Conrad of Gelnhausen

c.1320-1390. Theologian. He studied and taught at the University of Paris, and became a canon of Mainz (1539), procurator of the German nation at Bologna University (1369), and provost of Worms (c.1380). One of the earliest advocates of the conciliar movement, he urged on Charles V of France that the circumstances of the Great Schism* provided sufficient reason for calling a general council without papal convocation. Since the position of the papacy was doubtful, authority to convoke a council lay in the universal church, as in apostolic times. He expounded this in his principal work Epistola Concordiae (1380). Charles VI's adherence to the antipope Clement VII caused Conrad to leave France in 1386 to lecture at Heidelberg University, where he became the first chancellor.