Pope Clement V

Pope Clement V (Latin: Clemens V; c. 1264 – 20 April 1314), born Raymond Bertrand de Got (also occasionally spelled de Guoth and de Goth), was Pope from 5 June 1305 to his death in 1314. He is remembered for suppressing the order of the Knights Templar and allowing the execution of many of its members, and as the Pope who moved the Papacy from Rome to Avignon, ushering in the period known as the Avignon Papacy.[1][2]

Pope

Clement V
Papa Clemens Quintus
Papacy began5 June 1305
Papacy ended20 April 1314
PredecessorBenedict XI
SuccessorJohn XXII
Orders
Consecration14 November 1305
Personal details
Birth nameRaymond Bertrand de Got (also given as de Gouth or de Goth)
Born1264
Villandraut, Gascony, Kingdom of France
Died20 April 1314
(aged c. 50 years)
Roquemaure, Kingdom of France
Previous postCardinal-Bishop of Albano (1294–1305)
Other popes named Clement
Papal styles of
Pope Clement V
C o a Clemente V
Reference styleHis Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious styleHoly Father

Biography

Born in Villandraut, Aquitaine, as the son of Bérard, Lord of Villandraut, Bertrand became canon and sacristan of the Cathedral of Saint-André in Bordeaux, then vicar-general to his brother Bérard de Got, the Archbishop of Lyon, who in 1294 was created Cardinal-Bishop of Albano. He was then made Bishop of St-Bertrand-de-Comminges, the cathedral church of which he was responsible for greatly enlarging and embellishing, and chaplain to Pope Boniface VIII, who made him Archbishop of Bordeaux in 1297.[2]

Election

Following the death of Benedict XI in 1304, there was a year's interregnum occasioned by disputes between the French and Italian cardinals, who were nearly equally balanced in the conclave, which had to be held at Perugia. Bertrand was elected Pope Clement V in June 1305 and consecrated on 14 November. Bertrand was neither Italian nor a cardinal, and his election might have been considered a gesture towards neutrality. The contemporary chronicler Giovanni Villani reports gossip that he had bound himself to King Philip IV of France by a formal agreement before his elevation, made at St. Jean d'Angély in Saintonge. Whether this was true or not, it is likely that the future pope had conditions laid down for him by the conclave of cardinals.

CoinageOfPopeClementV
Coinage of Pope Clement V.

At Bordeaux, Bertrand was formally notified of his election and urged to come to Italy, but he selected Lyon for his coronation on 14 November 1305, which was celebrated with magnificence and attended by Philip IV. Among his first acts was the creation of nine French cardinals.[2] At Clement's coronation the Duke of Brittany, John II, was leading the Pope's horse through the crowd during the celebrations. So many spectators had piled atop the walls that one of the walls crumbled and collapsed on top of the Duke, who died four days later.[3] [4]

Clement V and the Knights Templar

Early in 1306, Clement V explained away those features of the Papal bull Clericis Laicos that might seem to apply to the king of France and essentially withdrew Unam Sanctam, the bull of Boniface VIII that asserted papal supremacy over secular rulers and threatened Philip's political plans, a radical change in papal policy.[2]

HaytonRemittingHisReportToThePope
Hayton of Corycus remitting his report on the Mongols La Flor des Estoires d'Orient, to Pope Clement V in 1307.

On Friday, 13 October 1307, hundreds of the Knights Templar were arrested in France, an action apparently motivated financially and undertaken by the efficient royal bureaucracy to increase the prestige of the crown. Philip IV was the force behind this move, but it has also embellished the historical reputation of Clement V. From the very day of Clement V's coronation, the king charged the Templars with usury, credit inflation, fraud, heresy, sodomy, immorality, and abuses, and the scruples of the Pope were heightened by a growing sense that the burgeoning French State might not wait for the Church, but would proceed independently.[5]

Meanwhile, Philip IV's lawyers pressed to reopen Guillaume de Nogaret's charges of heresy against the late Boniface VIII that had circulated in the pamphlet war around the bull Unam sanctam. Clement V had to yield to pressures for this extraordinary trial, begun on 2 February 1309 at Avignon, which dragged on for two years. In the document that called for witnesses, Clement V expressed both his personal conviction of the innocence of Boniface VIII and his resolution to satisfy the king. Finally, in February 1311, Philip IV wrote to Clement V abandoning the process to the future Council of Vienne. For his part, Clement V absolved all the participants in the abduction of Boniface at Anagni.[5]

PopeClementV
Cameo of Pope Clement V.

