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The Conciliarist TraditionConstitutionalism in the Catholic Church 1300-1870$
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Francis Oakley

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199541249

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199541249.001.0001

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Christendom’s Crisis: The Great Schism, the Conciliar Movement, and the Era of Councils from Pisa to Trent

Christendom’s Crisis: The Great Schism, the Conciliar Movement, and the Era of Councils from Pisa to Trent

Chapter:
(p.20) 1 Christendom’s Crisis: The Great Schism, the Conciliar Movement, and the Era of Councils from Pisa to Trent
Source:
The Conciliarist Tradition
Author(s):

Francis Oakley (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199541249.003.0002

This chapter examines the role of the Council of Constance in addressing not only the threat posed at both ends of Europe by the Wycliffite and Hussite heresies, but also the pent-up demand for reform in the Roman Catholic Church that had been mounting in urgency for at least a century and a half. Constance made a more effective response to the demand for church-wide reform than historians in the past were usually willing to concede. In order to comprehend the formidable nature of the challenges the council was to confront, this chapter looks at the fundamental and long-term disabilities under which the medieval Church had persistently laboured, as well as the immediate, near-term circumstances precipitating the crisis that finally overtook it in the late 14th century.

Keywords:   Roman Catholic Church, general councils, Great Schism, conciliar movement, Council of Constance, church reform, papacy, popes, church politics

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