Giovanni Pamphilj (Pope Innocent X) elected Pope
Pope Innocent X (6 May 1574 –7 January 1655), born Giovanni Battista Pamphilj (or Pamphili), was Pope from 1644 to 1655. Born in Rome of a family from Gubbio in Umbria who had come to Rome during the pontificate of Pope Innocent IX, he graduated from the Collegio Romano and followed a conventional cursus honorum, following his uncle Girolamo Pamphilj as auditor of the Rota, and like him, attaining the dignity of Cardinal-Priest of Sant'Eusebio, in 1629. Trained as a lawyer, he succeeded Pope Urban VIII (1623–44) on 15 September 1644, as one of the most politically shrewd pontiffs of the era, who much increased the temporal power of the Vatican. He was a great-great-great-grandson of Pope Alexander VI.
The conclave for the election of a successor to Urban VIII was long and stormy, lasting from 9 August to 15 September 1644. The French faction objected to the Spanish candidate, as an enemy of Jules Cardinal Mazarin – who guided French policy – but found Pamphilj an acceptable compromise, though he had served as legate to Spain. Mazarin himself, bearing the French veto of Cardinal Pamphilj, arrived too late, and the election was accomplished.
Relations with France
Soon after his accession, Innocent X (as he chose to be called) initiated legal action against the Barberini for misappropriation of public funds, an easily demonstrated crime in 17th-century courts anywhere. Antonio and Francesco Barberini fled to Paris, where they found a powerful protector in Mazarin. Innocent X confiscated their property, and on 19 February 1646, issued a bull ordaining that all cardinals who might leave the Papal States for six months without express papal permission would be deprived of their benefices and eventually of their cardinalate itself. The French parliament declared the papal ordinance void in France, but Innocent X did not yield until Mazarin prepared to send troops to Italy. Henceforth the papal policy towards France became more friendly, and somewhat later the Barberini were rehabilitated.
In 1653, Innocent X with the Cum Occasione papal bull condemned 5 propositions of Jansenius's [[Augustinus]], inspired by St. Augustine, as heretical and close to Lutherianism. This led to the formulary controversy, Blaise Pascal's writing of the Lettres Provinciales, and finally to the rasing of the Jansenist convent of Port-Royal and the subsequent dissolving of its community.
Relations with Parma
The death of Pope Urban VIII is said to have been hastened by chagrin at the result of the First War of Castro, a war he had undertaken against Odoardo Farnese, the Duke of Parma. Hostilities between the papacy and the Duchy of Parma resumed in 1649, and forces loyal to Pope Innocent X destroyed the city of Castro on 2 September 1649.
Peace of Westphalia
Innocent X objected to the conclusion of the Peace of Westphalia, against which his nuncio in his name vainly protested, and against which he issued the bull Zelo Domus Dei in November 1648, which was ignored by the European Powers. The most important of his doctrinal decisions was his condemnation of five disputed Jansenist propositions, May 31, 1653.
English Civil War
During the Civil War (1642–49) in England and Ireland, Innocent X strongly supported the independent Confederate Ireland, over the objections of Mazarin and the Queen Mother, Henrietta Maria, exiled in Paris. The Pope sent as nuncio extraordinary to Ireland, Giovanni Battista Rinuccini, archbishop of Fermo, who arrived at Kilkenny with a large quantity of arms and military supplies including twenty thousand pounds of gunpowder with a very large sum of money. At Kilkenny Rinuccini was received with great honours, asserting in his Latin declaration that the object of his mission was to sustain the King, but above all to rescue from pains and penalties the Catholic people of Ireland in securing the free and public exercise of the Catholic religion, and the restoration of the churches and church property. But in the end Oliver Cromwell restored Ireland to the Parliamentarian side, with great bloodshed, and Rinuccini returned to Rome in 1649, after four fruitless years.
