Clement V

Clement V

Clement V, 1264-1314, pope (1305-14), a Frenchman named Bertrand de Got; successor of Benedict XI. He was made archbishop of Bordeaux by Boniface VIII, who trusted him; surprisingly, he was also in some favor at the court of Philip IV, even though Philip and the pope were archenemies. He was crowned pope at Lyons in Philip's presence and lived the rest of his life in France. In 1309 he settled at Avignon, beginning the long, controversial residency of the papacy there. The pontificate of Clement is one long chronicle of dictation by the French king. Although Clement effectively squelched Philip's effort to have Boniface posthumously condemned as a heretic—an act that would have been disastrous to the papacy—he supported Philip in the infamous suppression of the Knights Templars. He called the Council of Vienne (1311; see Vienne, Council of) to settle the issue and to deal with questions of heresy and church reform. He opposed Philip by supporting the election and coronation (1312) of Henry VII as Holy Roman emperor, but later renounced Henry for his policies in Italy. The Constitutiones Clementinae, issued by the pope in 1313, are important in canon law. He was succeeded by John XXII.
orig. Bertrand de Got

(born circa 1260, Bordelais region, France—died April 20, 1314, Roquemaure, Provence) Pope (1305–14), the first to reside at Avignon, France. He became archbishop of Bordeaux in 1299 and was elected pope six years later. By creating a majority of French cardinals, he ensured the election of a line of French popes. He moved the seat of the papacy to Avignon, under pressure from King Philip IV of France, who also forced Clement to annul Pope Boniface VIII's decisions that were unfavourable to France. The king also compeled the pope to dissolve the Templars, which Philip brutally suppressed. Clement opposed Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII after 1313 and appointed the king of Naples as imperial vicar on Henry's death. His decretals, the Clementinae, were a notable contribution to canon law.

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' Pope Clement V (About 1264 – April 20, 1314), born Raymond Bertrand de Got (also occasionally spelled de Gouth and de Goth), was Pope from 1305 to his death. He is memorable in history for suppressing the order of the Templars, and as the Pope who moved the Roman Curia to Avignon - although, as a matter of fact, he moved the Roman Curia to Carpentras - in 1309, after staying four years in Poitiers.

Biography

Born in Villandraut, Aquitaine, Bertrand was canon and sacristan of the Cathedral of Saint-André in Bordeaux, then vicar-general to his brother, the archbishop of Lyon, who in 1294 was created Cardinal Bishop of Albano. He was then made bishop of St-Bertrand-de-Comminges, the cathedral church of which he was responsible for greatly enlarging and embellishing; and chaplain to Pope Boniface VIII (1294–1303), who made him archbishop of Bordeaux in 1297.

Following the death of Benedict XI in 1304, he was elected Pope Clement V in June 1305 (and was consecrated on 14 November), after a year's interregnum occasioned by the disputes between the French and Italian cardinals, who were nearly equally balanced in the conclave, which had to be held at Perugia. Bertrand was neither Italian nor a cardinal, and his election might have been considered a gesture towards neutrality. The contemporary chronicler Giovanni Villani reports gossip that he had bound himself to King Philip IV of France (1285–1314) by a formal agreement previous to his elevation, made at St. Jean d'Angély in Saintonge. Whether this was true or not, it is likely that the future pope had conditions laid down for him by the conclave of cardinals. At Bordeaux, Bertrand was formally notified of his election and urged to come to Italy; but he selected Lyon for his coronation, November 14, 1305, which was celebrated with magnificence and attended by Philip IV. Among his first acts was the creation of nine French cardinals.

Early in 1306, Clement V explained away those features of the bulls Clericis Laicos that might seem to apply to the King of France and essentially withdrew Unam Sanctam, the two bulls of Boniface VIII which were particularly offensive to Philip IV's ambitious ministry. He appears to have conducted himself throughout his pontificate as the mere tool of the French monarchy, a radical change in papal policy.

On October 13, 1307, came the arrest of hundreds of the Knights Templar in France, an action apparently financially motivated and undertaken by the efficient royal bureaucracy to increase the prestige of the crown. Philip IV was the force behind this ruthless move, but it has also tarnished the historical reputation of Clement V. From the very day of Clement V's coronation, the King had charged the Templars with heresy, immorality and abuses, and the scruples of the Pope were compromised by a growing sense that the burgeoning French State might not wait for the Church, but would proceed independently.

