Pope Clement V

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Pope Clement V, born Raymond Bertrand de Got (also occasionally spelled de Gouth and de Goth) (c. 1264 – April 20, 1314) was Pope from 1305 to his death. He is memorable in history for suppressing the order of the Knights Templar and executing some of its members, and as the Pope who moved the Roman Curia to Avignon—although, as a matter of fact, he moved the Roman Curia to Carpentras—in 1309, after staying four years in Poitiers.[1][2]



Born in Villandraut, Aquitaine, Bertrand was canon and sacristan of the Cathedral of Saint-André in Bordeaux, then vicar-general to his brother, the archbishop of Lyon, who in 1294 was created Cardinal Bishop of Albano. He was then made bishop of St-Bertrand-de-Comminges, the cathedral church of which he was responsible for greatly enlarging and embellishing; and chaplain to Pope Boniface VIII (1294–1303), who made him archbishop of Bordeaux in 1297.[2]

Following the death of Benedict XI in 1304, he was elected Pope Clement V in June 1305 (and was consecrated on November 14), after a year's interregnum occasioned by the disputes between the French and Italian cardinals, who were nearly equally balanced in the conclave, which had to be held at Perugia. Bertrand was neither Italian nor a cardinal, and his election might have been considered a gesture towards neutrality. The contemporary chronicler Giovanni Villani reports gossip that he had bound himself to King Philip IV of France (1285–1314) by a formal agreement before his elevation, made at St. Jean d'Angély in Saintonge. Whether this was true or not, it is likely that the future pope had conditions laid down for him by the conclave of cardinals. At Bordeaux, Bertrand was formally notified of his election and urged to come to Italy; but he selected Lyon for his coronation, November 14, 1305, which was celebrated with magnificence and attended by Philip IV. Among his first acts was the creation of nine French cardinals.[2]

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