Born at Rome, 6 May, 1574; died there, 7 January, 1655. His parents were Camillo Pamfili and Flaminia de Bubalis. The Pamfili resided originally at Gubbio, in Umbria, but came to Rome during the pontificate of Innocent VIII. The young man studied jurisprudence at the Collegio Romano and graduated as bachelor of laws at the age of twenty. Soon afterwards Clement VIII appointed him consistorial advocate and auditor of the Rota. Gregory XV made him nuncio at Naples. Urban VIII sent him as datary with the cardinal legate, Francesco Barberini, to France and Spain, then appointed him titular Latin Patriarch of Antioch, and nuncio at Madrid. He was created Cardinal-Priest of Sant' Eusebio on 30 August, 1626, though he did not assume the purple until 19 November, 1629. He was a member of the congregations of the Council of Trent, the Inquisition, and Jurisdiction and Immunity. On 9 August, 1644, a conclave was held at Rome for the election of a successor to Urban VIII. The conclave was a stormy one. The French faction had agreed to give their vote to no candidate who was friendly towards Spain. Cardinal Firenzola, the Spanish candidate was, therefore, rejected, being a known enemy of Cardinal Mazarin, prime minister of France. Fearing the election of an avowed enemy of France, the French party finally agreed with the Spanish party upon Pamfili, although his sympathy for Spain was well known. On 15 September he was elected, and ascended the papal throne as Innocent X.
Soon after his accession, Innocent found it necessary to take legal action against the Barberini for misappropriation of public moneys. To escape punishment Antonio and Francesco Barberini fled to Paris, where they found a powerful protector in Mazarin. Innocent confiscated their property, and on 19 February, 1646, issued a Bull ordaining that all cardinals who had left or should leave the Ecclesiastical States without papal permission and should not return within six months, should be deprived of their ecclesiastical benefices and eventually of the cardinalate itself. The French Parliament declared the papal ordinances null and void, but the pope did not yield until Mazarin prepared to send troops to Italy to invade the Ecclesiastical States. Henceforth the papal policy towards France became more friendly, and somewhat later the Barberini were rehabilitated. But when in 1652 Cardinal Retz was arrested by Mazarin, Innocent solemnly protested against this act of violence committed against a cardinal, and protected Retz after his escape in 1654. In Italy Innocent had occasion to assert his authority as suzerain over Duke Ranuccio II of Parma who refused to redeem the bonds (monti) of the Farnesi from the Roman creditors, as had been stipulated in the Treaty of Venice on 31 March, 1644. The duke, moreover, refused to recognize Cristoforo Guarda, whom the pope had appointed Bishop of Castro. When, therefore, the new bishop was murdered while on his way to take possession of his see, Innocent held Ranuccio responsible for the crime. The pope took possession of Castro, razed it to the ground and transferred the episcopal see to Acquapendente. The duke was forced to resign the administration of his district to the pope, who undertook to satisfy the creditors. The papal relations with Venice, which had been highly strained during the pontificate of Urban VIII, became very friendly during Innocent's reign. Innocent aided the Venetians financially against the Turks in the struggle for Candia, while the Venetians on their part allowed Innocent free scope in filling the vacant episcopal sees in their territory, a right which they had previously claimed for themselves. In Portugal the popular insurrection of 1640 had led to the secession of that country from Spain, and to the election of Juan IV of Braganza as King of Portugal. Both Urban VIII and Innocent X, in deference to Spain, refused to acknowledge the new king and withheld their approbation from the bishops nominated by him. Thus it happened that towards the end of Innocent's pontificate there was only one bishop in the whole of Portugal. On 26 November, 1648, Innocent issued the famous Bull "Zelo domus Dei", in which he declares as null and void those articles of the Peace of Westphalia which were detrimental to the Catholic religion. In his Bull "Cum occasione", issued on 31 May, 1653. he condemned five propositions taken from the "Augustinus" of Jansenius, thus giving the impulse to the great Jansenist controversy in France.
Innocent X was a lover of justice and his life was blameless; he was, however, often irresolute and suspicious. The great blemish in his pontificate was his dependence on Donna Olimpia Maidalchini, the wife of his deceased brother. For a short time her influence had to yield to that of the youthful Camillo Astalli, a distant relative of the pope, whom Innocent raised to the cardinalate. But the pope seemed to be unable to get along without her, and at her instance Astalli was deprived of the purple and removed from the Vatican. The accusation, made by Gualdus (Leti) in his "Vita di Donna Olimpia Maidalchini" (1666), that Innocent's relation to her was immoral, has been rejected as slanderous by all reputable historians.