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Clement V

1264-1314. Pope from 1305. Born Bertrand de Got (or Gouth) into an influential French family, he studied at Toulouse, Orléans, and Bologna. He was appointed bishop of Cominges in 1295, and archbishop of Bordeaux in 1299. A Roman conclave met in 1304 after the short reign of Benedict XI (1303- 4) to select a new pope; after eleven months (during which envoys from France attended) Bertrand was proclaimed Pope Clement V. Being under the influence of Philip the Fair of France, who seemed able to exploit the weaknesses of the new pope, Clement was crowned at Lyons and in 1309 finally installed himself and his Curia at Avignon. Thus began the seventy years of the “Babylonian Captivity” of the papacy.

To serve his own personal interests, Philip IV made two major demands of Clement. The first was to have Boniface VIII condemned as a heretic. Clement obliged insofar as he annulled Boniface's excommunications and interdicts, especially the bull Unam Sanctam (bull of 27 April 1311). The second was to dissolve the Order of Knights Templar.* Again Clement obliged, since the Council of Vienne (1311) did suppress the order. It is not unfair to say that Clement was in a state of servility to Philip. However, he did attempt to salvage what he could for the Knights Templar in 1311.

Despite his political problems, which related to England and Scotland as well as France and the Holy Roman Empire, he was a competent scholar and is remembered as the founder of two uni- versities, Orléans and Perugia, and for his collection of decretals in Liber Septimus (usually known as Clementina).