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Catholic Dictionary




A term used by Petrarch and later writers of the exile of the popes at Avignon, France, from 1309 to 1377. Seven French popes--so called Clement V, John XXII, Benedict XII, Clement VI, Innocent VI, Blessed Urban V, and Gregory XI--were involved. Pope Gregory, the last one, yielded to the entreaties of St. Catherine of Siena (1347-80) to return to Rome in sprite of the protests of the King of France and most of the cardinals.