Pope Clement XIV

Pope Clement XIV (Latin: Clemens XIV; 31 October 1705 – 22 September 1774), born Giovanni Vincenzo Antonio Ganganelli, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 19 May 1769 to his death in 1774. At the time of his election, he was the only Franciscan friar in the College of Cardinals. To date, he is the last pope to take the pontifical name of "Clement" upon his election.

He is best known for his suppression of the Society of Jesus.


Clement XIV
Bishop of Rome
Clement XIV
Papacy began19 May 1769
Papacy ended22 September 1774
PredecessorClement XIII
SuccessorPius VI
Ordinationc. 1731
Consecration28 May 1769
by Federico Marcello Lante Montefeltro Della Rovere
Created cardinal24 September 1759
by Pope Clement XIII
Personal details
Birth nameGiovanni Vincenzo Antonio Ganganelli
Born31 October 1705
Santarcangelo di Romagna, Romagna, Papal States
Died22 September 1774 (aged 68)
Rome, Papal States
BuriedBasilica of Santi Apostoli, Rome
Previous post
Coat of armsClement XIV's coat of arms
Other popes named Clement
Pope Clement XIV by Christopher Hewetson 1772
Pope Clement XIV by Christopher Hewetson (1772).


Early life

Ganganelli was born in Santarcangelo di Romagna in 1705[1] as the second child of Lorenzo Ganganelli and Angela Serafina Maria Mazza. He received the sacrament of baptism on 2 November 1705.

He initially studied at Verucchio but later received his education from the Society of Jesus at Rimini from 1717. He also studied with the Piarists of Urbino. Ganganelli entered the Order of Friars Minor Conventual on 15 May 1723 in Forlì and he changed his name to "Lorenzo Francesco". He did his novitiate in Urbino where his cousin Vincenzo was a friar. He was professed as a full member of that order on 18 May 1724. He was sent to the convents of Pesaro, Fano and Recanati from 1724 to 1728 where he did his theological studies. He continued his studies in Rome under Antonio Lucci and obtained his doctorate in theology in 1731.[2]

Priesthood and cardinalate

He was ordained around this time after he received his doctorate and he taught philosophy and theology for almost a decade in Ascoli, Bologna and Milan. He later returned to Rome as the regent of the college that he studied in and was later elected as the Definitor General of the order in 1741.[1] In the general chapters of his order in 1753 and 1756, he declined the generalship of his order and some rumored it was due to his desire of a higher office.[2]

Ganganelli became a friend of Pope Benedict XIV, who in 1758 appointed him to investigate the issue of the traditional blood libel regarding the Jews, which Ganganelli found to be untrue.[3]

Cardinale Giovanni Vincenzo Ganganelli
Cardinal Ganganelli.

Pope Clement XIII elevated Ganganelli to the cardinalate on 24 September 1759 and appointed him as the Cardinal-Priest of San Lorenzo in Panisperna. His elevation came at the insistence of Lorenzo Ricci, who was the Superior-General of the Society of Jesus.

Ganganelli opted to become the Cardinal-Priest of Ss. XII Apostoli in 1762. In 1768 he was named the "ponens" of the cause of beatification of Juan de Palafox y Mendoza.[2]

Election to the papacy


The papal conclave in 1769 was almost completely dominated by the problem of the Society of Jesus. During the previous pontificate, the Jesuits had been expelled from Portugal and from all the courts of the House of Bourbon, which included France, Spain, Naples, and Parma. In January, 1769, these powers made a formal demand for the dissolution of the Society. Clement XIII had planned a consistory to discuss the matter, but died on February 2, the night before it was to be held. [4]

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.[1] Much of the early activity was pro forma as the members waited for the arrival of those cardinals who had indicated that they would attend. The conclave had been sitting since 15 February 1769, heavily influenced by the political maneuvers of the ambassadors of Catholic sovereigns who were opposed to the Jesuits.

