A key theme of this speech was the forthcoming general election. With this in mind, Blair attacked the record of the Major government and outlined ten pledges that a Labour government would fulfil in its first term in office. These pledges included increased spending on education, the reduction of youth and long-term unemployment, more spending on patient care in the NHS, and the construction of a new relationship with Europe. Following the Dunblane massacre on 13 March, in which a gunman killed 16 children and their teacher at a primary school, Blair pledged to outlaw the private ownership of handguns.
John XXIII, after being threatened with an investigation of his life, promised to resign if his rivals would do the same. Shortly after, however, he fled from Constance, hoping that this act would deprive the council of its power and lead to its dissolution.
The emperor insisted that the council continue, and it issued the decree Sacrosanctaaffirming that a general council of the church is superior to the pope.
It further decreed that frequent councils are essential for the proper government of the church. Gregory XII agreed to abdicateprovided that he was permitted officially to convoke the council and so assert the legitimacy of his own line of popes, to which the council agreed.
Benedict XIII, who refused to resign, was also deposed. The authenticity of the decree Sacrosancta has been a matter of great dispute among scholars. The council condemned 45 propositions of Wycliffe and 30 of Hus, who was declared an obstinate heretic, delivered to the secular power, and burned at the stake.
Furthermore, the council adopted seven reform decrees, and Martin V concluded concordats on other points, chiefly methods of taxation, with the various nations.
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Council of Constance: Council of Constance, (–18), 16th ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church. Following the election of two rival popes (Gregory XII in Rome and Benedict XIII in Avignon) in and the attempt at the Council of Pisa in to resolve the Great Schism by the election of a new pope, the.