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Luxury And Extravagance At The Papal Court In Avignon And The Outbreak Of The Great Western Schism

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Chapter Summary

Canon law was called upon when the cardinals noticed that they had, from their point of view, chosen the wrong man as pope, and they sought a suitable reason or pretext for letting him go. To understand the outbreak of the Schism, we must first turn our attention to the Avignonese papacy. The behavior of the cardinals and the outbreak of the Great Western Schism can be largely explained by financial motives. It had to do with whether the pope was entitled to curtail the cardinals share in the income of the curia and to use the money thus saved for the restoration of the papal finances. With the death of Gregory XI, the papacy found itself at a critical juncture. The goal that it sought for decades, namely the return to Rome, had finally become reality, but the curia had paid a high price for it.

Keywords: Avignon; Canon law; Great Western Schism; papal finances

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