The catholic crisis
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The Catholic Crisis. Problems and Challenges of Late Middle Age Christendom. Babylonian Captivity (1309-76). French King (Philip the Fair) convinces Pope to move to Avignon Popes concentrated on administrative (not spiritual) matters Lived a life of luxury. Pope Returns to Rome.

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The Catholic Crisis

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The Catholic Crisis

Problems and Challenges of Late Middle Age Christendom


Babylonian Captivity (1309-76)

  • French King (Philip the Fair) convinces Pope to move to Avignon

  • Popes concentrated on administrative (not spiritual) matters

  • Lived a life of luxury


Pope Returns to Rome

  • Gregory XI returns the Church to Rome

  • Death leads to the election of an Italian, Urban VI

  • Heavy-handed ways leads to a revolt by cardinals.


The Great Schism

  • Cardinals elect Clement VII (French) & excommunicate Urban VI

  • Clement sets up in Avignon; Urban remains in Rome


Division of Europe

  • France

  • Scotland

  • Aragon

  • Castile

  • Portugal

  • England

  • Holy Roman Empire (loose)

  • Italian city-states (move to Clement)

Allied with Clement

Allied with Urban


Damage to the Church

  • The Schism confused lay people

  • Opened the Church up to criticism

  • Weakened its hold on the people


Criticism of the Church

William of Occam

Marsiglio of Padua

John Wyclif

Jan Hus


William of Occam & Marsiglio of Padua

  • Both argue

    • Separation of church and state

    • Pope should have limited powers

    • Church take a back-seat to state

  • Conciliarists

    • Power in hands of council, not pope alone


John Wyclif

  • Bible was the ultimate authority; not pope

  • Translated Bible to English

  • “Lollards” spread ideas and Bibles


Jan Hus

  • Criticized indulgences

  • Preached in Czech language in Bohemia

  • Increased Czech nationalism, forced a separation from Catholic church


Council at Pisa (1409)

  • Attempt to heal schism

  • Elect a new pope, but other two do not leave

    • Three popes!!!!


Council at Constance (1414-1418)

  • Meet to:

    • End schism

    • Reform church

    • End heresy

  • Execute Hus

  • End schism by electing new pope (Martin V)


Lay Piety and Mysticism

  • Confraternities

    • Groups of lay people who took on the functions of the church

  • Mysticism

    • Intense religious feelings

    • Visions, “experiencing God”, the Holy Spirit, “Born Again”


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