Gregory XI,1330–78, pope (1370–78), a Frenchman named Pierre Roger de Beaufort. He was the successor of Urban VUrban V,
1310–70, pope (1362–70), a Provençal named Guillaume de Grimoard; successor of Innocent VI. He was a Benedictine renowned for his knowledge of canon law.
..... Click the link for more information. , who had made an unsuccessful attempt to remove the papacy from Avignon to Rome (1367–70). From the time of his election Gregory heard prophetic admonitions to go to Rome, first from St. Bridget of SwedenBridget of Sweden, Saint,
c.1300–1373, Swedish nun, one of the great saints of Scandinavia. She was a noblewoman at court and the mother of eight children. After her husband's death she founded (1346) the Order of the Most Holy Savior (the Brigettines).
..... Click the link for more information. and then from St. Catherine of SienaCatherine of Siena, Saint
, 1347–80, Italian mystic and diplomat, a member of the third order of the Dominicans, Doctor of the Church. The daughter of Giacomo Benincasa, a Sienese dyer, Catherine from early childhood had mystic visions and practiced austerities; she also
..... Click the link for more information. , who visited him (1376). But the Avignon court was opposed, and Italy had again become inhospitable. The pope's absence and the death of Cardinal de AlbornozAlbornoz, Gil Álvarez Carrillo de
, 1310?–1367, Spanish and papal statesman and general, cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. Under Alfonso XI of Castile he became archbishop of Toledo and distinguished himself fighting the Moors at Tarifa and Algeciras.
..... Click the link for more information. had plunged the entire Italian peninsula into anarchy and violence. Florence, Milan, and Perugia revolted against papal authority. With Gregory's sanction, Robert of GenevaRobert of Geneva,
d. 1394, Genevan churchman, antipope (1378–94; see Schism, Great) with the name Clement VII. He was archbishop of Cambrai (1368) and was created (1371) a cardinal.
..... Click the link for more information. led a marauding army into Italy, returning violence for violence. Gregory finally heeded St. Catherine's pleas and returned to Rome (Jan., 1377), thus ending the Babylonian Captivity of the popes on French soil. All his efforts to bring about peace failed. He was the last of the French popes and was succeeded by Urban VIUrban VI,
1318?–1389, pope (1378–89), whose election was the immediate cause of the Great Schism; a Neapolitan named Bartolomeo Prignano; successor of Gregory XI. He was made archbishop of Acerenza (1364) and of Bari (1377).
..... Click the link for more information. . The elections after his death began the Great SchismSchism, Great,
or Schism of the West,
division in the Roman Catholic Church from 1378 to 1417. There was no question of faith or practice involved; the schism was a matter of persons and politics.
..... Click the link for more information. . Gregory issued the first condemnation of the teachings of John WyclifWyclif, Wycliffe, Wickliffe, or Wiclif, John
, c.1328–1384, English religious reformer. A Yorkshireman by birth, Wyclif studied and taught theology and philosophy at Oxford.
..... Click the link for more information. .