Pope Innocent IV

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Pope Innocent IV (c. 1195 – December 7, 1254), born Sinibaldo Fieschi, was pope from June 25, 1243 until his death in 1254.[1]


Early life

Born in Genoa (although some sources say Manarola) in an unknown year the boy, Sinibaldo was the son of Ugo Fieschi, Count of Lavagna, and his wife Brumisan di Grillo. The Fieschi were a noble family of Liguria. Sinibaldo received his education at the universities of Parma and Bologna and, for a time, taught canon law at Bologna. He was considered one of the best canonists of his time and was called to serve the Pope in the Roman Curia in the year 1226.

Bishop and Cardinal

Before his elevation to the papacy Sinibaldo was Vice-Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church (1226–27), being created Cardinal Priest of San Lorenzo in Lucina on (September 18, 1227) by Pope Gregory IX, later serving as governor of the March of Ancona (1235 until 1240).

It is widely repeated from the 17th century on that he became bishop of Albenga in 1235, but this information is without foundation[2].

His immediate predecessor was Pope Celestine IV, elected October 25, 1241, whose reign lasted a mere fifteen days. The events of Innocent IV's pontificate are therefore inextricably linked to the policies dominating the reigns of popes Innocent III (1198–1216), Honorius III (1216–27). and Gregory IX (1227–41).

Gregory had been demanding the return of portions of the Papal States taken over by the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II (Hohenstauffen), when he died. The Pope had called a general council so he could depose the emperor with the support of Europe's spiritual leaders but Frederick had seized two cardinals traveling to the council in hopes of intimidating the other council fathers. The two prelates remained incarcerated, missing the conclave which had immediately elected Celestine. The conclave reconvening after his death fell into camps supporting contradictory policies about how to treat with the emperor.

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