January 17, 2011

The Pope Moves Back to Rome -- 1377

After being in  France for 70 years, the papacy was moved by Pope Gregory XI back to Rome, Italy, on this day in 1377. Rome had been the historic seat of Catholic leadership, but a Frenchman who was made pope in 1305  refused to move to Rome. He and six other popes ruled from the charming walled city of Avignon.

However, shortly after Gregory XI moved to Rome, he died. Italians insisted on having an Italian pope, but French Catholics chose a French pope--so for about 30 years, there were two popes of the Roman Catholic Church. This was one split of the church that was called "the Great Schism." (There was another split that was called "the Great Schism," and other great schisms that were called other names as well.)

These days, we call the "popes" that ruled from Avignon from 1378 to 1417 the "anti-popes."

The Great Schism was apparently mended by several councils and several elections of other new popes.

Learn about Avignon

Here is a nice travelogue with photos. 

Here is a jigsaw puzzle. 

Here is a short video about the town.


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