In pursuance of the king's wishes, Clement V in 1311 summoned the Council of Vienne, which refused to convict the Templars of heresy. The Pope abolished the order anyway, as the Templars seemed to be in bad repute and had outlived their usefulness as papal bankers and protectors of pilgrims in the East. Their French estates were granted to the Knights Hospitallers, but Philip IV held them until his death and expropriated the Templars' bank outright.[2]

False charges of heresy and sodomy set aside, the guilt or innocence of the Templars is one of the more difficult historical problems, partly because of the atmosphere of hysteria that had built up in the preceding generation (marked by habitually intemperate language and extravagant denunciations exchanged between temporal rulers and churchmen), partly because the subject has been embraced by conspiracy theorists and quasi-historians.[6]

Crusades and relations with the Mongols

Clement sent John of Montecorvino to Beijing to preach in China.

Clement engaged intermittently in communications with the Mongol Empire towards the possibility of creating a Franco-Mongol alliance against the Muslims. In April 1305, the Mongol Ilkhan ruler Oljeitu sent an embassy led by Buscarello de Ghizolfi to Clement, Philip IV of France, and Edward I of England. In 1307, another Mongol embassy led by Tommaso Ugi di Siena reached European monarchs. However, no coordinated military action was forthcoming and hopes of alliance petered out within a few years.

In 1308, Clement ordered the preaching of a crusade to be launched against the Mamluks in the Holy Land in the spring of 1309. This resulted in the unwanted Crusade of the Poor appearing before Avignon in July 1309. Clement granted the poor crusaders an indulgence, but refused to let them participate in the professional expedition led by the Hospitallers. That expedition set off in early 1310, but instead of sailing for the Holy Land, the Hospitallers conquered the city of Rhodes from the Byzantines.[7]

On 4 April 1312, a Crusade was promulgated by Pope Clement V at the Council of Vienne. Another embassy was sent by Oljeitu to the West and to Edward II of England in 1313. The same year, Philip IV "took the cross", making the vow to go on a Crusade in the Levant.[8]

Relations with Rome

In March 1309, the entire papal court moved from Poitiers (where it had remained for 4 years) to the Comtat Venaissin, around the city of Avignon (which was not then part of France, but technically part of the Kingdom of Arles within the Holy Roman Empire, since 1290 held as an imperial fief by the king of Naples). This move, actually to Carpentras, the capital of the territory, was justified at the time by French apologists on grounds of security, since Rome, where the dissensions of the Roman aristocrats and their armed militia had reached a nadir and the Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano had been destroyed in a fire, was unstable and dangerous. But the decision proved the precursor of the long Avignon Papacy, the "Babylonian captivity" (1309–77), in Petrarch's phrase, and marks a point from which the decay of the strictly Catholic conception of the pope as universal bishop may be dated.[5]

Clement V's pontificate was also a disastrous time for Italy. The Papal States were entrusted to a team of three cardinals, but Rome, the battleground of the Colonna and Orsini factions, was ungovernable. In 1310, the Holy Roman Emperor Henry VII entered Italy, established the Visconti as vicars in Milan, and was crowned by Clement V's legates in Rome in 1312 before he died near Siena in 1313.[6]

In Ferrara, which was taken into the Papal states to the exclusion of the Este family, papal armies clashed with Venice and their populace. When excommunication and interdict failed to have their intended effect, Clement V preached a crusade against the Venetians in May 1309, declaring that Venetians captured abroad might be sold into slavery, like non-Christians.[9]