Some of the pressure was subtle. On March 15, Emperor Joseph II (1765–90) visited Rome to join his brother Leopold, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, who had arrived on March 6. The next day, after touring St. Peter's Basilica, they took advantage of the conclave doors being opened to admit Cardinal Girolamo Spinola to enter as well. They were shown, upon the Emperor's request, the ballots, the chalice into which they would be placed, and where they would later be burned. That evening Gaetano Duca Cesarini hosted a party. It was the middle of Passion Week.[4]

King Louis XV of France's (1715–74) minister, the duc de Choiseul, had former experience of Rome as the French ambassador and was Europe's most skilled diplomat. "When one has a favour to ask of a Pope", he wrote, "and one is determined to obtain it, one must ask for two". Choiseul's suggestion was advanced to the other ambassadors and it was that they should press, in addition to the Jesuit issue, territorial claims upon the Patrimony of Saint Peter, including the return of Avignon and the Comtat Venaissin to France, the duchies of Benevento and Pontecorvo to Spain, an extension of territory adjoining the Papal States to Naples, and an immediate and final settlement of the vexed question of Parma and Piacenza that had occasioned a diplomatic rift between Austria and Pope Clement XIII.


By May 18, the court coalition appeared to be unravelling as the respective representatives began to negotiate separately with different cardinals. The French ambassador had earlier suggested that any acceptable candidate be required to put in writing that he would abolish the Jesuits. The idea was largely dismissed as a violation of canon law. Spain still insisted that a firm commitment should be given, though not necessarily in writing. However, such concessions could be immediately nullified by the pope upon election. On 19 May 1769 , Cardinal Ganganelli was elected as a compromise candidate largely due to support of the Bourbon courts, which had expected that he would suppress the Society of Jesus. Ganganelli, who had been educated by Jesuits, gave no commitment, but indicated that he thought the dissolution was possible.[5] He took the pontifical name of "Clement XIV". Ganganelli first received episcopal consecration in the Vatican on 28 May 1769 by Cardinal Federico Marcello Lante and was crowned as pope on 4 June 1769 by the cardinal protodeacon Alessandro Albani.


Papal styles of
Pope Clement XIV
C o a Clementem XIV
Reference styleSua Santità
Spoken styleSantissimo Padre
Religious styleHoly Father
Posthumous styleNone

Clement XIV's policies were calculated from the outset to smooth the breaches with the Catholic Crowns that had developed during the previous pontificate. The dispute between the temporal and the spiritual Catholic authorities was perceived as a threat by Church authority, and Clement XIV worked towards reconciliation among the European sovereigns. The arguing and fighting among the monarchs seemed poised to lead Europe towards heavy international competition.

By yielding the Papal claims to Parma, Clement XIV obtained the restitution of Avignon and Benevento and in general he succeeded in placing the relations of the spiritual and the temporal authorities on a friendlier footing. The pontiff went on to suppress the Jesuits, writing the decree to this effect in November 1772 and signing it on 21 July 1773. This measure, to late 19th-century Catholics, had covered Clement XIV's memory with infamy in his church, and was also quite controversial, with the Catholic Encyclopedia supporting Clement XIV's suppression of the Jesuits as "abundantly justified".

His work was hardly accomplished before Clement XIV, whose usual constitution was quite vigorous, fell into a languishing sickness, generally attributed to poison. No conclusive evidence of poisoning was ever produced. The claims that the Pope was poisoned were denied by those closest to him, and as the Annual Register for 1774 stated, he was over 70 and had been in ill health for some time.

Suppression of the Jesuits

The Jesuits had been expelled from Brazil (1754), Portugal (1759), France (1764), Spain and its colonies (1767), and Parma (1768). Though he had to face strong pressure on the part of the ambassadors of the Bourbon courts, Clement XIII always refused to yield to their demands to have the Society of Jesus suppressed. His successor Clement XIV tried to placate their enemies by treating the Jesuits harshly: he refused to meet the Superior General, Lorenzo Ricci, ordered them not to receive novices, etc.

