As soon as the Popes moved to Avignon, however, they began to lose the respect which they had won during the three preceding centuries. This was due not only to their complete subservience to the King of France, but also to their participation in vast atrocities, such as the Suppression of the Templars. King Philip IV, being in financial difficulties, coveted the lands of this order. It was decided to accuse them, quite groundlessly, of heresy. With the help of the Pope, those who were in France were seized, tortured until they confessed that they had paid homage to Satan and spat upon the crucifix, etc., and then burnt in large numbers, while the King disposed of their property, not without pickings for the Pope. Such deeds began the moral degeneration of the Papacy.
Source: Power, a new social analysis, 1938, by Bertrand Russell
More info.: https://russell-j.com/beginner/POWER04_210.HTM
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