Later career and death

Other remarkable incidents of Clement V's reign include his violent repression of the Dulcinian movement in Lombardy, which he considered a heresy, and his promulgation of the Clementine Constitutions in 1313.[10]

Clement died on 20 April 1314. According to one account, while his body was lying in state, a thunderstorm arose during the night and lightning struck the church where his body lay, setting it on fire. The fire was so intense that by the time it was extinguished, the Pope's body had been all but destroyed. He was buried at the collegiate church in Uzeste close to his birthplace in Villandraut as laid down in his will.

Notes

  1. ^ Chamberlain, pp. 122, 123, 131
  2. ^ a b c d e Menache, pp. 1, 2, 16, 23, 178, 255
  3. ^ Borderie, pp. 359–381
  4. ^ Cheetham, pp. 152.
  5. ^ a b c Howarth, pp. 11–14, 261, 323
  6. ^ a b Duffy, pp. 403, 439, 460–463
  7. ^ Gábor Bradács, "Crusade of the Poor (1309)", in Jeffrey M. Shaw and Timothy J. Demy (eds.), War and Religion: An Encyclopedia of Faith and Conflict, 3 vols. (ABC-CLIO, 2017), vol. 1, pp. 211–12.
  8. ^ Jean Richard, "Histoire des Croisades", p.485
  9. ^ Davidson, p. 40.
  10. ^ Pope John XXII reissued this collection in the bull Quoniam nulla, 25 October 1317.

See also

References

  • Cheetham, Nicolas, Keepers of the Keys, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1982.
  • Davidson, Basil, The African Slave Trade revised ed., 1961, Boston : Brown Little
  • Chamberlain, E. R., The Bad Popes. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1993. ISBN 978-0-88029-116-3
  • Duffy, Eamon. Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2006. ISBN 978-0-300-11597-0
  • Howarth, Stephen. The Knights Templar. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1982. ISBN 978-0-88029-663-2
  • Le Moyne de La Borderie, Arthur (1906), Histoire de Bretagne, J. Plihon et L. Hommay
  • Menache, Sophia. Clement V. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. ISBN 0-521-52198-X
  • Richard, Jean, Histoire des croisades, Fayard, 1996. ISBN 2-213-59787-1

Further reading

  • Maxwell-Stuart, P. G. Chronicle of the Popes: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Papacy over 2000 Years. London: Thames & Hudson, 1997. ISBN 978-0-500-01798-2

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Benedict XI
Pope
5 June 1305 – 20 April 1314
Succeeded by
John XXII
Ad providam

Ad providam was the name of a Papal Bull issued by Pope Clement V in 1312. It built on a previous bull, Vox in excelso, which had disbanded the order of the Knights Templar. Ad providam essentially handed over all Templar assets to the Hospitallers (modern-day Sovereign Military Order of Malta), with the exception of some resources which were left to provide pensions to some Templars who had escaped execution and converted to a monastic life.

Cardinals created by Clement V

Pope Clement V (r. 1305-14) created 24 cardinals in three consistories held during his pontificate. He also named his future successor Pope John XXII as a cardinal in 1312.

Council of Vienne

The Council of Vienne was the fifteenth Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church that met between 1311 and 1312 in Vienne. Its principal act was to withdraw papal support for the Knights Templar on the instigation of Philip IV of France, after the French monarch attacked Rome and killed Pope Boniface VIII (Attack at Agnani).

Dulcinian

The Dulcinians were a religious sect of the Late Middle Ages, originating within the Apostolic Brethren. The Dulcinians, or Dulcinites, and Apostolics were inspired by Franciscan ideals and influenced by the Joachimites, but were considered heretical by the Catholic Church. Their name derives from the movement's leader, Fra Dolcino of Novara (ca. 1250–1307), who was burned as a heretic on the orders of Pope Clement V.

