John XXII Elected Pope, Will Centralize Church Power

John XXII Elected Pope, Will Centralize Church Power

Pope John XXII

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John XXII is elected pope. John will be known for centralizing church power (through the appointment of bishops) and centralizing church finances (through the imposition of papal taxes).

Because of his desire to gain greater power and autonomy for the Catholic Church, his papacy will be characterized by regular conflict with the dominant secular authority at the time, Emperor Louis of Bavaria.

His quest for power also brings Pope John XXII into doctrinal conflict with the Spiritual Franciscans, a group within the Franciscan order which places a special emphasis on Francis' original goals of poverty and humility — two things which contradict increasing papal power and taxation. This particular conflict becomes ironic when his successor condemns John XXII's opinion that saints would not see God until after the Final Judgment.

The Spiritual Franciscans will seek help from German king Louis IV because Louis will already be alienated from the pope — Pope John XXII will not support Louis' claim to the crown.

In January 1328, Louis enters Rome at the head of his army, has himself crowned, and names an antipope: Nicholas V. Unfortunately, once Louis leaves Rome, Nicholas will not have enough support to stay and has to flee to Avignon, where he submits himself to Pope John XXII (who will prove to be merciful enough to allow him to live out his life comfortably).

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