In March 1309 the entire papal court moved from Poitiers (where it had remained for 4 years) to Avignon, which was not then part of France but an imperial fief held by the King of Sicily. The removal of the Papacy to Avignon was justified at the time by French apologists on grounds of security, since Rome, where the dissensions of the Roman aristocrats and their armed militia had reached a nadir, and where the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano had been destroyed in a fire, was unstable and dangerous. But the decision proved the precursor of the long Avignon Papacy, the 'Babylonian captivity' (1309–77), in Petrarch's phrase, and marks a point from which the decay of the strictly Catholic conception of the pope as universal bishop may be dated.

Meanwhile, Philip IV's lawyers pressed to reopen Nogaret's charges of heresy against the late Boniface VIII that had circulated in the pamphlet war around Unam sanctam. Clement V had to yield to pressures for this extraordinary trial, begun February 2, 1309, at Avignon, which dragged on for two years. In the document that called for the witnesses, Clement V expressed both his personal conviction of the innocence of Boniface VIII and his resolution to satisfy the King. Finally, in February, 1311, Philip IV wrote to Clement V abandoning the process to the future council of Vienne. For his part, Clement V absolved all the participants in the abduction of Boniface at Anagni.

In pursuance of the King's wishes, Clement V summoned the Council of Vienne (1311), which refused to convict the Templars of heresy. The Pope abolished the order anyway, as the Templars seemed to be in bad repute and had outlived their usefulness as papal bankers and protectors of pilgrims in the East. Their French estates were de jure granted to the Knights Hospitallers, but Philip IV held them until his death and expropriated the Templar's bank outright.

Charges of heresy and sodomy aside, the guilt or innocence of the Templars is one of the more difficult historical problems, partly because of the atmosphere of hysteria that had built up in the preceding generation and the habitually intemperate language and extravagant denunciations exchanged between temporal rulers and churchmen, and partly because the subject has been embraced by conspiracy theorists and pseudo-historians.

Clement V's pontificate was also a disastrous time for Italy. The Papal States were entrusted to a team of three cardinals, but Rome, the battleground of the Colonna and Orsini factions, was ungovernable. In 1310, the Emperor Henry VII (1308–13) entered Italy, established the Visconti as vicars in Milan, and was crowned by Clement V's legates in Rome (1312) before he died near Siena in 1313.

In Ferrara papal armies clashed with Venice. When excommunication and interdict failed to have their intended effect, Clement V preached a crusade against the Venetians, a symptom of how polarized that particular conflict had become.

Other remarkable incidents of Clement V's reign are his violent repression of the Fra Dolcino, which he considered a heresy, in Lombardy and his promulgation of the Clementine Constitutions in 1313. He died in April 1314. According to one story, while his body was lying in state, a thunderstorm developed during the night and lightning struck the church where his body lay, igniting the building. The fire was so intense that, when it was extinguished, the body of Pope Clement V was almost completely destroyed. He is buried at La Chaise-Dieu in Auvergne.

Promulgation of a Crusade and relations with the Mongols

Clement engaged on and off in communications with the Mongol Empire, towards the possibility of creating a Franco-Mongol alliance against the Muslims. In April 1305, the Mongol Ilkhan ruler Oljeitu sent an embassy led by Buscarello de Ghizolfi to Clement, Philip the Fair, and Edward I of England. In 1307, another Mongol embassy led by Tommaso Ugi di Siena reached European monarchs. However, no coordinated military action was forthcoming, and hopes of alliance petered out within a few years.

On April 4, 1312, a Crusade was promulgated by Pope Clement V at the Council of Vienne. Another embassy was sent by Oljeitu to the West and to Edward II in 1313. In 1313, the French king Philip the Fair "took the cross", making the vow to go on a Crusade in the Levant, thus responding to Clement V's call. Philip was warned against leaving by Enguerrand de Marigny, and died soon after in November 1314 in a hunting accident.

Notes

See also

External links

Further reading

  • Clement V by Sophia Menache ISBN 0-521-52198-X

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