This phrase is used to describe three events: 1) the captivity of ancient Israel and exile to Babylon as related in the Old Testament; 2) the years when the popeThe Roman Catholic bishop of Rome who is regarded as the successor of the chief apostle, Peter, and as the Vicar of Christ is the holder of the Aposto... more resided in Avignonthe city in France where the pope resided from 1309 to 1377, which timeframe is referred to as the Babylonian Captivity of the papacy. more, France instead of Rome (1309-1376; and 3) used by LutherMartin Luther (A.D. 1483–1546) German theologian, pastor, professor at the University of Wittenberg, ex-monk, and founding figure of Protestantism. ... more to to his assertion that the Churcha term translated from the Greek word “Ecclesia” which means an assembly called together and is sometime translated as a congregation. A church is... more was in spiritual captivity under the papacyThe office of pope in the Roman Catholic Church which is the highest office in its hierarchical structure. more.