|Pope Innocent X|
AKA Giovanni Battista Pamfili
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Location of death: Rome, Italy
Cause of death: unspecified
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Executive summary: Roman Catholic Pope, 1644-55
Innocent X, given name Giovanni Battista Pamfili, was born in Rome on the 6th of May 1574, served successively as auditor of the Rota, nuncio to Naples, legate apostolic to Spain, was made cardinal in 1627, and succeeded Urban VIII as pope on the 15th of September 1644. Throughout his pontificate Innocent was completely dominated by his sister-in-law, Donna Olimpia Maidalchini, a woman of masculine spirit. There is no reason to credit the scandalous reports of an illicit attachment. Nevertheless, the influence of Donna Olimpia was baneful; and she made herself thoroughly detested for her inordinate ambition and rapacity. Urban VIII had been French in his sympathies; but the papacy now shifted to the side of the Habsburgs, and there remained for nearly fifty years. Evidences of the change were numerous: Innocent promoted pro-Spanish cardinals; attacked the Barberini, protégés of Jules Mazarin, and sequestered their possessions; aided in quieting an insurrection in Naples, fomented by the Duke of Guise; and refused to recognize the independence of Portugal, then at war with Spain. As a reward he obtained from Spain and Naples the recognition of ecclesiastical immunity. In 1649 Castro, which Urban VIII had failed to take, was wrested from the Farnese and annexed to the Papal States. The most worthy efforts of Innocent were directed to the reform of monastic discipline (1652). His condemnation of Jansenism (1653) was met with the denial of papal infallibility in matters of fact, and the controversy entered upon a new phase. Although the pontificate of Innocent witnessed the conversion of many Protestant princes, the most notable being Queen Christina of Sweden, the papacy had nevertheless suffered a perceptible decline in prestige; it counted for little in the negotiations at Münster, and its solemn protest against the peace of Westphalia was entirely ignored. Innocent died on the 7th of January 1655, and was succeeded by Pope Alexander VII.
Roman Catholic Pope 15-Sep-1644 to 1655
Roman Catholic Cardinal 1627
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