Monday, February 11, 2013

A COINCIDENCE? MAYBE NOT

 
 

Well, the pope has resigned. He is the first pope to resign in six hundred years and wasn't it funny that lightning hit the Vatican the evening following the announcement. Coincidence? Maybe Not! The last pope to resign was Gregory the XII in 1415. At that time, the Catholic Worls had TWO popes. One was Bendict XIII who was the ANTI-POPE residing in Avingnon. You remember that it was an Anti-Pope that sparked Joan of Arc's mission. At any rate, there were two popes. The gentlemen of the two Gregory the XII offered to resign if the Anti Pope would also resign and a new election could take place.

On June 5th 1409  the Council of Pisa deposed the two pontiffs as schismatical, heretical, perjured, and scandalous; they elected Alexander V (1409–10) later that month. Gregory XII, who had meanwhile created ten more cardinals, had convoked a rival council at Cividale del Friuli, near Aquileia; but only a few bishops appeared. Gregory XII's cardinals pronounced Benedict XIII and Alexander V schismatics, perjurers, and devastators of the Church, but their pronouncement went unheeded.

The Council of Constance finally resolved the situation. Gregory XII appointed Carlo Malatesta and Cardinal Giovanni Dominici of Ragusa as his proxies. The cardinal then convoked the council and authorized its succeeding acts, thus preserving the formulas of Papal supremacy. Thereupon on 4 July 1415, Malatesta, acting in the name of Gregory XII, pronounced the resignation of the Pope, which the cardinals accepted. According to prior agreement, they agreed to retain all the cardinals that had been created by Gregory XII, thus satisfying the Correr clan, and appointed Gregory XII Bishop of Frascati, Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals and perpetual legate at Ancona. The Council then set aside Antipope John XXIII (1410–15), the successor of Alexander V. After the former follower of Benedict XIII appeared, the council declared him deposed; and the Great Schism was ended. A new Roman pontiff, Pope Martin V, was not elected before Gregory's death. Therefore, the Papal seat was vacant.

The rest of Gregory XII's life was spent in peaceful obscurity in Ancona. He is the last pope to abdicate, pending Pope Benedict XVI scheduled abdication on February 28th  2013  at 8pm, Rome Time.

 


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