The Precedent of Papal Resignation Set by Pope Celestine V

TLDR Pope Celestine V's resignation in the 13th century set a precedent for future popes to resign, a move that was later followed by Pope Benedict XVI. His short papacy and the creation of a papal decree allowing for resignations sparked debates about the heroic or cowardly nature of his decision.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Pope Benedict XVI stunned the world by announcing his retirement, a move that most people weren't even aware a pope could do, but it was a precedent set over 700 years earlier by Pope Celestine V.
02:21 Pope Celestine V's story begins in the late 13th century when the church was a powerful political entity and papal elections were highly contentious, leading to a long and arduous process that resulted in the implementation of reforms by Pope Gregory X to prevent such delays in the future.
03:42 In the 23 years after the election of Gregory X, there were multiple short-reigning popes and another contentious papal election occurred in 1294, with the primary divisions between the Colonna and Orsini families, resulting in two years of deadlock and anarchy in Rome.
05:02 Pietro de Moroni was nominated to become pope at the age of 84, despite not being supported by any factions, in order to end the deadlock in the papal election and appease the Cardinals.
06:17 Celestine V, who reluctantly became pope after being convinced by an entourage including the King of Naples and several Cardinals, spent his entire papacy in Naples under the control of King Charles II and never made it to Rome, appointing twelve Cardinals and causing a shift in power for future papal elections.
07:38 Celestine V consulted with Cardinal Gaetani about resigning and, with Gaetani's suggestion, created a papal decree allowing for papal resignations before he resigned himself, leading to Gaetani being elected as the next pope and Celestine being thrown in jail to prevent any issues of there being a living anti-pope.
08:55 Celestine V's resignation as Pope was debated as either heroic or cowardly, and a passage in Dante's Inferno may have been about him, with interest in Celestine V resurging after Pope Benedict XVI's resignation.
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