Faciens misericordiam

Faciens misericordiam (Granting forgiveness) was a papal bull issued by Pope Clement V on August 12, 1308, as part of the trial against the Knights Templar. It called for a new Ecumenical council to be held in 1310, and set out some structure for the collection of depositions from the arrested Templars.

Hayton of Corycus

Hayton of Corycus (also Hethum, Het'um, and variants; in Armenian known as Հեթում Պատմիչ Hetʿowm Patmičʿ "Hethum the Historian" ; c.1240 - c.1310-1320) was a medieval Armenian nobleman, monk and historiographer.

Hayton is the author of La Flor des Estoires d'Orient ("Flower of the Histories of the East", in Latin Flos historiarum terre Orientis), a historiographical work about the history of Asia, especially about the Muslim conquests and the Mongol invasion, which he dictated at the request of Pope Clement V in 1307, while he was at Poitiers. The Old French original text was recorded by one Nicolas Faulcon, who also prepared a Latin translation. The work was widely disseminated in the Late Middle Ages and was influential in shaping western European views of the Orient.The work consists of four books of unequal lengths, the main part being contained in book 3, after which the entire work is sometimes referred to as the "History of the Tartars". Book 1 gives an overview of the geography and history of Asia. Book 2 gives an account of the "Lordship of the Saracens", i.e. the Muslim conquests of the 7th century and the succeeding Caliphates. Book 3 comprises the bulk of the work, giving a history of the Mongols and the Mongol invasions.

Book 4 discusses a proposed alliance of Christendom with the Mongol Empire to the end of a renewed crusade in the Holy Land.

For his history of the Mongols Hayton names an Estoires des Tartars ("History of the Tartars") as his source for the time until the reign of Möngke Khan (1250s), while for more recent events, he relies on the accounts by his great-uncle, king Hethum I, and on his own experiences. He is also informed by western sources on the history of the Crusades, and most likely draws on the travelogues of Giovanni da Pian del Carpine and Marco Polo.

John de Leche

John de Leche (or John de Leck or John de Leek) (died 1313) was a canon of Dunkeld and prelate during the early 14th century. After the death of Matthew de Crambeth, Bishop of Dunkeld, in 1309, William Sinclair was elected by some of the chapter to the bishopric. John de Leche, however, was elected soon afterwards, and had the support of King Edward II of England. The diocese of Dunkeld lay vacant for three years, while the issue was contested at the Papal see. Pope Clement V appointed James, Cardinal Deacon of St George in Velabro, to judge the issue; but this was resolved when, on 22 May 1311, John de Leche was promoted to the Archbishopric of Dublin. He held the latter for two years. He obtained a charter for the earliest University in Dublin in 1311 but his death, which seems to have been sudden, in 1313 greatly hampered the establishment of the university, which never flourished. It had no connection with the present day Trinity College Dublin.

Knights Templar

The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon (Latin: Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Salomonici), also known as the Order of Solomon's Temple, the Knights Templar or simply the Templars, were a Catholic military order recognised in 1139 by the papal bull Omne datum optimum. The order was founded in 1119 and was active until 1312 when it was perpetually suppressed by Pope Clement V by the bull Vox in excelso.The Templars became a favoured charity throughout Christendom and grew rapidly in membership and power. They were prominent in Christian finance. Templar knights, in their distinctive white mantles with a red cross, were among the most skilled fighting units of the Crusades. Non-combatant members of the order, who formed as much as 90% of the order's members, managed a large economic infrastructure throughout Christendom, developing innovative financial techniques that were an early form of banking, building its own network of nearly 1,000 commanderies and fortifications across Europe and the Holy Land, and arguably forming the world's first multinational corporation.The Templars were closely tied to the Crusades; when the Holy Land was lost, support for the order faded. Rumours about the Templars' secret initiation ceremony created distrust, and King Philip IV of France – deeply in debt to the order – took advantage of this distrust to destroy them and erase his debt. In 1307, he had many of the order's members in France arrested, tortured into giving false confessions, and burned at the stake. Pope Clement V disbanded the order in 1312 under pressure from King Philip. The abrupt reduction in power of a significant group in European society gave rise to speculation, legend, and legacy through the ages.

