Antipope Benedict XIII
||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (December 2010)|
|el Papa Luna|
|Elected||28 September 1394|
|Papacy began||11 October 1394|
|Quashed||12 March 1403|
|Papacy ended||23 May 1423|
|Opposed to||Boniface IX|
|Other posts||Cardinal-Deacon of Santa Maria in Cosmedin|
|Ordination||3 October 1394
by Jean de Neufchatel
|Consecration||11 October 1394
by Jean de Neufchatel
|Created Cardinal||20 December 1375|
|Birth name||Pedro Martínez de Luna y Pérez de Gotor|
Illueca, Crown of Aragon
|Died||23 May 1423 (aged 95)
Peñíscola, Crown of Aragon
|Buried||Castillo Palacio del Papa Luna, Illueca (skull)|
|Previous post||Apostolic Administrator of Avignon (28 September 1394 – 1398)|
|Alma mater||University of Montpellier|
|Coat of arms|
Benedict XIII, born Pedro Martínez de Luna y Pérez de Gotor (1328 – 23 May 1423), known as el Papa Luna in Spanish, was an Aragonese nobleman, who is officially considered by the Catholic Church to be an antipope.
Benedict should not be confused with the Roman Pope Benedict XIII, who reigned from 27 May 1724 to 21 February 1730.
The Spanish saying seguir en sus trece ("to stay in his/her thirteen"), meaning a stubborn behavior, refers to the obstinacy of Benedict and the numeral he adopted.
Pedro Martínez de Luna was born at Illueca, Kingdom of Aragon (part of modern Spain) in 1328. He belonged to the de Luna family, who were part of the Aragonese nobility. He studied law at the University of Montpellier, where he obtained his doctorate and later taught Canon law. His knowledge of canon law, noble lineage, and austere way of life won him the approval of Pope Gregory XI, who appointed de Luna to the position of Cardinal Deacon of Santa Maria in Cosmedin on 20 December 1375.
In 1377 Pedro de Luna and the other cardinals returned to Rome with Pope Gregory, who had been persuaded to leave his papal base at Avignon by Catherine of Siena. After Gregory's death on 27 March 1378, the people of Rome feared that the cardinals would elect a French Pope and return the papacy to Avignon. Consequently, they rioted and laid siege to the cardinals, insisting on an Italian Pope. The conclave duly elected Bartolomeo Prignano, Archbishop of Bari, as Urban VI on 9 April, but the new Pope proved to be intractably hostile to the cardinals. Some of them reconvened at Fondi in September 1378, declared the earlier election invalid and elected Robert of Geneva as their new Pope, initiating the Western Schism. Robert assumed the name Clement VII and moved back to Avignon.
Following Clement's death on 16 September 1394, the cardinals met at Avignon. The conclave consisted of 11 French cardinals, eight Italians, four Spaniards, and one from Savoy, all proclaiming the ardent wish to reunite the church, "even to the point of ceding the papacy, if necessary."
When the name of one cardinal was proposed for election, he confessed in an agony of honesty, "I am weak and perhaps would not abdicate. Do not expose me to temptation!"
"I on the other hand," spoke up Cardinal de Luna, "would abdicate as easily as I take off my hat." ... A learned and clever man of noble birth, subtle in diplomacy, austere in private life, an expert manipulator, he was a rigid opponent of [a general Church] Council though an ardent advocate of union. He was elected as Clement's successor on September 28, taking the name of Benedict XIII.
On the death of Urban VI in 1389 the Roman College of Cardinals had chosen Boniface IX; the election of Benedict therefore perpetuated the Western Schism. At the start of his term of office, de Luna was recognised as Pope by the kingdoms of France, Scotland, Sicily, Castile, Aragon, Navarre, and Portugal. In 1396 Benedict sent Sanchez Muñoz, one of the most loyal members of the Avignon curia, as an envoy to the Bishop of Valencia to bolster support for the Avignon papacy in Spain.
Decline of Avignon Papacy
However, in 1398 the French church withdrew its allegiance from the Avignon papacy. Benedict was abandoned by 17 of his cardinals, with only five remaining faithful to him. An army led by Geoffrey Boucicaut, brother of Jean Boucicaut, occupied Avignon and started a five-year siege of the papal palace in 1398, which ended when Benedict managed to escape from Avignon on 12 March 1403, and seek shelter in territory belonging to Louis II of Anjou.
