In the 13th century Germany fell into disunion and the French king began to play to role of guardian and rival to the pope.

After Rudolf of Habsburg was elected (1273) Emperor, the policy of Rome began to fluctuate between Germany and France. The struggle between French- and Anti-French forces led to the election of Pope- and Anti-Pope.

This split is called the the Great Schism (1378-1417) and brought to an end the era of papal domination.

Each Pope excommunicated the adherence of his rival, so that by one standard or another all Christendom was damned during this time.

A detailed catholic view about the Great Schism.