Pope Clement VII

Robert de Genève - Pope from 1378 to 1394

The Great Schism 

The conclave that took place on April 7, I378 signalled the election of a french Pope (almost all the cardinals were French) Romans employed force to have it otherwise. Threatened with death by the crowd, the conclavists elected the archbishop of Bari, Barthelemy Prignano (Urbain VI). He will adopt a very provocative and insulting attitude that pushes the 13 carninals to nullify his election on the grounds that it was obtained by force. And so they elect a new pope, Tobert de Geneve. He arrives in Avignon on June 20,1379. Christianity now has 2 popes. 

Owner of the richest counties of Christianity, this young man takes up a sumptuous lifestyle and the papal court renews its brilliant traditions. In fact, he wants to prove his legitimacy by comparing the radiance of Avignon to the situation in Italy, where Urbain VI, in a delirious paranoïa, orders the execution of his own cardinals. Even more, the court of Clement VII shelters the young cardinal Pierre de Luxembourg, his nephew, a saint who demonstrates such devotion that when he dies (from deprivations and penitences ) his tomb becomes a place of contemplation and miracles, visited by many pilgrims. This adds to the religious reputation of Avignon. (In Chateauneuf du Pape, a chapel was built on the place where

Pierre de Luxembourg saw the appearance of Jesus on the cross. A procession takes place each year).

What worries Clement VII most is the presence of Raymond de Turenne. Living on the impregnable heights of the Baux, he plunders the region for 25 years. 

Clement VII dies September 16, 1394.

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