Thursday, August 25, 2022

Avignon Papacy

During the time of the Avignon papacy (1309-77), first called the Babylonian captivity by Petrarch (1304-74), the Latin Christian Church had seven popes, all Gauls. The first, Clement 5th (r. 1305-14), was pope when the papal bureaucracy moved from Poitiers in Gallia, where it had been for four years, just across the Rhone River into Noricum at Avignon (part of the Holy Roman Empire).

The bureaucracy moved from Rome to Avignon for one basic reason: Philip 4th of France was the single most powerful ruler in Latin Christendom at the time. Through his influence a majority of members of the College of Cardinals, responsible for electing new popes, came from Gallia. 

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