The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Pope John XXII

Pope John XXII, né Jacques d'Euse (1249 - December 4, 1334), was elected to the papacy in 1316 and reigned until his death in 1334.

The two-year gap between the death of Clement V and the election of John XXII was due to extreme disagreement between the cardinals who were split into two factions. After two years, Philip V of France finally managed to arrange a conclave of twenty-three cardinals in Lyons. They duly elected John XXII Pope and he was crowned in Lyon. He set up his residence in Avignon rather than Rome.

John involved himself in the politics and religious movements of many European countries in order to advance the interests of the Church. This made him a very controversial pope at the time.

Before John's election a contest had begun for for the imperial crown between Louis IV of Bavaria and his opponent, Frederick I of Austria. John was neutral at first; but in 1323, when Louis had won and became Holy Roman emperor, the Guelph (papal) party and the Ghibelline (imperial) party began a serious quarrel. This was partly provoked by John's extreme claims of authority over the empire and also partly by Louis's support of the spiritual Franciscans, whom John XXII condemned for their insistence on evangelical poverty. Louis was assisted by Marsilius of Padua, and later by the British monk William of Ockham. Louis invaded Italy, entered Rome and set up Pietro Rainalducci as antipope Nicholas V in 1328. The project was a fiasco, and Guelphic predominance at Rome was later restored. However, Louis had silenced the papal claims, and John stayed the rest of his life in Avignon.

He was an excellent administrator and did much efficient reorganizing.

See also: Avignon Papacy

Last updated: 05-07-2005 08:23:03
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04