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GALLICANISM

A cluster of doctrines, favored by the French Church, that tended to limit the authority of the Pope in relation to the bishops, and to subordinate the rights of the Church to the power of the State. The first exponents of Gallicanism were the Franciscans William of Ockham, John of Jandun, and Marsilius of Padua in the fourteenth century, who denied the divine origin of the papal primacy and would subject its exercise to the will of civil authority. Gallicanism became Conciliarism after the Great Western Schism, claiming the superiority of council over the Pope, and promoted by John Gerson (1363-1429) and Peter d'Ailly (1350-1420). The French Revolution drove the bishops into the arms of the Pope and dealt a mortal blow to Gallicanism, but the basic idea was still alive until the First Vatican Council formally condemned it in 1870.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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