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The Great Schism From 1305 to 1416 the Catholic Church reached its lowest point in history Corruption was widespread the Churchs authority was undermined and its leadership was divided The Church no longer had a strong foundation the papacy jumped back and forth from Avignon France to Rome depending on the pope This period became known as the Great Schism Amazingly by the end of these troubling times the Churchs reputation was still upheld However due to the Great Schism many changes were made in the Churchs structure which is why this is such an important part of the churchs history The Great Schism didnt occur suddenly there were many events leading up to the degradation of the Church Its roots can be traced back to the confrontation of two powerful and determined figures King Philip IV of France and Pope Boniface VIII Philip IV was a greedy leader who showed no respect towards traditions or rights He was proud and arrogant and believed the king was almighty not the church The church owned vast amounts of land in France but the majority of the taxes from them were going to Rome instead of Philip Not only that the Church claimed immunity from royal law for the clergy Also stressed were the obligations of the laymen to follow church law This upset the unscrupulous king and King Philip was determined stop these trends The pope at this time was a man by the name of Boniface VIII In a lot of ways Boniface and Philip were of similar nature Both men were extremely determined corrupt selfish and notorious for their bad tempers In Bonifaces infamous bill Ad clercos he claimed that no cleric was to pay taxes to a king without papal consent httpwwwpastornetnetauxiantheologirefhistschism1htm Philip counteracted this by passing a royal edict stating that any money leaving the kingdom must have royal permission In short the church would not
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