Order of Christ (Portugal)

The Military Order of Christ (Ordem Militar de Cristo), previously the Order of the Knights of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Ordem dos Cavaleiros de Nosso Senhor Jesus Cristo), is the former Knights Templar order as it was reconstituted in Portugal after the Templars were abolished on 22 March 1312 by the papal bull, Vox in excelso, issued by Pope Clement V. The Order of Christ was founded in 1319, with the protection of the Portuguese king, Denis I, who refused to pursue and persecute the former knights as had occurred in all the other sovereign states under the political influence of the Catholic Church.

Heavily swayed by Philip IV of France, Pope Clement had the Knights Templar annihilated throughout France and most of Europe on charges of heresy, but Denis revived the Templars of Tomar as the Order of Christ, largely for their aid during the Reconquista and in the reconstruction of Portugal after the wars. Denis negotiated with Clement's successor, John XXII, for recognition of the new order and its right to inherit the Templar assets and property.

There exists also a parallel Supreme Order of Christ of the Holy See.

Pastoralis praeeminentiae

Pastoralis praeeminentiae was a papal bull issued by Pope Clement V on 22 November 1307 to all Christian monarchs. It ordered the arrest of all Knights Templar and to seize their properties on behalf of the church. Clement was forced to support the campaign against the Templars by Philip IV of France, who owed them a great deal of money and had initiated the first arrests against the Templars on 13 October 1307.Despite the papal request, not all the monarchs complied immediately, most notably, Edward II of England who at first refused to believe the allegations, but later carried out the order.

Following the arrests, a period of trials was sanctioned against the Templars, enforced by torture and pain-induced confessions.

Perugia Papacy

Perugia was a long-time papal residence during the 13th century. Five popes were elected here: Pope Honorius III (1216–1227), Pope Clement IV (1265–1268), Pope Honorius IV (1285–1287), Pope Celestine V (1294), and Pope Clement V (1305–1314). These elections took place in the Palazzo delle Canoniche adjoining the Perugia Cathedral.

The Cathedral contained the tombs of Pope Innocent III (1198–1216), Pope Urban IV (1261–1264), and Pope Martin IV (1281–1285). These were destroyed by Gérard du Puy, the cardinal-nephew of Pope Gregory XI (1370–1378).During du Puy's tenure as papal governor during the War of the Eight Saints he pillaged the Duomo construction site for materials for his private fortress. According to Heywood, due to du Puy's construction, "so certain did it appear that the Papal Curia was about to be transferred to Perugia that foreign merchants began to negotiate for the hire of shops and warehouses in the city." The tomb of Pope Benedict XI (1303–1304) is still extant in S. Domenico.

Pietro Gradenigo

Pietro Gradenigo (1251 – 13 August 1311) was the 49th Doge of Venice, reigning from 1289 to his death.

When he was elected Doge, he was serving as the podestà of Capodistria in Istria. Venice suffered a serious blow with the fall of Acre, the last Crusader stronghold in the Holy Land, to the Mamluks of Egypt in 1291. A war between Venice and Genoa began in 1294, and Venice sustained some serious losses: it lost a naval battle, its possessions in Crete were pillaged and the Byzantine emperor, Andronikos II, arrested many Venetians in Constantinople. In response, the Venetian fleet sacked Galata and threatened the imperial palace of Blachernae, but in 1298 they lost again - this time at Curzola. Eventually, in 1299 the two republics signed a peace treaty.

Doge Gradenigo was responsible for the so-called Serrata del Maggior Consiglio, the Locking of the Great Council of Venice. This new law, passed in February 1297, restricted membership of the future Councils only to the descendants of those nobles who were its members between 1293 and 1297. This move created a virtually oligarchic system, disenfranchising a great majority of the citizens and provoking some unrest.

