Urban V

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Urban V

Urban V, 1310–70, pope (1362–70), a Provençal named Guillaume de Grimoard; successor of Innocent VI. He was a Benedictine renowned for his knowledge of canon law. The great event of Urban's pontificate was the abortive attempt to return the papacy from Avignon to Rome. The success of Cardinal Albornoz in reconquering the Papal States and the continued agitation by the devout, among them St. Bridget of Sweden, for the restoration of the Holy See, persuaded Urban to depart for Rome in 1367. The return made a great impression, and in 1368, Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV came to visit and reaffirmed his allegiance. The Byzantine emperor, John V, also came and submitted to the pope. In 1370, Urban, disturbed by the resumption of war between France and England, returned to Avignon hoping to end the conflict. He had been further encouraged to leave Rome by the worsening political situation following the death of Albornoz. Urban's quarrel with Edward III of England over the payment of the annual tribute (dating back to King John) occasioned the antipapal polemics of John Wyclif. Urban was a patron of the arts and founded universities at Orange, Kraków, and Vienna. He was succeeded by Gregory XI. Urban was beatified in 1870.

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