Pope Benedict XII
English name=Benedict XII
December 20, 1334
April 25, 1342
Pope Benedict XII (died
April 25, 1342), born Jacques Fournier, was Popefrom 1334 to 1342.
Little is known of the origins of Jacques Fournier. He is believed to have been born in
Saverdunin the Comté de Foixaround the 1280s to a family of modest means. He became a Cistercian monkand left to study at the University of Paris. In 1311 he was made Abbotof Fontfroide Abbeyand quickly became known for his intelligence and organizational ability. In 1317 he was made bishop of Pamiers. There he undertook a rigorous huntfor Catharheretics, which won him praise from religious authorities, but alienated the local people.
His efforts against the
Cathars of Montaillouin the Ariège, were carefully recorded in the Fournier Registerwhich he took to Rome and deposited in the Vatican Library. This has been documented by Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie's pioneering microhistory, "Montaillou, village occitan." In 1326, upon the successful rooting out of the last - it was believed - heretics of the south, he was made Bishop of Mirepoixin the Ariège. A year later, in 1327, he was made a cardinal.
Fournier's Accession to the Papacy
Pope John XXII(1316–34) as Pope in 1334, being elected on the first conclave ballot. But he did not carry out the policy of his predecessor. He practically made peace with the Emperor Louis IV, and as far as possible came to terms with the Franciscans, who were then at odds with the Roman See.
Benedict XII was a reforming pope who tried to curb the luxuries of the
monastic orders, though without much success. He also ordered the construction of the Palais des Papesin Avignon. He spent most of his time working on questions of theology. He rejected many of the ideas developed by John XXII. In this regard, he promulgated a papal bull, "Benedictus Deus". This dogma defined the Church's belief that the souls of the departed go to their eternal reward immediately after death, as opposed to remaining in a state of unconscious existence until the Last Judgment. Though some claim that he campaigned against the Immaculate Conception, this is far from clear. He engaged in long theological debates with other noted figures of the age such as William of Ockhamand Meister Eckhart
A note on the numbering: Pope
Benedict Xis now considered an antipope. At the time, however, this status was not recognized and so the man the Roman Catholic church officially considers the tenth true Pope Benedict took the official number XI, rather than X. This has advanced the numbering of all subsequent Popes Benedict by one. Popes Benedict XI-XVI are, from an official point of view, the tenth through fifteenth popes by that name.
NAME= Benedict XII, Pope
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Fournier, Jacques
DATE OF BIRTH=circa 1280
PLACE OF BIRTH=
DATE OF DEATH=
April 25, 1342
PLACE OF DEATH=
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