The pressure kept building up to the point that Catholic countries were threatening to break away from the Church. Clement XIV ultimately yielded "in the name of peace of the Church and to avoid a secession in Europe" and suppressed the Society of Jesus by the brief Dominus ac Redemptor of the 21 July 1773.[6] However, in non-Catholic nations, particularly in Prussia and Russia, where papal authority was not recognized, the order was ignored. It was a result of a series of political moves rather than a theological controversy.[7]

Clement XIV and Mozart

Tomb of Pope Clement XIV at Santi Apostoli in Rome.

Pope Clement XIV and the customs of the Catholic Church in Rome are described in letters of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and of his father Leopold Mozart, written from Rome in April and May 1770 during their tour of Italy. Leopold found the upper clergy offensively haughty, but was received, with his son, by the pope, where Wolfgang demonstrated an amazing feat of musical memory. The papal chapel was famous for performing a Miserere mei, Deus by the 17th-century composer Gregorio Allegri, whose music was not to be copied outside of the chapel on pain of excommunication. The 14-year-old Wolfgang was able to transcribe the composition in its entirety after a single hearing. Clement made young Mozart a knight of the Order of the Golden Spur.[8]


Clement XIV elevated sixteen new cardinals into the cardinalate in twelve consistories including Giovanni Angelo Braschi, who would become his immediate successor.

The pope held no canonizations in his pontificate but he beatified a number of individuals.

Death and burial

The last months of his life were embittered by his failures and he seemed always to be in sorrow because of this. On 10 September 1774, he was bedridden and received Extreme Unction on 21 September 1774. It is said that St. Alphonsus Liguori assisted Clement XIV in his last hours by the gift of Bilocation.

Clement XIV died on 22 September 1774, execrated by the Ultramontane party but widely mourned by his subjects for his popular administration of the Papal States. When his body was opened for the autopsy, the doctors ascribed his death to scorbutic and hemorrhoidal dispositions of long standing that were aggravated by excessive labour and the habit of provoking artificial perspiration even in the greatest heat. His Neoclassical style tomb was designed and sculpted by Antonio Canova, and it is found in the church of Santi Apostoli in Rome. To this day, he is best remembered for his suppression of the Jesuits.

The 1876 Encyclopædia Britannica says that:

[N]o Pope has better merited the title of a virtuous man, or has given a more perfect example of integrity, unselfishness, and aversion to nepotism. Notwithstanding his monastic education, he proved himself a statesman, a scholar, an amateur of physical science, and an accomplished man of the world. As Pope Leo X (1513–21) indicates the manner in which the Papacy might have been reconciled with the Renaissance had the Reformation never taken place, so Ganganelli exemplifies the type of Pope which the modern world might have learned to accept if the movement towards free thought could, as Voltaire wished, have been confined to the aristocracy of intellect. In both cases the requisite condition was unattainable; neither in the 16th nor in the 18th century has it been practicable to set bounds to the spirit of inquiry otherwise than by fire and sword, and Ganganelli's successors have been driven into assuming a position analogous to that of Popes Paul IV (1555–59) and Pius V (1566–72) in the age of the Reformation. The estrangement between the secular and the spiritual authority which Ganganelli strove to avert is now irreparable, and his pontificate remains an exceptional episode in the general history of the Papacy, and a proof how little the logical sequence of events can be modified by the virtues and abilities of an individual.

Jacques Cretineau-Joly, however, wrote a critical history of the Pope's administration.

