Concilium zu Constanz., 15th century, Augsburg, Bavaria
The Council of Constance was an ecumenical council held in the early 15th century in the city of Constance, Germany. It is notable for several reasons. First, it was one of the largest councils in the history of the Church, with over 500 bishops and other church leaders in attendance. Second, it was held during a time of great conflict and upheaval within the Church, as there were several rival popes claiming authority at the time. Third, the council made several important decisions that had long-lasting consequences for the Church and for European politics.
One of the main goals of the Council of Constance was to resolve the Western Schism, a crisis in which there were three rival popes claiming authority over the Church. The council deposed all three of these popes and elected a new pope, Martin V, in an effort to bring unity to the Church. The council also made several important decisions on Church doctrine and practice, including the decree "Frequens," which called for the holding of ecumenical councils every ten years to address issues facing the Church.
In addition to its religious significance, the Council of Constance is also notable for its political importance. The council was called by the Holy Roman Emperor, Sigismund, who hoped that it would help to bring peace and stability to Europe. The council was successful in achieving this goal to some extent, as it helped to resolve the Western Schism and prevent further conflict within the Church. However, it also had wider political ramifications, as it established the precedent of the Holy Roman Emperor having the power to call ecumenical councils and shape Church policy.
The Council of Constance is the 15th century ecumenical council recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, held from 1414 to 1418. The council ended the Western Schism, by deposing or accepting the resignation of the remaining papal claimants and electing Pope Martin V. The Council also condemned Jan Hus as a heretic and facilitated his execution by the civil authority. It also ruled on issues of national sovereignty, the rights of pagans, and just war in response to a conflict between the Kingdom of Poland and the Order of the Teutonic Knights. The Council is important for its relationship to ecclesial Conciliarism and Papal supremacy. Sigismund arrived on Christmas Eve 1414 and exercised a profound and continuous influence on the course of the council in his capacity of imperial protector of the Church. An innovation at the Council was that instead of voting as individuals, the bishops voted in national blocks. The vote by nations was in great measure the work of the English, German, and French members. The legality of this measure, in imitation of the "nations" of the universities, was more than questionable, but during February 1415, it carried and thenceforth was accepted in practice, though never authorized by any formal decree of the council. The four "nations" consisted of England, France, Italy, and Germany, with Poles, Hungarians, Danes, and Scandinavians counted with the Germans. While the Italian representatives made up half of those in attendance, they were equal in influence to the English, who sent twenty deputies and three bishops.
The Council of Constance was a 15th-century ecumenical council recognized by the Catholic Church, held from 1414 to 1418 in the Bishopric of Constance in present-day Germany. The council ended the Western Schism by deposing or accepting the resignation of the remaining papal claimants and by electing Pope Martin V. The council also condemned Jan Hus as a heretic and facilitated his execution by the civil authority, and ruled on issues of national sovereignty, the rights of pagans and just war, in response to a conflict between the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Kingdom of Poland and the Order of the Teutonic Knights. The council is also important for its relationship to ecclesial conciliarism and Papal supremacy.