Papal conclave, 1334

Papal conclave

Coat of arms during the vacancy of the Holy See
Dates and location
Palais des Papes, Avignon
Candidates Jean-Raymond de Comminges
Ballots ?
Elected Pope
Jacques Fournier
(Name taken: Benedict XII)

The papal conclave, 1334 (13 December to 20 December) elected Jacques Fournier as Pope Benedict XII to succeed Pope John XXII.


Twenty-four cardinals attended the Conclave of December, 1334.[1] Their names are listed by Konrad Eubel in Hierarchia catholica.[2]


An early favorite among the papabile was Cardinal Jean-Raymond de Comminges, Bishop of Porto e Santa Rufina, son of Count Bernard VI of Comminges and Laura de Montfort. The French cardinals, led by Elie de Talleyrand-Périgord, naturally did not want to leave their native France for the plague-infested and unfriendly city of Rome. And since the Orsini faction did want to return to Rome, the Colonna faction chose the exact opposite, and joined the French.[3] A sufficient number of cardinals agreed to support him (2/3, or a minimum of 16 in number), and thus he could have been elected Pope, had he been willing to swear to a condition not to return the papacy to Rome.[4] Understandably, he refused his consent to the election on those terms.[5]


  1. Giovanni Villani Cronica Book XI, chapter xxi (p. 239 Dragomanni). Ptolemy of Lucca in Theiner, under the year 1334, § 46, p. 20. See Baluze I, 825.
  2. Eubel, p. 17, n. 7.
  3. Giovanni Villani, Cronaca, Book XI, chapter xx (Vol. III, p. 239 Dragomanni)
  4. Such an arrangement was contrary to Canon Law. The First Ecumenical Council of Lyon had decreed in 1245 that "In elections, postulations, and scrutinies, which come under the law of electing, conditional, alternative and uncertain votes are completely disapproved..." Ioannes Dominicus Mansi, Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio Tomus 23 (Venice 1779), p. 610.
  5. Giovanni Villani, p. 239. Trollope, 1876, p. 95, repeating Villani. Jacob, pp. 20-24.


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