See also


  1. ^ a b c Wilhelm, Joseph. "Pope Clement XIV." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 5 Jan. 2015
  2. ^ a b c "Ganganelli, O.F.M. Conv., Lorenzo (1705-1774)". Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  3. ^ Ganganelli, Lorenzo. "The Ritual Murder Libel and the Jew", (Cecil Roth ed.), The Woburn Press, 1934
  4. ^ a b Adams, John Paul. "Sede Vacante 1769", California State University Northridge, June 4, 2015
  5. ^ "19 May 1769 - Ganganelli elected Pope Clement XIV, suppressor of the Jesuits", Jesuit Restoration 1814, May 19, 2015
  6. ^ "The Suppression of the Jesuits by Pope Clement XIV," The Catholic American Quarterly Review, Vol. XIII, 1888.
  7. ^ Roehner, Bertrand M. (1997). "Jesuits and the State: A Comparative Study of their Expulsions (1590–1990)". Religion. 27 (2): 165–182. doi:10.1006/reli.1996.0048.
  8. ^ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Mozart's Letters, Mozart's Life: Selected Letters, transl. Robert Spaethling, (W. W. Norton & Company Inc., 2000), 17.


External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Clement XIII
19 May 1769 – 22 September 1774
Succeeded by
Pius VI
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Cardinals created by Clement XIV

Pope Clement XIV (r. 1769–1774) created 16 cardinals in twelve consistories.

Casciotta d'Urbino

Casciotta d'Urbino or Casciotta di Urbino is a type of Caciotta cheese, made in the Province of Pesaro and Urbino in the Marche region, central Italy.

This cheese is generally made of between 70-80% sheep milk with 20-30% cows milk.

First made in ancient times, this cheese, it is said was a favourite of Michelangelo and Pope Clement XIV.

Local legend has it that the name came about from a mis-pronunciation of 'Caciotta' by a local civil servant, some say it is derived from the local dialect.

Caterina Moriggi

Blessed Caterina Moriggi (1437 - 6 April 1478) was an Italian Roman Catholic who became a professed religious and adhered to the teachings and traditions of Saint Augustine of Hippo. She lived in contemplation in the Italian mountains before establishing a religious group - dubbed Ordine di Sant'Ambrogio ad Nemus - in order to follow the Augustinian principles. Moriggi became known as "Catherine of Pallanza" when she became a religious and was noted for her austere model of living and for her deep personal holiness.Moriggi was beatified on 16 September 1769 after Pope Clement XIV recognized her long-standing cult in the northern Italian cities. Moriggi is also commemorated in the Ambrosian Rite that is celebrated in north Italian dioceses.

Cathedral of Miranda do Douro

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Work on the cathedral began on 24 May 1552. Confirmation of its completion was sent to Pope Paul V in 1609. In 1770 the see was moved to Braganza by Pope Clement XIV and the Cathedral of Miranda do Douro became the co-cathedral.Since 16 June 1910, the cathedral is protected as one of the National monuments of Portugal.

Dominus ac Redemptor

Dominus ac Redemptor is the papal brief promulgated on 21 July 1773 by which Pope Clement XIV suppressed the Society of Jesus.

Francis Caracciolo

Francis Caracciolo (October 13, 1563 – June 4, 1608), born Ascanio Pisquizio, was an Italian Catholic priest who co-founded the Congregation of the Clerics Regular Minor with John Augustine Adorno. He decided to adopt a religious life at the age of 22.

Giuliana Puricelli

Blessed Giuliana Puricelli (1427 - 15 August 1501) was an Italian Roman Catholic professed religious from the Order of Saint Augustine. Puricelli left her home after her father wanted to have her married and so fled to a hermitage where she placed herself under the spiritual direction of Blessed Caterina Moriggi. The two became close friends and their hermitage grew over the following decades. Her reputation was noted throughout the area for her contemplation and penitential practices as well as for her desire to live a cloistered life meditating on God.The devotion to Puricelli led to her beatification on 16 September 1769 after Pope Clement XIV confirmed her local cultus (or longstanding veneration).

John dal Bastone

Blessed John dal Bastone or Bl. John of the Staff, born Giovanni Bonello Botegoni on 24 March 1200 in Paterno, Fabriano, Italy, died 24 March 1290 in Fabriano, is a Blessed of the Roman Catholic Church.

