During the Great Schism, when three men simultaneously claimed Divine rights to the papacy, the Holy Roman Emperor assembled a council at Constance in Germany to chose a new Vicar of Christ, Martin V. Upon ascending to the papacy Martin repudiated all acts of the council, except the one by which he ruled. In spite of the legal difficulties this raised, Martin V had good reason to deny the work of the council for it raised a very important question: Who is greater, a general council that creates the pope, or the pope who claims supremacy over councils? The counciliar movement aimed at transforming the papacy into something like a limited monarchy. Constance solemnly decreed that general councils were superior to popes and that they should meet at regular intervals in the future. The pope called this heretical. His return to power plus the inability of later councils to introduce much-needed reforms enabled the popes, by 1450, to discredit the counciliar movement.
[tags]BlogRodent, church-history, ChurchRodent, Counciliar-Movement, Great-Schism, history[/tags]