Popes until 1378, with but one brief exception. This period at Avignon
is often referred to as the "Babylonian Captivity." Seated in
Avignon, Clement and the other Avignon Popes would keep their hands on
the controls of Rome through the use of Vicars.
historians believe that Clement V was a weak and subservient Pope. Clement
was afraid of the manipulative French King Philip and this fact is seen
through his dutifully following Philip's every whim. Philip Le Bel, who
as mentioned earlier, was an enemy of Pope Boniface VIII, so deeply hatred
the man that he tried to have him posthumously branded as a heretic. It
is interesting to note that Philip had a hand in Pope Boniface's death.
Clement actually began to start a proceeding to do as Le Bel wished but
stalled long enough for Philip to change his mind on the matter. This was
not the last time that Philip would use Clement to brand a group as heretics
as in 1307 the pair would orchestrate the arrest of the Knights Templar.
the final collapse of Outremer in 1291, the Templars had lost some clout
and a great deal of face. There is no doubt that the fortune and power
amassed since their humble beginnings two centuries earlier, had made many
monarchs and citizens jealous. It was this jealousy, combined with greed
and a nearly bankrupt nation, that prompted Phillip to make his move on
October 13th, 1307 - arresting all the Templars in France. Under the inquisitor's
torture methods, all sorts of confessions were extracted. Clement using
these confessions to his own ends was able to suppress the order of the
Templars in 1312.
de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, while about to
burn to death as a relapsed heretic, allegedly issued a curse to both Phillip
IV and Clement V to meet him in heaven within a year to face God for their
wrongful accusations. Whether this curse was actually spoken or not, will
perhaps always remain a mystery. The fact is that both Phillip and Clement
did die within a year of De Molay. Clement V (Bernard de Got) died on April