papacy to Rome
In 1378 Urban VI was elected pope; he abused and imprisoned some cardinals They fled Rome and declared that Urban was invalidly elected because they were bullied into electing an Italian They elected Clement VII Urban, in Rome, excommunicated Clement Clement, in Avignon, excommunicated Urban

8 Council of Pisa As the disgrace worsened churchmen organized a council to solve the problem In 1409 hundred gathered and decided to depose both Urban and Clement They elected Alexander V who died a few months later; then they elected John XXIII Since neither Urban nor Clement had called the council, neither recognized its authority

9 We Three Popes A new council was called at Constance in 1414
All three (John, Gregory XII, and Benedict XIII) popes were either deposed or abdicated and Pope Martin V was elected universally Gregory agreed to step down John sought refuge with the Austrians for a while until he was finally deposed Benedict fled to Spain and fortified himself on an island insisting till his death that he was pope

10 Adding to the Modern Mudslide
14th century ecclesiastical breakdown is one more ingredient added to the blender Modern worldview Medieval worldview Renaissance: A period of transition

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