In 1308, during Gradenigo's reign as doge, Venice became involved in war with the Papacy over the control of Ferrara and on 27 March 1309 the Republic was excommunicated by Pope Clement V, barring all Christians from trading with Venice. The Doge's policy, seen by many as disastrous, led to a plot to depose him and the Great Council, led by Bajamonte Tiepolo and other members of the aristocratic families. On 15 June 1310, the coup failed and its leaders were severely punished. Tiepolo's plot led to the creation of the Council of Ten, initially as a temporary institution, which later evolved into the permanent body which in reality governed the Republic.

On 13 August 1311, Gradenigo died, and, since Venice was under interdict and the religious ceremonies could not be held, he was buried in an unmarked grave on Murano.He was married first to Tomasina Morosini (with whom he had a daughter, Anna, wife of Jacopo I da Carrara) and then to Agnese Zantani.

Pope Celestine V

Pope Celestine V (Latin: Caelestinus V; 1215 – 19 May 1296), born Pietro Angelerio (according to some sources Angelario, Angelieri, Angelliero, or Angeleri), also known as Pietro da Morrone, Peter of Morrone, and Peter Celestine, was pope for five months from 5 July to 13 December 1294, when he resigned. He was also a monk and hermit who founded the order of the Celestines as a branch of the Benedictine order.

He was elected pope in the Catholic Church's last non-conclave papal election, ending a two-year impasse. Among the few edicts of his to remain in force was the confirmation of the right of the pope to abdicate; nearly all of his other official acts were annulled by his successor, Boniface VIII. On 13 December 1294, a week after issuing the decree, Celestine resigned, stating his desire to return to his humble, pre-papal life. He was subsequently imprisoned by Boniface in the castle of Fumone in the Campagna region, in order to prevent his potential installation as antipope. He died in prison on 19 May 1296 at the age of 81.Celestine was canonized on 5 May 1313 by Pope Clement V. No subsequent pope has taken the name Celestine.

Robert Winchelsey

Robert Winchelsey (or Winchelsea; c. 1245 – 11 May 1313) was an English Catholic theologian and Archbishop of Canterbury. He studied at the universities of Paris and Oxford, and later taught at both. Influenced by Thomas Aquinas, he was a scholastic theologian.

Winchelsey held various benefices in England and was the Chancellor of Oxford University before being elected to Canterbury in early 1293. Although he initially had the support of Edward I, Winchelsey later became a forceful opponent of the king. The archbishop was encouraged by the papacy to resist Edward's attempts to tax the clergy. Winchelsey was also an opponent of the king's treasurer Walter Langton as well as other clergy. On one occasion he rebuked an abbot so sternly that the abbot suffered a fatal heart attack.

Following the election of a former royal clerk as Pope Clement V in 1305, the king was able to secure the archbishop's exile that same year. Upon the succession of Edward's son, Edward II, Winchelsey was allowed to return to England after the new king petitioned the pope to allow his return. Winchelsey soon joined the king's enemies, however, and was the only bishop to object to the return of the king's favourite, Piers Gaveston. Winchelsey died in 1313. Although miracles were alleged to have happened at his tomb, an attempt to have him declared a saint was unsuccessful.

Thomas Cobham

Thomas Cobham (died 1327) was an English churchman, who was Archbishop-elect of Canterbury in 1313 and later Bishop of Worcester from 1317 to 1327.

Cobham earned a Doctor of Theology and a Doctor of Canon Law and served as Archdeacon of Lewes from 1301 to around 1305. Cobham was nominated to replace Archbishop Robert Winchelsey in 1313, by the monks of Christ Church Priory, Canterbury. The election took place on 28 May 1313. King Edward II intervened and petitioned the pope to appoint the Bishop of Worcester – Walter Reynolds to Canterbury instead of Cobham. Pope Clement V acquiesced and issued a bull dismissing the election of Cobham on 1 October 1313 and installing Reynolds in his stead.On 31 March 1317, Cobham was provided to the bishopric of Worcester, and was consecrated on 22 May 1317. Cobham, along with Archbishop Melton, and the bishops of London and Rochester alone spoke up in Edward II's defence during the Parliamentary session that deposed Edward.Cobham died on 27 August 1327.

