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The Avignon papacy, 1305-1403. by Yves…

The Avignon papacy, 1305-1403.

by Yves Renouard

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During the Papacy's time in Avignon, the Catholic Church seemed rather lost. You may be, too.

The Avignon papacy is significant, even today, for several reasons, starting with the fact that it resulted in the Great Schism (that is, the other Great Schism -- not the one between Orthodoxy and Catholicism, but the one between two rival Popes). The Schism meant that the Papacy could not be a mediator in most European conflicts. It thus helped encourage the Hundred Years' War between England and France -- and it also worsened attitudes toward the Church, and made local clergy less responsible. It would be absurd to blame the entire existence of Protestantism on the Avignon Papacy, but it certainly didn't help.

And this is a nice short book on the subject, covering the conditions that led to the Papacy's move (Rome was a pretty hard place to survive at this time), and to the schism, as well as describing the individual Popes during the Avignon "Captivity" and why they didn't go back to Rome.

But, somehow, I found it hard to "feel" the whole picture. Maybe some of it is the translation. Perhaps some of it is that the author was French, and the French didn't have the strong objections to the Papacy being in France that everyone else did. But I felt as if something was missing. It's a good book, but perhaps it should be a little longer. ( )
  waltzmn | Feb 19, 2014 |
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Translator's Foreword -- Professor Yves Renouard was born at Paris in 1908, and died there on January 15th, 1965.
Introduction -- On September 7th, 1303, Guillaume de Nogaret entered the Italian town of Anagni by force with the help of the troops of the Colonna family.
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