French eccelesiastical and government policies designed to restrict the papacy's power. It affirmed the independence of the French king in the temporal realm, the superiority of an ecumenical council over the pope, and the union of king and clergy to limit the intervention of the pope within France. Gallicanism was opposed to Ultramontanism, which championed papal authority. The doctrine was important in the medieval struggle between church and state. In 1438, after several conflicts between kings and popes, Charles VII issued the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges, affirming that a pope was subject to a general council and that his jurisdiction was conditioned by the royal will.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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