University of Perugia

University of Perugia (Italian Università degli Studi di Perugia) is a public-owned university based in Perugia, Italy. It was founded in 1308, as attested by the Bull issued by Pope Clement V certifying the birth of the Studium Generale.

The official seal of the university portraits Saint Herculan, one of the saint patrons, and the rampant crowned griffin, which is the city symbol: they represent the ecclesiastical and civil powers, respectively, which gave rise to the university in the Middle Ages.

Villandraut

Villandraut is a commune in the Gironde department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in southwestern France.

Pope Clement V was born in Villandraut, he is known for moving the Curia from Rome to Avignon, ushering in the period known as the Avignon Papacy.

Vox in excelso

Vox in excelso is the name of a Papal Bull issued by Pope Clement V in 1312. The directives given within the Bull were to formally dissolve the Order of the Knights Templar, effectively removing Papal support for them and revoking the mandates given to them by previous popes in the 12th and 13th centuries.

In view of the suspicion, infamy, loud insinuations and other things which have been brought against the order ... and also the secret and clandestine reception of the brother of this Order; in view, moreover, of the serious scandal which has arisen from these things, which it did not seem could be stopped while the Order remained in being, and the danger to faith and souls, and the many horrible things which have been done by the very many of the brothers of this Order, who have lapsed into the sin of wicked apostasy, the crime of detestable idolatry, and the execrable outrage of the Sodomites ... it is not without bitterness and sadness of heart that we abolish the aforesaid Order of the Temple, and its constitution, habit and name, by an irrevocable and perpetually valid decree; and we subject it to perpetual prohibition with the approval of the Holy Council, strictly forbidding anyone to presume to enter the said Order in the future, or to receive or wear its habit, or to act as a Templar.

The issue of this Bull followed a five-year period of suppression and trials of the Templars during which time they were accused of a variety of blasphemous and heretical crimes. However, the confessions were extracted with the use of torture and other methods developed by the Inquisition.

Vox in excelso is just one of the Papal Bulls issued in relation to Templar history; others include Pastoralis Praeeminentiae, and Ad providam.

William Sinclair (bishop)

William de Sancto Claro, or simply William Sinclair († 1337), was a 14th-century bishop of Dunkeld. He was the son of Amicia de Roskelyn and Sir William Sinclair, Baron of Roslin. He was the brother of Sir Henry Sinclair, baron of Roslin. After the death of Bishop Matthew de Crambeth in 1309, William was elected to the bishopric. The following year, on 24 February 1310, William was one of twelve Scottish bishops to swear fealty to King Robert the Brus. However, king Edward II of England had his own candidate in mind, John de Leck. William went to the Holy See, where his election was contested by the said John. The diocese of Dunkeld lay vacant for three years. Pope Clement V appointed Cardinal James, cardinal deacon of St George in Velabro, to judge the issue. However, the issue was more or less resolved when, on 22 May 1311, John de Leck was promoted to the Archbishopric of Dublin. When John de Leck took over the see of Dublin on 20 July, he retired from the dispute. The pope then declared William's election canonical, and sent him to Cardinal Berenger Fredoli, bishop of Tusculum, in order to be consecrated. On 3 February 1313 king Edward II issued a safe-conduct to William, clearly indicating that the bishop was planning to arrive in England on his way back to Scotland, however Edward demanded cooperation in political matters as a condition. William became a frequent witness to King Robert's charters, but that did not prevent Bishop William, on 24 September 1332, being present at the coronation of Edward Balliol. Bishop William attended the latter's parliaments. William died on 27 June 1337, and was buried in the choir of Dunkeld Cathedral.

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