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(1378–1417) In Roman Catholic history, a period when there were two, and later three, rival popes, each with his own College of Cardinals. The schism began soon after the papal residence was returned to Rome from Avignon (seeAvignon papacy). Urban VI was elected amid local demands for an Italian pope, but a group of cardinals with French sympathies elected an antipope, Clement VII, who took up residence at Avignon. Cardinals from both sides met at Pisa in 1409 and elected a third pope in an effort to end the schism. The rift was not healed until the Council of Constance vacated all three seats and elected Martin V as pope in 1417.
Variants of SCHISM, WESTERN
Schism, Western or Great Schism
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Schism, Western, visit Britannica.com.
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