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Pope Clement VI

Clement VI, pope (1342-1352), (Pierre Roger, archbishop of Rouen, France), 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.

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 in December 1352, leaving the reputation of "a fine gentleman, a prince munificent to profusion, a patron of the arts and learning, but no saint" (Gregorovius; see also Gibbon, chap. 66).


from the 9th edition (1876) of an unnamed encyclopedia

preceded by Pope Benedict XII (1334-1342)
succeeded by Pope Innocent VI (1352-1362)



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