Martin V, 1368–1431, pope

Martin V, 1368–1431, pope (1417–31), a Roman named Oddone Colonna; successor of Gregory XII. He was created cardinal by Innocent VII, and in the schism (see Schism, Great) he attended and supported the decisions of the Council of Pisa (see Pisa, Council of). His election (Nov. 11, 1417) by the conclave at the Council of Constance (see Constance, Council of) as pope ended the schism. The election was greeted with almost universal joy and relief. Declining invitations to settle elsewhere, Martin made his way slowly to Rome (1420) and set about rehabilitating the city and the Papal States. His chief concern was the consolidation of the restored Church unity and the papal prestige, and to this end he made concordats with various rulers. More significant was his denunciation of the conciliar theory (i.e., that councils are supreme in the Church) that had gained wide following at Pisa and Constance. Nevertheless he followed the wishes of the last council and summoned a new one; this met at Pavia (1423), moved to Siena, and accomplished nothing; Martin dissolved it (1424) and summoned a council for 1431 to meet at Basel. In Martin's reign an attempt to prolong the schism was made in Spain by the followers of Antipope Benedict XIII (see Luna, Pedro de), who chose (1425) a successor to him called Clement VIII (otherwise Gil Sánchez Múñoz). Alfonso V of Aragón patronized this antipope out of political motives, but, gaining nothing, he made Clement resign (1429) and recognized Martin. Eugene IV succeeded Martin.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Roman Catholic Popes and Antipopes