By this stage, Benedict's authority was no longer recognized in France, Portugal, and Navarre, but he was acknowledged as Pope in Scotland, Sicily, Aragon, and Castile. After the Roman Pope Innocent VII died in 1406, the newly elected Roman Pope, Gregory XII, started negotiations with Benedict, suggesting that they both resign so a new Pope could be elected to reunite the Catholic Church. When these talks ended in stalemate in 1408, the French king, Charles VI, declared that France was neutral to both papal contenders. Charles helped to organise the Council of Pisa in 1409. This council was supposed to arrange for both Gregory and Benedict to resign, so that a new universally recognised Pope could be elected. However, since both Benedict and Gregory refused to abdicate, the only thing that was achieved was that a third candidate to the Holy See was put forward: Peter Philarghi, who assumed the name Alexander V.
Benedict is also mentioned for his oppressive laws against the Jews. Those laws were repealed by Pope Martin V, after he received a mission of Jews, sent by the famous synod convoked by the Jews in Forlì, in 1418.
Council of Constance
In 1415 the Council of Constance brought this clash between papal claimants to an end. Gregory XII and Baldassare Cossa, who had succeeded Philarghi as the Pisan papal contender in 1410 and had assumed the name John XXIII, both agreed to resign. Benedict, on the other hand, refused to stand down, so he was declared a schismatic and excommunicated from the Catholic Church by the Council of Constance on 27 July 1417. Benedict, who had lived in Perpignan from 1408 to 1417, now fled to the castle of Peñíscola near Valencia in Spain. He still considered himself the true Pope, pleading the fact that he was the only living cardinal appointed before the schism. His claim was now only recognised in the kingdom of Aragon, where he was given protection by King Alfonso V. Benedict remained at Peñíscola from 1417 until his death there on 23 May 1423.
|Papal styles of
Antipope Benedict XIII
|Reference style||His Holiness|
|Spoken style||Your Holiness|
|Religious style||Holy Father|
The day before his death, Benedict appointed four cardinals of proven loyalty to ensure the succession of another Pope who would remain faithful to the now beleaguered Avignon line. Three of these cardinals met on 10 June 1423 and elected Sanchez Muñoz as their new Pope, with Muñoz assuming the papal name of Clement VIII. The fourth cardinal, Jean Carrier, the archdeacon of Rodez near Toulouse, was absent at this conclave and disputed its validity, whereupon Carrier, acting as a sort of one man College of Cardinals, proceeded to elect Bernard Garnier, the sacristan of Rodez, as Pope, with Garnier taking the name Benedict XIV.
Benedict XIII was buried in Peñíscola castle. His body was later moved to Illueca; but during the War of the Spanish Succession his remains were destroyed. Only his skull was saved, and it rests in Condes de Argillo Palace in Aragon (Spain).
Arguably the only positive and tangible legacy of his disputable office is the issuing of Papal Bull for the first university of Scotland in 1412. Having lost the support of France and driven out from Avignon, Benedict by then had taken refuge in remote Perpignan on the Spanish border, but Scotland was among the handful of supporters that remained loyal. St Andrews University's coat of arms/emblem incorporates that of the hapless anti-pope.
- Barbara Tuchmann, A Distant Mirror, Ballantine Books, pp. 524, Chapter 25.
- Pham, John-Peter. Heirs to the Fisherman: Behind the Scenes of Papal Death and Succession. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. 331-332.
Accounts on his Life
The Anti-pope (Peter de Luna, 1342–1423) A study in obstinacy by Alec Glasfurd, Roy Publishers, New York (1965) B0007IVH1Q is a somewhat fictionalized or imaginative account of his life.
Pluja seca by Jaume Cabré (2001) is a play based on his death and succession.
- "Pedro de Luna". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- Chow, Gabriel. "Antipope Benedict XIII (1394–1423)". Giga-Catholic Information. Toronto. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
- Hughes, Philip E. (1 Jan 1947). A History of the Church:Volume 3: The Revolt Against the Church: Aquinas to Luther. London: Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-7220-7983-6.
- Brusher, Rev. Joseph Stanislaus (1980) [1959 Van Nostrand]. "The Great Schism". Popes through the Ages (3rd ed.). Neff-Kane. ISBN 978-0-89141-110-9.
- Audio guide to the Papal Palace, Avignon in France.
Media related to Antipope Benedict XIII at Wikimedia Commons
|Popes of the Western Schism|