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The Crisis Of The Councils

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Chapter Summary

The popes that emerged from the crises of the exile in Avignon, the schism, and the conciliar debate had, of necessity, a clearer sense of the roots of their authority in Rome. The councils of the first half of the fifteenth century-Pisa, Constance, Basel, Ferrara/Florence-were convened to tackle the major issues of church unity and ecclesiastical reform. A major obstacle to any change was the problematic relationship of the pope and the cardinals. This chapter highlights how these important issues surfaced at the councils. At Constance and Basel the reform of the Church and control of the papacy by the powers of western Christendom were the main features. The relationship of the papacy with Rome as papal city was an essential ingredient in the assertions of papal supremacy. In practice, a defining feature of the fifteenth-century papacy is the end of the itinerant curia.

Keywords:cardinals; Church; conciliar debate; Constance; councils; Ferrara/Florence; papacy; Pisa; Rome

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