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Encyclopedia > Clement XI

Clement XI, né Giovanni Francesco Albani (July 23, 1649 - March 19, 1721) was pope from 1700 to 1721.

Born Giovanni Francesco Albani, he was elevated to the pontificate in November 1700, and died in March 1721. The most memorable event of his administration was the publication in 1713 of the bull Unigenitus, which so greatly disturbed the peace of the church in France, sometimes called the Gallican church. In this famous document 101 propositions from the works of Quesnel were condemned as heretical, and as identical with propositions already condemned in the writings of Jansen. The resistance of many French ecclesiastics and the refusal of the French parlements to register the bull led to controversies extending through the greater part of the 18th century. Because the local governments did not officially receive the bull, it was not, technically, in force in those areas - an example of the interference of states in religious affairs common before the 20th century.

Another important decision of this Pope was in regard to the Chinese Rites controversy: the Jesuit missionaries were forbidden to take part in honors paid to Confucius or the ancestors of the emperors of China, which Clement identified as idolatrous, and to accommodate Christian language to pagan ideas under plea of conciliating the heathen.

The political troubles of the time greatly embarrassed Clement's relations with the leading Catholic powers, and the moral prestige of the Holy See suffered much from his compulsory recognition of the Archduke Charles of Austria as king of Spain. His private character was irreproachable; he was also an accomplished scholar, and a patron of letters and science.

His family library was sold in the 19th century, and part of it was purchased by the Catholic University of America in 1928. This collection contains a large section concerning the Jansenist controversy and the Chinese Rites controversy, as well as canon law, and other related topics.

Initial text from the 9th edition (1876) of an unnamed encyclopedia - please update as needed

Preceded by:
Innocent XII
Succeeded by:
Innocent XIII

Clementine Library at The Catholic University of America (http://libraries.cua.edu/rarecoll/clement.html/)

  Results from FactBites:
Clement XI - LoveToKnow 1911 (327 words)
Clement reaffirmed the infallibility of the pope, in matters of fact (1705), and, in 1713, issued the bull Unigenitus, condemning ioi Jansenistic propositions extracted from the Moral Reflections of Pasquier Quesnel.
Clement also forbade the practice of the Jesuit missionaries in China of "accommodating" their teachings to pagan notions or customs, in order to win converts.
Clement was a polished writer, and a generous patron of art and letters.
Biography – Pope Clement XI – The Papal Library (12312 words)
Clement IX, in a brief of 1669, approved the decree of his predecessor, as was subsequently done by Innocent XI in various briefs, and Innocent XII in a brief of the 2nd of September, 1691.
Clement, by a brief of the 12th of February, 1703, condemned the decision of the Case of Conscience as contrary to the constitutions of Innocent X, received by the assembly the clergy in 1700.
Clement incessantly exhorted the emperor to punish that bravado.
  More results at FactBites »



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