Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Avignon FAQ

Aren't you trying to bring schism to the Church?
Certainly not - I propose that the legitimate Papacy reassert its claim on the city of Avignon and that the Papcy take up residence there are a nice change of scene.
Didn't St Catherine of Siena argue against an Avignon-based papacy?
Certainly, but her Dominican confere St Vincent Ferrer was supportive of Benedict XIII's Avignon Papacy.

But shouldn't the Papacy be in Rome?
Many Popes have, for various reasons, chosen to live outside of Rome. Avignon is probably the most famous, but at various times the Papacy has been based in other cities. The Pope is always Bishop of Rome, but history provides ample examples of him chosing to live elsewhere.

1 comment:

Jonathan Bennett said...

I know I am a bit late on this, but I just found this post.

Can you give any reasons for the relocation of the Papal court to Avignon other then a mere "change of scene"? You are right to say that historically the Popes have taken up residence in a number of locations, but the reason for this was nearly always so the pope could maintain his sovereignty (Avignon, whilst an enclave within the Kingdom of France, was a Papal State) in times when Rome was either occupied by foreigners or in a state of rebellion- and those popes who found themselves in such circumstances usually devoted their energies to regaining the Eternal City.

If Rome today presents a hostile enviroment to the Papacy- either through a real danger to the person of His Holiness or the undue influence of outside parties over him- then I can understand and even support a temporary relocation of the Papal court, so long as the Pope is able to preserve his political autonomy.

Avignon has not belonged to the Pope since the Revolution, and I highly doubt the French Republic would willingly to hand it back over. More then that, to many Catholics today Avignon represents a period of corruption, decadence, and foreign influence in the history of the Papacy that is best left behind us.

What solid arguments can you make for supporting a return to Avignon?