Lateran Council, Fifth

Lateran Council, Fifth, 1512–17, 18th ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church, convened by Pope Julius II and continued by his successor Leo X. Julius called the council to counter an attempt begun (1510) by Louis XII of France to revive the conciliar theory (i.e., that a council has supreme power, even over the pope) of a hundred years before (see Schism, Great) and thus precipitate a new schism. In this maneuver the council was a success. The Concordat of 1516, a papal settlement with France, was ratified there. Otherwise the council accomplished little; the reforming party had to wait until the Council of Trent. It did republish the bull of Julius (1503), which declared that simony invalidated a papal election—a signal reform. Interesting enactments of the council include a decree legalizing the charitable pawnshops the Franciscans had been establishing and another that set up a censorship of printed books.

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