Talk:Western Schism

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Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment[edit]

Sciences humaines.svg This article is or was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Jkossmann.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 12:52, 17 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I'm not an expert by any means, but I heard a piece on the radio (NPR Morning Edition April 15 2005 ) that made me come here to look this up, and wikipedia has some problems on both this page and on the Pope Martin V page. According to what I heard on the radio, the church wound up with 3 popes for a time, and the issue was resolved with two of them abdicating, and the third being de-poped by the council. What is in this article and the Pope Martin V article is not consistent with either that or with each other, and what is meant is not particularly clear. Brassrat 15:41, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

The term "abdicated"[edit]

I believe this term is not used in relation to popes and that the official term is simply "resigned". This is stated in the Catholic Church Hierarchy article on this site. Should someone change the Resolution section to reflect this? Thanks. 07:30, 20 July 2007 (UTC)Illuvater01Reply[reply]

Papal abdication and The Catholic Encyclopedia beg to differ. Plasticup T/C 04:15, 20 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The 'official terminology' is in Latin, not in English. In 2013, Benedict XVI used the term renuntiare, 'to renounce': "Bene conscius sum hoc munus secundum suam essentiam spiritualem non solum agendo et loquendo exsequi debere, sed non minus patiendo et orando. Attamen in mundo nostri temporis rapidis mutationibus subiecto et quaestionibus magni ponderis pro vita fidei perturbato ad navem Sancti Petri gubernandam et ad annuntiandum Evangelium etiam vigor quidam corporis et animae necessarius est, qui ultimis mensibus in me modo tali minuitur, ut incapacitatem meam ad ministerium mihi commissum bene administrandum agnoscere debeam. Quapropter bene conscius ponderis huius actus plena libertate declaro me ministerio Episcopi Romae, Successoris Sancti Petri, mihi per manus Cardinalium die 19 aprilis MMV commisso renuntiare ita ut a die 28 februarii MMXIII, hora 20, sedes Romae, sedes Sancti Petri vacet et Conclave ad eligendum novum Summum Pontificem ab his quibus competit convocandum esse." --Vicedomino (talk) 01:07, 16 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Term Pope should refer to the line that was licitly elected[edit]

The title Pope is reserved for the licit holder of the office. The term Anti-pope is used by=ut doesn't fit.

I tried an edit, but I thought we may come up with a bettter term.

Then use pope, "pope", antipope if the wordage is that sensitive. Said: Rursus 09:34, 26 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The article states:

... France, Aragon, Burgundy, Savoy, Naples, and Scotland chose to recognize the Avignon claimant, while England, northern Italy, Scandinavia, and central Europe of the Holy Roman Empire followed the Roman claimant.

The part in bold makes no sense to me, grammtically or factually. The central European states of Poland and Hungary were not part of the Holy Roman Empire, and the map shows that parts of the Empire passed from one obedience to the other. I'll edit the sentence based on the info on the map. Feel free to make corrections. Appleseed 16:38, 20 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I made some changes but more work needs to be done. In addition to the things mentioned above, the issue of areas passing from one obedience to another (e.g. Portugal) and the specifics of "northern Italy" also need to be addressed. Appleseed 17:27, 20 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maybe that refers to the Savoy? One of the antipopes was from Savoy. Dominick 21:28, 20 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What effect did the Council of Basel have, if any, on the Western Schism?[edit]

I was reading an article that was stating that the Avignon popes were struggling with the Council of Basel. Why?

The Council of Basel was in 1431, 16 years after the schism had ended. The only "Avignon pope" remaining was Jean Carrier, who had an insignificant following. It's likely that the article confused Basel with Constance. Djcastel 14:14, 29 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Council of Basel was in some ways a continuation of the Council of Constance, which had elected Martin V as a sop to the Roman Patriarchal families from which many Popes had been drawn. The appointment of Eugenius IV saw the return to power of d'Ailly's acolytes at Constance, with Cusanus as Secretary of State and Dufay and van Eyck (less so) as "spin doctors" promoting the Church reforms d'Ailly had sold to Sigismund twenty years earlier. It's attempt to impose Papal superiority, continued in Florence, risked reopening the Schism, but was an essential first step in a process which would be complete by the end of the Century. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:21, 12 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

From one obedience to another[edit]

I wrote the reason why Portugal passed from one obedience to another. Hope that helps, Appleseed.M.F.

Political history[edit]

The comments above demonstrate that without analysis of the historical political context, the phenomenon of the schism is opaque. --Wetman 05:42, 20 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Copied from site[edit]

Most of this article seems to be copied from here:

Russia Moore 06:54, 19 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Actually, it's the other way around. is one of many sites that scrape Wikipedia articles, though at least they give credit to Wikipedia at the bottom. Djcastel 14:26, 28 March 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Even saints..."[edit]

The article says:

Even saints were caught up in the schism: St Catherine of Siena defended Urban's papacy, while St Vincent Ferrer was in Clement's camp.

