I’m writing to you this morning from a quick trip to California, which is why The Tuesday Pillar Post might seem a bit later in your inbox today – it is still early on the west coast.
On Sept. 20, 1378, most of the Church’s College of Cardinals met under lock and key outside of Rome, to elect Cardinal Robert of Geneva as the pontiff, Pope Clement VII.
Robert had been an archbishop in France, a pastor in England, and a papal legate — and in 1377, he had led a cadre of papal troops to quelch a rebellion in the city of Cesena, a part of the Papal States.
But there was a problem with Clement VII’s election to the papacy, and the problem was this — just five months before, the same cardinals had elected as pope the Archbishop of Bari, Bartolomeo Prignano, who had taken the name Urban VI.
When September rolled around, and the cardinals elected Clement VII, Pope Urban was still alive.
But the new pontiff had already worn out his welcome — Urban was regarded as…