Pisa, Council of

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Pisa, Council of,

1409, unrecognized council of the Roman Catholic Church. It was summoned to end the Great Schism (see Schism, GreatSchism, 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.
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) by members of the colleges of cardinals of the two rivals, Gregory XII (in Rome) and Benedict XIII (Pedro de LunaLuna, Pedro de
, 1328?–1423?, Aragonese churchman, antipope (1394–1417) with the name Benedict XIII. He was a doctor of canon law and as cardinal (1375) became an outstanding member of the Curia Romana.
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, in Avignon). The plan was to depose both men claiming to be pope and elect a new one. The council had a wide international attendance. It declared both popes to be heretical and schismatic and therefore not popes; the cardinals proceeded to elect Pietro Cardinal Philarghi as Alexander V. This move served to complicate the schism with a third claimant rather than to dissolve it. The council first gave quasi-official expression to the conciliar theory, i.e., that councils are supreme in the church, a notion that became prominent again at Constance and at Basel (see Constance, Council ofConstance, Council of,
1414–18, council of the Roman Catholic Church, some of its sessions being reckoned as the 16th ecumenical council. It was summoned to end the Great Schism (see Schism, Great), in which three men were claiming to be pope—Gregory XII (since
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; Basel, Council ofBasel, Council of,
1431–49, first part of the 17th ecumenical council in the Roman Catholic Church. It is generally considered to have been ecumenical until it fell into heresy in 1437; after that it is regarded as an anticouncil.
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). The lack of recognition toward the council rests on several features; e.g., most of the cardinals involved owed their creation to popes whom they declared to be holding office illegally.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The Council of Pisa, in which Machiavelli played a significant role, is dismissed in a paragraph, while the omission in the text of Machiavelli's Esortazione alla penitenza is, at the very least, evidence of sloppiness on the author's part.
This situation continued until 1409, when cardinals from the rival camps met at the Council of Pisa. The dominating figure was an Italian, Baldassare Cossa, an exceptionally able prelate notorious for his profligacy.
Although Gerson did not attend the Council of Pisa (1409), he did formulate the essential arguments for the cardinals and archbishops, bishops and abbots who sought, unsuccessfully, to depose the two existing claimants; they then elected a new, third rival pontiff.
Aldo Landi has written a lively account of the Florentine deliberations and humanist rhetoric that led up to the council of Pisa, [28] and Walter Brandmuller has followed his immensely detailed study of the council of Pavia-Siena (1423) with another on Constance.

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