Since neither of them were saints at the time, I don't think the descriptor is appropriate. You could say that supporters of both camps were later sainted, but not that "saints were caught up in the schism". Guettarda 17:56, 9 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ok, I've removed the text from the article. Guettarda 04:14, 13 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Suppression isn't the answer. Catherine of Siena's vocal support of Urban was a feature. Another supporter was John of Legnano: I've expanded his article and Urban VI's. Politics kept Richard II of England in the Roman camp. Urban's involvement with Naples, where there was fighting, is an element. This slender and superficial article does not begin to cover a major episode of medieval European history. Meanwhile quibbles bowdlerise even the few facts here. --Wetman 19:45, 20 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Indeed. Why isn't the French interest in promoting Robert of Savoy specified? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:23, 12 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Great Schism according to school[edit]

I know, sometimes school teachings aren't accurate. But, here's the story on the Great Schism I heard in school.

"At this time the catholic church was corrupt, and the priests had not been following their duties as a priest, and were breaking their vows of poverty and celibacy, and a few others. After Gregory, Pope Urban VI was elected to be pope. He announced his goal to "clean up" the Catholic Church. The catholic priest and many other higher leaders did not want to be excommunicated from the church, and so it was agreed that they would tell the members of the Church that the pope was not mentally well (he was crazy). It was accepted, and so Urban was ignored. Another pope was elected, Pope Clement, but he moved back to France immediatly after being elected. So we had an unaccepted pope in Rome and a "real" pope in France."

So yeah, I'm not sure. But it was taught in school. And this did happen just before the Reformation, which would show that the church became at about this time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Burn N Flare (talkcontribs) 04:55, 2 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The fact that you use the term 'Reformation' suggests that you were taught the myth that you told (above) by instructors of the Protestant persuasion. It is about as POV as one can get.--Vicedomino (talk) 01:11, 16 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

'Great schism' or not?[edit]

Why at the start of the page does it say that this schism is not commonly called 'The Great Schism', when all the references listed call it exactly that? - 10 January 2008

One is almost tempted to say this is an ecclesiastical definition rather than an objective historical one. The breakdown in Papal authority almost aided the economies by freezing the tythes sent to the Papacy. A fairer term might be "Papal Schism", as there was no great breakdown in the Churches as a whole. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:30, 12 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It might or might not be a 'fairer term' to use 'Papal Schism', but it is not the one used in the reference books, nor is it the one that users of Wikipedia would be looking for. That is a personal invention of terminology, and IMHO to be discouraged. BTW, there were more than thirty schisms in the church up to that point, and they keep coming, e.g. the Polish National Catholic Church. The Wikipedia article Antipope has a collection of modern pretenders to the throne. --Vicedomino (talk) 01:50, 16 July 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Name misspelling[edit]

I corrected the misspelling of Pope Urban VI's birth name. The article said he was born Bartolomeo Prignani, when in fact he was born Bartolomeo Prignano. I am a descendant of the Prignano ancestry, so I noticed. - 14 January 2008 --Nprignano

Map error[edit]

That map is wrong. The part that it has marked as "Kingdom of Sweden" (in French) was actually part of Denmark at the time covered by the map. It also has the Isle of Man as Scottish rather than English, although that had ceased to be so some decades before the period of the map. Is there any way of correcting it? PMLawrence (talk) 10:18, 7 February 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Too many errors, removing the map[edit]

I'm removing the map as it's full of errors. Navarre is shown as being part of Castille, Scania is shown as being part of Sweden, the English possessions in France are shown as being part of France and I'm sure there are other errors as well, though I'm only familiar with the ones listed. As map that is this inaccurate detracts from the quality of articles in which it's included. Jeppiz (talk) 14:34, 17 April 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The map as it stands lists the Kingdom of Grenada. Grenada is an island in the Carribean, the Kingdom of Granada was the kingdom in what is now Andalucia — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:08, 11 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

One of our Anti-popes appear to be missing...[edit]

Antipope Clement VIII doesn't appear on the time line. His cession immediately prior to the Council of Tortosa in 1429 appears to be one of the key moments, along with the death of Antipope Benedict XIV in the same year, confirming the legitimacy of Pope Martin V. Thoughts? --Haruth (talk) 01:17, 6 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You have to stop somewhere...if you posted everyone who disagreed with a Pope as an Antipope - let alone getting mixed up in the question of Papal legitimacy - then the meme would be impossible. Was Urban legitimate? Not by Canon Law, Conclave having been broken. What about Eugenius' dissenters a decade later? Indeed, the idea of an Antipope is rather unhelpful, carrying unjustified apocalyptic overtones, when what we're really talking about are simply rival claimants to the Throne of St Peter. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:36, 12 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Lasting consequences?[edit]

