chapter  16
The Great Schism
Pages 17

There was one pope; then another claimed to be pope; then, still another. A rupture, a schism, rent Western Europe as never before. Largely along national lines, Europe was divided into two and eventually three allegiances. Confusion, suspicion, distrust, bitterness, even hatred consumed much of Christian Europe. Indeed, there have been other times in the long history of the papacy when there were rival claimants, but none can be compared to the schism (known to history as the Great Schism) that began in 1378 and lasted for almost four decades. And it cast a long, lingering shadow over the subsequent history of the church.