Lebanese Maronite Order

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Its name Baladites comes from the Arabic baladiyah (Arabic: الرهبنة البلدية‎), country monks. Its patron is Saint Anthony the Great. It has split into 2 more congregations.

The second order is the Aleppians (or halabiyyah), monks of Aleppo, a city in present Syria. This order resulted from a split with the Baladites. Pope Clement XIV sanctioned this separation in 1770.

The third Lebanese monastic order is that of Saint Isaiah, known as the Lebanese Antonin Order founded on August 15, 1700, by the Patriarch Gabriel Al Blouzani from Blaouza (1704–1705).

The monks and nuns of the Order use the post-nominal initials of O.L.M., from the French version of the name, Ordre Libanais Maronite.

Lucas Ramírez Galán

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Marco Molin

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He was named Bishop of Bergamo on 13 September 1773 by Pope Clement XIV, and was consecrated in Rome on 19 September 1773 by Cardinal Carlo Rezzonico.

He died in Bergamo on 2 March 1777.

Mariamite Maronite Order

The Mariamite Maronite Order (known also as Aleppians or Halabites), is a monastic order in the Levantine Catholic Maronite Church, which from the beginning has been specifically a monastic Church. The order was founded in 1694 in the Monastery of Mart Moura, Ehden, Lebanon, by three Maronite young men from Aleppo, Syria, under the patronage of Patriarch Estephan Douaihy (1670–1704).

Its name comes from the Arabic Halabiyyah (Arabic: الرهبنة الحلبية‎), city of Aleppo monks. It is one of the three Lebanese congregations founded by Saint Anthony the Great. The name is in reference to the origin of the founders and first members of the order. On April 9, 1969, the name of the order was changed to the Mariamite Maronite Order, Ordo Maronita Mariamita and in its full Latin form: Ordo Maronita Beatae Mariae Virginis.

The second order is the Baladites (or Baladiyyah), country monks, the antonym of Halabiyyah. This order resulted from a split with the Aleppians. Pope Clement XIV sanctioned this separation in 1770.

The third Lebanese monastic order is the Antonin Maronite Order founded on August 15, 1700, by the Patriarch Gabriel of Blaouza (1704–1705).

Martyrs of Otranto

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P. Jean-Baptiste Bradel

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Pope Benedict XIV.

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Madame Louise, of France.

Louis François Gabriel de la Motte, Bishop of Amiens.

General Paoli.

Prosper Jean de Crébillon.

Jean Bart, Admiral.

The Chevalier d'Eon.

An allegorical subject; inscribed Trinus et unus.

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The Cardinal Priest of the Titulus XII Apostolorum is Angelo Scola. Among the previous Cardinal Priests are Pope Clement XIV, whose tomb by Canova is in the basilica, and Henry Benedict Stuart.

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The icon is venerated equally by Orthodox and Catholics.

The origin of the icon is not clear. It is painted in old Byzantine manner, hence it could be made in either Byzantium or Bulgaria.

It has been in the Pochayiv Lavra (monastery), in Ternopil oblast, Ukraine, since 1597, when it was given by a wealthy widow Anna or Hanna Hoyska, who owned the town of Pochayiv in second half of the 16th century. Anna had received the sacred image from the Greek metropolitan Neophyte.In 1773, Pope Clement XIV, meeting the request of the count Nicolas Potocki sent two small golden crowns for the icon - one for the Holy Virgin, the other for Jesus. Thus the icon was acknowledged as wonder-making.

According to some sources, the Virgin Mary depicted on the icon helped to heal Philip, the brother of Hanna Hoyska, from blindness. Later, the Theotokos of Pochayiv acquired a reputation as a miracle-working icon. The day of the Theotokos of Pochayiv icon is marked by Orthodox communities on 5 August.

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