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Pope Francis recalls Avignon papacy

June 19, 2017

Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Paul Poupard, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture, as his special envoy at the commemoration of the 700th anniversary of the enclave of the Popes in Avignon.

The Avignon papacy began in 1309, when Pope Clement V moved his Curia to the southeastern French city. The commemoration, which will take place from June 23 to 25, marks the anniversary of the decree of Clement’s successor, Pope John XXII, that he would rule from Avignon.

The Avignon papacy ended in 1377, when Pope Gregory XI entered Rome. In his letter to Cardinal Poupard—dated May 28, and released June 17—Pope Francis asked the prelate to exhort the faithful to “filial love of the Catholic Church and the Successor of Blessed Peter,” as well as to pray for the Pontiff.


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