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Anti-Pope Felix V (Amadeus of Savoy)
Regnal name of Amadeus of Savoy, Antipope (1440-1449).
Born 4 December, 1383, died at Ripaille, 7 January, 1451. The schismatic Council of Basle, having declared the rightful pope, Eugene IV, deposed, proceeded immediately with the election of an antipope. Wishing to secure additional influence and increased financial support, they turned their attention towards the rich and powerful prince, Duke Amadeus VIII of Savoy. Amadeus had exercised over his dependencies a mild and equitable sway, and had evinced a great zeal for the interests of the Church, especially in connection with the Western Schism regarding the papal succession, brought to a close by the Council of Constance. Emperor Sigismund had shown his appreciation of this ruler's services by raising, in 1416, the former counts of Savoy to the status of a duchy, and in 1422 conferred on Arnadeus the county of Geneva. On the death of his wife, Maria of Burgundy, Duke Amadeus resolved to lead henceforth a life of contemplation, without however entirely resigning the government of his territories. He appointed his son Ludwig regent of the duchy, and retired to Ripaille on the Lake of Geneva, where in company with five knights whom he had formed into an Order of St. Maurice, he led a semi-monastic life in accordance with a rule drawn up by himself.
Amadeus had been in close relations with the schismatic council of Basle; and was elected pope, 30 October, 1439, by the electoral college of that council, including one cardinal (d'Allamand of Aries), eleven bishops, seven abbots, five theologians, and nine canonists. After long negotiations with a deputation from the council, Amadeus acquiesced in the election, 5 Feb., 1440, completely renouncing at the same time all further participation in the government of his duchy. Ambition and a certain fantastic turn of character induced him to take this step. He took the name of Felix V, and was solemnly consecrated and crowned by the Cardinal d'Allamand, 24 July, 1440. Eugene IV had already excommunicated him, 23 March, at the council of Florence. Until 1442, the famous Aeneas Sylvinus Piccolomini, later Pius II, was the antipope's secretary. This renewal of the schism ruined any success of Basle assembly, just closed at Constance. Subsequently, Amadeus took up his residence in Savoy and Switzerland; his efforts to surround himself with a curia met with little success; many of those whom he named cardinals declined the dignity. He found general recognition only in Savoy and Switzerland, but his claims were also recognized by the Dukes of Austria, Tyrol, and Bayern-München, the Count-Palatine of Simmern, the Teutonic Order, some orders in Germany and some universities hitherto adherents of Basle. He was soon embroiled in a quarrel with the Council of Basle concerning his rights and the distribution of revenues. The rightful pope, Eugene IV, and his successor Nicolas V (1447), who were universally recognized from the first in Spain and Poland, found their claims even more widely admitted in France and Germany. In 1442, Felix left Basle, and on 16 May, 1443, occurred the last session of the Baste assembly. Felix, who had for the sake of its revenue assumed the administration of the Diocese of Geneva, clung for six years more to his usurped dignity but finally submtted (1449) to Nicolas V, received the title of Cardinal of St. Sabina, and was appointed permanent Apostolic vicar-general for all the states of the House of Savoy and for several dioceses (Basle, Strasburg, Chur, etc.). Thus ended the last papal schism.