Pope Clement XIV

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Pope Clement XIV (31 October 1705 – 22 September 1774), born Giovanni Vincenzo Antonio Ganganelli, was Pope from 1769 to 1774. At the time of his election, he was the only Franciscan friar in the College of Cardinals.



Early life

Ganganelli was born in Santarcangelo di Romagna. He received his education from the Jesuits at Rimini and the Piarists of Urbino, and in 1724, at the age of nineteen, entered the Order of Friars Minor Conventual of St. Francis with the Franciscan name of Lorenzo Francesco. In 1741 he was made definitor generalis of the order (Catholic Encyclopedia). Ganganelli became a friend of Pope Benedict XIV (1740–58). In 1758 he was appointed by that Pope to investigate the issue of the traditional blood libel regarding the jews, which he found to be untrue [1]. Pope Clement XIII (1758–69) appointed him Cardinal-Priest of San Lorenzo in Panisperna in 1759, at the insistence of Lorenzo Ricci, the General of the Jesuits.

Ganganelli was elected Pope Clement XIV on 19 May 1769 and was installed on 4 June 1769, after a conclave that had been sitting since 15 February 1769, heavily influenced by the political manoeuvres of the ambassadors of Catholic sovereigns who were opposed to the Jesuits. Some of the pressure was subtle: for an unprecedented impromptu visit to the conclave by Emperor Joseph II (1765–90) and his brother Leopold, Grand Duke of Tuscany, officially incognito, the seals were broken, the Austrians inspected the proceedings with great interest and brought with them a festive banquet (Pirie 1965 p 269). During the previous pontificate the Jesuits had been expelled from Portugal and from all the Bourbon courts: France, Spain, Naples, and Parma; now the general suppression of the order was urged by the faction called the "court cardinals", who were opposed by the diminished pro-Jesuit faction, the Zelanti ("zealous"), who were generally opposed to the encroaching secularism of the Enlightenment.

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