Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What were some reasons why Pope Clement V left Rome and relocated to Avignon, France?

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

From the Wikipedia entry on the 'Avignon Papcy,' aka the Babylonian Captivity:

Following the strife between Boniface VIII and Philip IV of France, and the death of his successor Benedict XI after only eight months in office, a deadlocked conclave finally elected Clement V, a Frenchman, as Pope in 1305. Clement declined to move to Rome, remaining in France, and in 1309 moved his court to the papal enclave at Avignon, where it remained for the next 67 years. This absence from Rome is sometimes referred to as the "Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy".[2][3] A total of seven popes reigned at Avignon; all were French,[4][5] and they increasingly fell under the influence of the French Crown. Finally, on September 13, 1376, Gregory XI abandoned Avignon and moved his court to Rome (arriving on January 17, 1377), officially ending the Avignon Papacy.

In summary:

  1. Clement V stayed put - probably out of fear for his saftey
  2. France saw fit to keep it that way
share|improve this answer

The kingdom of Arles was not part of France at the time, and actually owed fealty to the pope and not the king of France. At the time it was also part of the Holy Roman Empire. However, it was very close to France.

share|improve this answer
Welcome to Christianity.SE. For a quick overview, please take the Site Tour. Thanks for offering an answer here. Can you provide some references to support it? If so, it would be a much better answer for this site. See: What makes a good supported answer? – Lee Woofenden Apr 10 at 19:05

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.