Pope Clement VI
Clement VI, né Pierre Roger (1291 - December 6, 1352), pope (1342-1352), the fourth of the Avignon popes, was elected in May 1342.
Like his immediate predecessors, he was devoted to France, and he further evinced his French sympathies by refusing a solemn invitation to return to Rome, and by purchasing the sovereignty of Avignon from Joanna, queen of Naples, for 80,000 crowns. The money was never paid, but Clement may have deemed that he gave the queen a full equivalent by absolving her from the murder of her husband.
Clement VI wrote Bull 'Unigenitus', 27th January 1343, in order to jusitfy the power of the Pope and the selling of indulgences. This document was also used in the defence of indulgences, after Luther pinned his 95 Theses to a church in Wittenburg on 31st October 1517.
Clement VI reigned during the Black Plague. This epidemic swept through Europe between 1347-1350, and is believed to have killed about one third of Europe's population.
The other chief incidents of his pontificate were his disputes with Edward III of England on account of the latter's encroachments on ecclesiastical jurisdiction, his excommunication of the Emperor Louis of Bavaria, his negotiations for reunion with the Eastern Church, and the commencement of Cola di Rienzi's agitation at Rome.
He died on December 6, 1352, leaving the reputation of "a fine gentleman, a prince munificent to profusion, a patron of the arts and learning, but no saint"
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