Avignon Papacy (1309-1378) is also called the Babylonian captivity. It was the period when seven Popes resided in Avignon (modern-day France). This time was a time of political turmoil with the papacy being as much a political office as it was spiritual one.  Clement V was a frenchman and when he was elected Pope in 1307 he refused to move to Rome. Clement V moved his Papal court to Avignon in 1309 where it reamained until Gregory XI returned it to Rome. 

In 1378 Gregory XI died shortly after moving the Papal court back to Rome. A conclave met and elected an Italian pope, Urban VI. Pope Urban alienated French cardinals, who held a second conclave electing one of their own, Robert of Geneva, to succeed Gregory XI; this alternative pope along with his successor are regarded as antipopes by the Roman Catholic Church. The ecumenical Council of Constance resolved the question of Papal succession and declared the French conclave of 1378 to be invalid. A new Pope, Martin V, was elected in 1417. Others succeeded in the line of the Avignon Popes (though not resident at Avignon) the line continued until c. 1437.

The "legitimate" Popes in Roman succession who resided in Avignon were:

  • Pope Clement V: 1305–1314
  • Pope John XXII: 1316–1334
  • Pope Benedict XII: 1334–1342
  • Pope Clement VI: 1342–1352
  • Pope Innocent VI: 1352–1362
  • Pope Urban V: 1362–1370
  • Pope Gregory XI: 1370–1378

The two Avignon-based antipopes were:

  • Clement VII: 1378–1394
  • Benedict XIII: 1394–1423 (expelled from Avignon in 1403)

Benedict XIII was succeeded by three antipopes, who had little or no public following, and were not resident at Avignon:

  • Clement VIII: 1423–1429 (recognized in the Kingdom of Aragon; abdicated)
  • Benedict XIV (Bernard Garnier): 1424-1429 or 1430
  • Benedict XIV (Jean Carrier): 1430?-1437

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avignon_Papacy  2/1/11