Bartolomeo Cappellari (Gregory XVI) elected Pope
Pope Gregory XVI (18 September 1765 – 1 June 1846), born Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari, named Mauro as a member of the religious order of the Camaldolese, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 1831 to 1846.
Strongly conservative and traditionalist, he opposed democratic and modernising reforms in the Papal States and throughout Europe, seeing them as fronts for revolutionary leftism, and sought to strengthen the religious and political authority of the papacy (see Ultramontanism).
On 2 February 1831, he was, after sixty-four days of conclave, unexpectedly chosen to succeed Pope Pius VIII (1829–30) in the papal chair. His election was influenced by the fact that the cardinal considered the most likely papabile, Giacomo Giustiniani, was vetoed by King Ferdinand VII of Spain. The other major candidates, Emmanuele De Gregorio and Bartolomeo Pacca, had been candidates in the previous conclave. When a deadlock arose between them, the cardinals turned to Cappellari, but it took as many as eighty-three ballots for a decisive result to be obtained.
At the time of election, Cardinal Cappellari was not yet a bishop - the last man to be elected Pope without episcopal consecration. Hence, after his election he was consecrated bishop by Bartolomeo Pacca, Cardinal Bishop of Ostia and Velletri, dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals, with Pier Francesco Galleffi, Cardinal Bishop of Porto e Santa Rufina, sub-dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals, and Tommasso Arezzo, Cardinal Bishop of Sabina, acting as co-consecrators.
The choice of Gregory XVI as his regnal name was influenced by the fact that he had been abbot of San Gregorio monastery on the Coelian Hill for over twenty years. This was the same abbey from which Pope Gregory the Great had dispatched missionaries to England in 596.
On 10 February, 1829, Leo XII died, and Pius VIII, broken by the revolutions in France and in the Netherlands, followed him to the grave on 1 December, 1830. A fortnight later the conclave began. It lasted for seven weeks. At one time Cardinal Giustiniani appeared likely to secure the requisite number of votes, but Spain interposed with a veto. At last the various parties came to an agreement, and on the Feast of the Purification, Cardinal Capillaria was elected by thirty-one votes out of forty-five. He took the name of Gregory XVI, in honour of Gregory XV, the founder of Propaganda. Hardly was the new pope elected when the Revolution, which for some time had been smouldering throughout Italy, broke into flame in the Papal States. Already on 2 February the Duke of Modena had warned Cardinal Albani that the conclave must come to a speedy decision, as a revolution was imminent. The next day the duke caused the house of his erstwhile friend, Ciro Menotti, at Modena, to be surrounded, and arrested him and several of his fellow conspirators. At once a revolt broke out at Reggio, and the duke fled to Mantua, taking the prisoners with him. The disturbance spread with prearranged rapidity. On 4 February Bologna revolted, drove the pro-legate out of the town, and by the eighth had hoisted the tricolour instead of the papal flag. Within a fortnight nearly the whole of the Papal States had repudiated the sovereignty of the pope, and on the nineteenth Cardinal Benvenuti, who was sent to quell the rebellion, became a prisoner of the "Provisional Government". Even in Rome itself a rising projected for 12 February was only averted by the ready action of Cardinal Bernetti, the new secretary of state. In these conditions, the papal forces being obviously unable to cope with the situation, Gregory decided to appeal to Austria for help. It was immediately forthcoming. On 25 February a strong Austrian force started for Bologna, and the "Provisional Government" soon fled to Ancona. Within a month the whole movement had collapsed, and on 27 March Cardinal Benvenuti was released by the rebel leaders, on the understanding that an amnesty should be granted by the pope. The cardinal's action, however, was without authority and was not endorsed, either by the papal government or by the Austrian general. But the rebellion, for the moment, was crushed, and after an abortive attempt to seize Spoleto, from which they were dissuaded by Archbishop Mastai-Ferretti, all the leaders who were able to do so fled the country. On 3 April the pope was able to assert that order was re-established.