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Robert of Geneva

Antipope under the name of Clement VII, b. at Geneva, 1342; d. at Avignon, Sept. 16, 1394

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Robert of Geneva, antipope under the name of Clement VII, b. at Geneva, 1342; d. at Avignon, September 16, 1394. He was the son of Count Amadeus III. Appointed prothonotary Apostolic in 1359, he became Bishop of Therouanne in 1361, Archbishop of Cambrai in 1368, and cardinal May 30, 1371. As papal legate in Upper Italy (1376-78), in order to put down a rebellion in the Pontifical States, he is said to have authorized the massacre of 4000 persons at Cesena, and was consequently called “the executioner of Cesena”. Elected to the papacy at Fondi, September 20, 1378, by the French cardinals in opposition to Urban VI, he was the first antipope of the Great Schism. France, Scotland, Castile, Aragon, Navarre, Portugal, Savoy, some minor German states, Denmark, and Norway acknowledged his authority. Unable to maintain himself in Italy he took up his residence at Avignon, where he became completely dependent on the French Court. He created excellent cardinals, but donated the larger part of the Pontifical States to Louis II of Anjou, resorted to simony and extortion to meet the financial needs of his court, and seems never to have sincerely desired the termination of the Schism.

N. A. WEBER


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