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Simon of Cramaud

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Cardinal, b. near Rochechouart in the Diocese of Limoges before 1360; d. at Poitiers 14 Dec., 1422. He studied law at Orléans and later enjoyed an excellent reputation as a canonist. In 1382 he became Bishop of Agen, was transferred to Béaeziers in 1383, and to Poitiers in 1385. He never occupied the See of Sens to which he was named in 1390; but the following year he became titular Patriarch of Alexandria and Administrator of the Diocese of Avignon. His appointment to the archiepiscopal See of Reims (1409) was followed by his elevation to the cardinalate in 1413, and from that date until his death he was Administrator of the Diocese of Poitiers. A very prominent figure in the Great Schism , he resolutely championed the cause of Clement VII, but was a decided opponent of his successor, Benedict XIII. In diplomatic missions and at national synods he agitated in favour of the withdrawal from the latter's obedience. As a president of the Council of Pisa in 1409 he proclaimed the deposition of both Gregory XII and Benedict XIII, and secured the election of Alexander V. At this Council of Constance an extraordinary form of papal election, which granted a vote to certain national delegates among with the cardinals, was carried largely through his efforts. In his writings, still widely scattered and to a great extent unedited, he so exaggerates the authority of the civil power to the detriment of the spiritual rights of the Apostolic See that some of his views are really schismatical. He has been rightly called a precursor of both theological and political Gallicanism.

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