Church History: The 1300s
What happened in this century?
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The bull known as Unam Sanctam is issued by
Pope Boniface VIII. In it the pope declares that salvation is
impossible outside the Catholic Church. Go here
to read a small part of the Unam Sanctam.
1303 Pope Boniface VIII died. Pope Benedict XI elected.
1304 Pope Benedict XI died.
1305 Pope Clement V elected. Clement was not a cardinal, which was unusual, and was not an Italian, being of French heritage. He was living in France when he was elected and he decided to remain in France as pope. He ignored the Unam Sanctam and essentially became a pawn of the French king. This began the French dominance of the papacy which lasted until 1377.
1309 The papal court moved to Avignon (which was then not in France; it is in France today). This is the beginning of the Babylonian Captivity, the 70 year period when the papacy did not reside in Rome but in Avignon.
1314 Pope Clement V died.
1316 Pope John XXII was elected. The conclave (meeting of cardinals for the purpose of electing a pope) was held in France. He remained in Avignon.
1328 John Wycliffe born (in England).
1334 Pope John XXII died. Pope Benedict XII was elected. He remained in Avignon.
1342 Pope Benedict XII died. Pope Clement VI was elected. He remained in Avignon.
1348-1350 The Black Death ravaged Europe. The Black Death caused the deaths of approximately 1/3 of the population of Europe. Clement VI granted forgiveness of sins to everyone who died of the plague.
1352 Pope Clement VI died. Pope Innocent VI was elected. He remained in Avignon.
1362 Pope Innocent VI died. Pope Urban V was elected. He had been a monk and an abbot; he initiately lived in Avignon.
1367 Pope Urban V traveled to Rome.
1370 Urban V found that a number of cities in Italy were in revolt, and, prompted by the French cardinals to return, he went back to Avignon. He died a few months later.
1370 Pope Urban V died. Pope Gregory XI was elected pope.
1372 John Huss born (in Bohemia, currently the Czech Republic).
1375-6 Wycliffe's "De Civili Domino" ("On Civil Lordship") circulated. In it he maintained that if clergy were not in a state of grace then the civil authorities could remove them. Condemned in 1377.
1377 Gregory XI condemned 19 of John Wycliffe's propositions.
1377 Gregory XI traveled to Rome.
1377-8 Wycliffe's "De Ecclesia" ("On the Church"), "De Veritate Sacrae Scripturae" ("On the Truth of the Holy Scriptures"), and "De Potestate Papae" ("On the Power of the Pope") circulated. In these three writings he states that the Bible is the sole determinant of doctrine, that no ecclesiastical authority can add anything to the biblical teachings, and that the Pope had no scriptural authority.
1378 Gregory XI died in Rome. The College of Cardinals (who had traveled with Gregory) was forced by the Romans to elect a Roman pope, who took the name of Pope Urban VI. The Cardinals returned to Avignon and elected a French cardinal as pope, who took the name of Pope Clement VII. At this point the Catholic Church has two popes. This is known as the "Western Schism."
1382 The Wycliffe Bible appears (in English).
1382 Wycliffe's "De Apostasia" ("On Apostasy") circulated. In it he denied that the religious life (monks, nuns, friars, monastic Orders) had any scriptural basis. He also circulated "De Eucharistia" ("On the Eucharist") in which he denied the doctrine of transubstantiation (that the bread and wine of Communion become the body and blood of Jesus).
1384 John Wycliffe died. His followers continued his teachings and became known as the Lollards.
1389 Pope Urban VI died (who was the pope in Rome). Pope Boniface IX was elected and lived in Rome.
1394 Antipope Clement VII died (who was the pope in Avignon). All popes from 1378 who lived in Avignon are refered to as "antipope." Antipope Benedict XIII was elected (and lived in Avignon).
Unam Sanctam: "Urged by faith, we are obliged to believe and to maintain that the Church is one, holy, catholic, and also apostolic. We believe in her firmly and we confess with simplicity that outside of her there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins." Go back to timeline here.
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