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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

1691-1724 A.D.

Innocent XII : 1691-1700 A.D.

242. Born in Naples. Elected July 15, 1691 - died September 27,1700.

He forced priests to wear a cassock and to do spiritual exercises everyday.

Louis XIV renounced the "Gallican propositions" and the Pope recognised the Bishops of the King. He called the 16th Jubilee (1700).

He supported the missions to Asia, America and Africa.

Thanks to the success recorded by Prince Eugene of Savoy in Zentha against Mustafa, Innocent XII could witness the restoration of peace between Austria and Turkey, which marked the fall of the Turks.

In Ripa Grande, he set up the St. Michael Nursery Home for the vocational training of youths;today, this building is the site of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage.

He was buried in a very unpretentious sarcophagus, ordered by himself. His pontificate lasted about 9 years and 3 months.


Clement XI
:
1700-1721 A.D.

243. Born in Urbino. Elected December 8, 1700 - died March 19, 1721.

After having heard the news about his election, he accepted after 7 days to be absolutely certain of his eligibility.

Learned and keen to the arts, he enriched the Vatican Library with ancient eastern codes.

He concluded the 16th Jubilee Year (1700).

He founded the Church in the Philippine Islands and sent missionaries to China, Persia and India.

He was the last Pope to have a beard or goatee.

In the Bull "unigenitus" (1713) he reaffirmed that the Jansenists were to be considered heretics.

He was the first one to order that no work of art was to be taken away from Rome, therefore establishing the first legislation to protect its artistic heritage.

He created an Academy of painting and sculpture at the Campidoglio.

He was keen about archaeology, which began to have its first scientific followers in this period.

He was buried under the pavement of the Choir Section in St. Peter's. His pontificate was one of the longest lasting 21 years and 3 months.


Innocent XIII :
1721-1724 A.D.

244. Born in Rome. Elected May 18, 1721 - died March 7, 1724.

He reconfirmed the Bull "Unigenitus" to the French clergy who had not accepted it.

He firmly took action in the Spanish Church, which wanted to ignore the authority of Rome, even if not officially.

He started the definitive restoration of San Giovanni in Laterano's facade.

He sent 100,000 scudos to the Knights of Malta to support their fight against Islam.

Like his predecessor Clement XI, he legalised the lotto game in the State.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate lasted about 2 years and 10 months.

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