Were any matters of doctrine determined by a claimant, with another claimant making a contradictory determination? If so, which determination has subsequently been treated by the Vatican as definitive? If none, even that would be worth saying. JDAWiseman (talk) 13:23, 9 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Weasel sentence[edit]

The following sentence in the article is a problem: On April 8, 1378 the cardinals elected a Neapolitan when no viable Roman candidate presented himself.

Candidates do not present themselves, at least not until after they have been elected by the cardinals. Prignano was not a cardinal, and was not entitled to be present in the Conclave (and he wasn't), and thus could not present himself.

What is a "viable candidate"? The phrase is pure moonshine. It seeks to gloss over a very contentious two day period, in which threats of violence and actual violence were used repeatedly on the cardinals. The cardinals themselves contended that there was no valid election, and ten of them were experts in canon law.

--Vicedomino (talk) 16:56, 11 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Factually untrue[edit]

I have a second problem with the sentence: On April 8, 1378 the cardinals elected a Neapolitan when no viable Roman candidate presented himself.

It is factually untrue. When the cardinals began voting, the first vote cast was cast by Cardinal Corsini for Cardinal Tebaldeschi, a Roman. This is clearly stated by Cardinal Hugues de Montelais (the Cardinal of Brittany) in his deposition:

Dominus de Florentia nominavit Cardinalem Sancti Petri, et Dominus Lemovicensis nominavit illum Barensem, et alii post eum. Et quando venit vox ad istum, noluit eum nominare iste Cardinalis. Imo dixit quod non cognoscebant eum sicut ipse. (Stephanus Baluzius [Étienne Baluze], Vitae Paparum Avinionensium Volume 1 (Paris: apud Franciscum Muguet 1693) column 1143)

It may also be mentioned that Cardinal Orsini, a Roman, refused to vote for anyone, due to the intimidation and violence of the Roman crowd.

--Vicedomino (talk) 17:03, 11 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Another statement, contrary to the facts[edit]

The article states: "At the fifteenth session, 5 June 1409, the Council of Pisa attempted to depose both Pope and antipope as schismatical, heretical, perjured and scandalous, but it then added to the problem by electing a second antipope, Alexander V.'

This is wrong. The Council did not elect a second antipope. A Conclave was held, in which cardinals from both the Roman and the Avignon Obediences took part, and only cardinals took part, and they (not the Council) elected Pope Alexander V. He shouldn't be called "a second antipope". That's confusing. Call him "another antipope", if you must, but it has never been certain that he was an antipope.

--Vicedomino (talk) 22:22, 11 September 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Article name and alignments[edit]

1. I understand this schism has multiple names but since it has to do with the popes it makes sense to say Papal Schism rather than Western Schism. It's more appropriate and reflective of the substance. The article should use Papal Schism.

2. If the Teutonic Order aligned with all three papal factions over time then it should appear in all three columns rather than just under the Roman column. Having England, Ireland, Denmark and Norway listed under Rome and Pisa without dates does not make sense. Having Poland and Hungary listed under Rome and Pisa with dates only for the second does not make sense. France, Naples, Portugal and the Holy Roman Empire in different columns with dates missing is also not a good approach.

ICE77 (talk) 03:40, 7 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Timeline" and "Recognition"[edit]

Aren't summary visuals like these supposed to be at the end of the article? They certainly detract from reading when placed at the beginning of the article (especially considering users who view through smartphones). The "recognition" section wrongly implies that the states named chose sides at the beginning of a schism that lasted from 1378 to 1417 (and later), and that they did not subsequently change sides again (England, at the Council of Pisa, for example; or the Kingdom of Naples in 1379 and again in 1389, with royalty, aristocracy, and municipalities engaged in a dizzying dance of death). The insertion of "earlier" and "later" is no help chronologically, and messy in a chart. It also does not allow for neutrality. And it is dead wrong in putting "the Italian city-states" all in the Roman column. Some were, some weren't, some changed sides (especially following the death of Urban VI).

--Vicedomino (talk) 14:48, 31 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

John XXIII ruled in ~1950-60s.[edit]

"The schism was finally resolved when the Pisan pope John XXIII called the Council of Constance (1414–1418)." (talk) 22:24, 5 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There are two John XXIII's. Al-Muqanna (talk) 11:18, 28 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]