Pope Gregory XI
- See also Vicedomino de Vicedominis, a pope-elect who took the name Gregory XI.
|Papacy began||30 December 1370|
|Papacy ended||27 March 1378|
|Successor||Urban VI (Rome claimant)
Clement VII (Avignon claimant)
|Ordination||2 January 1371|
|Consecration||3 January 1371|
|Created Cardinal||29 May 1348|
|Birth name||Pierre Roger de Beaufort|
Maumont, Limousin, Kingdom of France
|Died||27 March 1378
Rome, Papal States
|Other popes named Gregory|
|Papal styles of
Pope Gregory XI
|Reference style||His Holiness|
|Spoken style||Your Holiness|
|Religious style||Holy Father|
He was born Pierre Roger De Beaufort in Maumont in the modern commune of Rosiers-d'Égletons, Limousin, around 1330. He was the nephew of Pope Clement VI and succeeded Pope Urban V at the papal conclave of 1370. He was the seventh and last of the Avignon Popes.
During his pontificate vigorous measures (e.g. burning at the stake, confiscation of property) were taken against proponents of Lollardy which had found acceptance in Germany, England, and other parts of Europe. Efforts were made to reform corrupt practices in the various monastic orders such as collecting fees from persons visiting holy sites and the exhibiting of faux relics of saints.
John Wycliffe's 19 Reformation articles on church-related items as he wrote in his On Civil Dominion  and 21 proposed reformation articles of Johannes Klenkoka's Decadecon  were submitted to Pope Gregory XI in the early part of the 1370s. Gregory formally condemned fourteen articles of Decadecon in 1374  and nineteen propositions of Wycliffe's On Civil Dominion in 1377.
His decision to return to Rome on 17 January 1377, is supposedly attributed in part to the stirring words of Catherine of Siena. This had been attempted by Gregory's predecessor, Urban V, without success. The project was delayed by a conflict between the pope and Florence, known as "the War of the Eight Saints" for the "Eight for War," the Florentine magistrates responsible for the conduct of the war. The pope put Florence under interdict during 1376.
Gregory XI did not long survive this trip, dying on 27 March 1378. He was buried the following day in the church of Santa Maria Nuova. After his death the College of Cardinals was pressured by a Roman mob that broke into the voting chamber to force an Italian Pope into the papacy. The Italian chosen was Urban VI. Soon after being elected, Urban gained the Cardinals' enmity. The cardinals withdrew from Rome to Anagni, where they annulled their election of Urban and elected a French pope, the antipope Clement VII., before returning to Avignon in 1378.
Subsequently, the Western Schism created by the selection of rival popes forced the people of Europe into a dilemma of papal allegiance. This schism was not resolved fully until the Council of Constance (1414–1418) was called by a group of cardinals. Boldly, the council deposed both current popes and, in 1417, elected Martin V as their successor. The chaos of the Western Schism thus brought about reforming councils and gave them the power over who was elected, replacing (for a time) the College of Cardinals.
- "Pope Gregory XI". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- Richard P. McBrien, Lives of the Popes, (HarperCollins, 2000), 245.
- George L. Williams, Papal Genealogy: The Families and Descendants of the Popes, (McFarland Company Inc., 1998), 43.
- "The Condemnation of Wycliffe". Plato.stanford.edu. Retrieved 2013-06-23.
- "first Quarter of the 14th Century stooping (county Hoya), 1374 Avignon". Deutsche-biographie.de. 2012-06-13. Retrieved 2013-06-23.
- Ocker, p. 62
- Francis Thomas Luongo, The Saintly Politics of Catherine of Siena, (Cornell University Press, 2006), 25.
- Francis Thomas Luongo, The Saintly Politics of Catherine of Siena, xii.
- Carol M. Richardson, Reclaiming Rome: Cardinals in the Fifteenth Century, ed. A.J. Vanderjagt, (Brill, 2009), 1.
- F Donald Logan, A History of the Church in the Middle Ages, (Routledge, 2002), 308.
- Joseph Dahmus, A History of the Middle Ages, (Doubleday Book Co., 1995), 381.
- Joseph Dahmus, A History of the Middle Ages, 381.
- Hanawalt, G.Barbara. The Middle Ages: An Illustrated History, 1998, Oxford Univ. Press, p. 143
- Cairns, E.Earl. Christianity Throughout the Centuries: A History of the Christian Church, 1996, Zondervan, pp. 241 & 248–250
- Ocker, Christopher, Johannes Klenkok: a friar's life, c. 1310–1374 , American Philosophical Society, 1993, ISBN 0-87169-835-8
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|Catholic Church titles|
30 December 1370 – 27 March 1378