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Birth: 1244

Death: 1334


Jacques Duèse of Cahors was born c. 1244. The son of a shoemaker, he studied law and theology before becoming chancellor to Charles II of Naples in 1309. Elevated to a cardinalate three years later, he was elected pope in 1316 and was the second pope to rule from Avignon. An opponent of the Spiritual Franciscans, he issued three bulls condemning their teachings; he also condemned the twenty-eight sentences of Meister Eckhart. John published the decretals of Clement V and forbade the holding of more than one benefice. In 1328, Louis IV asked that John be deposed, a wish that was not fullfilled. Although John said that he wanted to return to Rome, he established the papacy more firmly at Avignon. He preached four sermons in which he denied the beatific vision. Questioned about the orthodoxy of his statements, he maintained that they reflected his personal opinion. John died in 1334.


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