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Great Schism (1378-1417)

Division of the Roman Catholic church in which rival popes sat in Rome and Avignon. The election of the Italian Pope Urban VI (a reaction to the French-dominated Avignon papacy) led to the election of a rival pope, the French Clement VII. The two sat respectively at Rome and Avignon, causing the schism. France, Scotland, Castile and Portugal backed Clement; England, Flanders, Hungary and the Holy Roman empire supported Urban. In 1409 the Council of Pisa attempted to resolve the split but only produced a third rival pope. Another council at Constance (1414) which healed the schism by electing one new Matin V. The schism weakened the papacy and strengthened the view that popes should be guided by church councils.

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