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Catholic Dictionary




The legitimate popes who lived at Avignon in France from 1309 to 1377. They were Clement V, John XXII, Benedict XII, Clement VI, Innocent VI, Urban V, and Gregory XI. The Pope became temporal ruler of Avignon in 1348 and later on the territory was governed by a papal legate. All were French, and their absence from Rome contributed substantially to the Western Schism and later to the Protestant Reformation. The period of the Avignon Papacy is often referred to as the Babylonian Captivity. Moreover, the antipopes Robert of Geneva (Clement VII) and Peter of Luna (Benedict XIII) resided at Avignon from 1379-1411.