AbstractReform or Papal Election – the Council and its Ordeal: An Inner-Conciliar Dispute between ‘Majority’ and ‘Minority’ at the Council of Constance.The broad consensus that prevailed among the Fathers at the beginning of the Council of Constance gave way to a climate of tension, at the latest after the resurgence of the English-French conflict in mid-1415, which made the inner tensions among the participants of the Council more and more apparent. The front that arose between ‘majority’ and ‘minority’ only followed ‘national’ borders to a limited extent, and for a long time it had not been firmly established, hence shifts and overlaps were still possible. The arrival of the Spaniards – first the Aragonese, later the Castilians – and the outbreak of the conflict of nations can be interpreted as key events in this development, which led to the formation of the two blocs. The national tensions between the English and the French were overlaid by the question of how the Council should proceed further: to proceed to the election of a new Pope first or to prioritize the reform of the church. For a long time both sides were in balance, but after the Castilians’ accession to the Council in the summer of 1417, the situation changed rapidly. The predominance of a coalition of Cardinals, Italica, Gallicana and the Castilians grew, while the group assembled around Sigmund, Germanica, Anglicana and the Aragonese increasingly eroded and became a ‘minority’. A finally negotiated compromise, in which both sides were able to save face, rendered a successful conclusion of the council possible.
Annuarium Historiae Conciliorum – Brill
Published: Aug 17, 2020