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Pedro de Luna

Luna, Pedro de (pāˈħrō dā lōˈnä) [key], 1328?–1423?, Aragonese churchman, antipope (1394–1417) with the name Benedict XIII. He was a doctor of canon law and as cardinal (1375) became an outstanding member of the Curia Romana. He supported the election of Urban VI, but later switched his allegiance to Robert of Geneva, who, as Antipope Clement VII, launched the Great Schism (see Schism, Great). As Robert's legate in Spain, Cardinal de Luna secured the adherence of his country to the Avignon obedience. On Robert's death, the cardinals at Avignon elected Cardinal de Luna, having first elicited his promise to abdicate should that be necessary to bring an end to the schism. As Benedict XIII, the new antipope proved himself the most able of all of the popes and antipopes of the period. He showed himself unwilling, however, to negotiate an end to the schism. His outright refusal to abdicate at the Council of Pisa (see Pisa, Council of) only made matters worse, and Benedict lost all his obedience but Scotland, Sicily, Castile, and Aragón. The Council of Constance (see Constance, Council of) moved Benedict to even greater intransigence. The council deposed him in 1417. Benedict, forsaken by all but his household, lived on in his fortress at Peñiscola (near Valencia), claiming to be the rightful pope until his death.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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