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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

1389-1415 A.D.

Boniface IX
: 1389-1404 A.D.

203. Born in Naples. Elected November 1389 - died October 1st 1404.

He did not solve the schismatic issue.

Also the second anti-pope from Avignon refused a conciliation.

He celebrated the 3rd and 4th Holy Year (1390-1400) during which time the "sect of the whites" was set up in Provence.

He was skilled in chants and music.

He was surrounded by Jewish doctors and surgeons.

He was indomitable against anti-pope Benedict XIII, the Spanish Cardinal Pietro di Luna, called "the big Snake".

He was the first to make Castel S. Angelo become a real fortress, since he bore in mind what he was once told: "if you want to be the master of Rome you must prepare the Castle".

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate lasted almost 15 years.

Innocent VII
: 1404-1406 A.D.

204. Born in Sulmona. Elected November 11, 1404 - died November 6,1406.

He was a learned but weak man, who tried to settle the serious schism and to improve the tragic conditions under which the State of the Church was living.

He optimised the faculties of Greek and medicine.

He loved arts and sciences, he was the patron of Vegerius, a jurist and a religious reformer, who also was his close councillor, and of the humanist Leonardo Bruno.

He was buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate lasted about 2 years.

Gregroy XII
: 1406-1415 A.D.

205. Born in Venice. Elected December 19, 1406 - died October 18, 1417.

This was the worst period of the Western Schism.

There were three different powers: Rome, Avignon, and Pisa.

While the Schism was worsening, Emperor Sigismund called the 16th Ecumenical Council in Constance, which made a decision about the renunciation of the three rival Popes: Gregory XII, Benedict XIII and John XXIII.

Gregory XII renounced the pontificate on July 4th 1415.

At that time the anti-pope John XXIII shut himself up into the Vatican and linked'that palace with Castel S. Angelo by means of a fortified corridor, the current "Passetto" was then called "the way to go".

Apart from the conclave of Constance, all the other ones were held in Rome, except for the one concerning Pius VII, which took place in Venice.

He was buried in the Cathedral of Recanati. His pontificate lasted 8 years and 7 months.

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