Concept

Western Schism

Summary
The Western Schism, also known as the Papal Schism, the Great Occidental Schism, or the Schism of 1378 (Magnum schisma occidentale, Ecclesiae occidentalis schisma), was a split within the Catholic Church lasting from 1378 to 1417 in which bishops residing in Rome and Avignon both claimed to be the true pope, and were joined by a third line of Pisan claimants in 1409. The schism was driven by personalities and political allegiances, with the Avignon papacy being closely associated with the French monarchy. These rival claims to the papal throne damaged the prestige of the office. The papacy had resided in Avignon since 1309, but Pope Gregory XI returned to Rome in 1377. However, the Catholic Church split in 1378 when, after Gregory XI died and Urban VI had been elected in Rome, a group of French cardinals declared his election invalid and elected Clement VII as pope. After several attempts at reconciliation, the Council of Pisa (1409) declared that both rivals were illegitimate and e
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