Pope Pius VIII

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Pope Pius VIII (20 November 1761 – 30 November 1830), born Francesco Saverio Castiglioni was Pope in 1829 and 1830.



He was born in Cingoli, Marche, the son of Count Ottavio Castiglioni and his wife Sanzia Ghislieri. He studied Canon law and, in 1800 became bishop of Montalto. After he refused to swear allegiance to Napoleon I of France (1804–14, 1815) he was taken to France, but following the defeat of France, he was, in 1816, made a Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria in Traspontina. He held various high offices thereafter, including that of Major Penitentiary. He soon became cardinal bishop of the suburbicarian see of Frascati.

"As a Cardinal, Castiglione had continued to live modestly, made no enemies, and although his own private life had always been irreproachable, he had shown no signs of censoriousness where others were concerned. He suffered from a very painful and distressing complaint, having perpetually suppurating sores on his neck and body, and was far too ill and feeble to do more than sign the documents presented to him by Cardinal Giuseppe Albani, who ruled the Papal States as autocratically as though he had himself worn the triple crown."[1]

As pope

After the death of Pope Leo XII (1823–29), Castiglioni was elected Pope in the papal conclave.

As Pope Pius VIII, he initiated some reforms in the States of the Church. On 24 May 1829 he issued an encyclical, Traditi humilitati. Perhaps indicating that the current debate on religious pluralism was also occurring in his own time he condemned the "foul contrivance of the sophists of this age" that would place Catholicism on par with any other religion.

Regarding Bible translations, he wrote in that encyclical:

On 25 March 1830, in the brief Litteris altero, he condemned masonic secret societies and modernist biblical translations.

During his brief pontificate, the Catholic Emancipation occurred in the United Kingdom, and the July Revolution (1830) in France – after which he recognised Louis Philippe (1830–48) as the de facto king of France after the toppling of Charles X.

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