Again France was leading; Phillip the so-called handsome” took the pope to Avignon in France, and the schism between the two popes undercut the pop’s authority most radically. But these princes and kings who slowly became independent and created the national states – the same thing was going on in England and Spain – were at the same time religious lords, and they put themselves also in the place of what the emperor wanted to do: in the place of the religious lords. So we have in England theories about the king of England being Christ for the Church of England, as the pope is the vicar of Cf lrist. Here you see the new forces slowly developing, both against the emperor and against the pope. On this basis another theory arose, especially against the pope. The bishops of these developing national states were not simply subjects of the pope, but they wanted to get the position the bishops had in the period, let us say, of the Council of Nicaea.

They developed the idea called conciliarism (from curia, the papal court): the papal court is the monarchic power over Church and state; conciliarism (i. e. , the council of the bishops, which is practically the majority of the bishops) is the ultimate authority of the Church. And in alliance with the national reaction against state and Church at the same time, this was a very radical movement, and the pope was in great danger for a certain time, but not in the long run because the national separations and the splits of all kinds, the desire of the later Middle Ages to have a unity in spite of all this, gave the pope the power finally to destroy the reform councils in Basle and Constance, where conciliarism triumphed; but the pope took away the triumph from them after, and finally ecclesiasticism and monarchism prevailed in the Roman church, and prevails up to now – even the cardinals have no power whatsoever against the monarchy of the pope.