Archbishop of Trier, Duke of Saxony; b. Hubertusberg Castle, Saxony, Sept. 28, 1739; d. Marktoberdorf, Swabia, July 27, 1812. He was the youngest son of Friedrich August II, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony. Clemens first pursued a military career, but after a serious illness (1761) deserted it for an ecclesiastical one. Because of his noble rank, his advance in the Church was rapid. He was prince-bishop of Freising and Regensburg (1763–68), coadjutor (1764) and then bishop (1768) of Augsburg. In 1768 he became archbishop and elector of Trier, the last to hold these two offices. In addition he was coadjutor (1772) and prince provost (1778) of Ellwangen. Clemens Wenzeslaus possessed laudable priestly qualities, and with the help of influential advisers he inaugurated reforms in monastic and devotional life, and sought to improve primary and secondary schools. His reforms were those advocated by the leaders of the enlightenment who aimed to improve the Church. Clemens forced Johann von hontheim, his auxiliary bishop, to retract the writings he had published under the pseudonymn Febronius; yet the archbishop participated in the Congress of ems. He was adverse to extreme views and represented a moderate episcopalism. Ferdinand von Duminique, his minister after 1782, utilized his family ties in gaining for Trier the support of France and Austria. The financial and economic policies of Clemens promoted the prosperity of his subjects. In 1794 he fled from the armies of the French Revolution to Augsburg.
Bibliography: h. raab, Clemens Wenzeslaus von Sachsen und seine Zeit (1739–1812) (Freiburg 1962–); Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (2d, new ed. Freiburg 1957–65) 2:1231. l. just, Neue deutsche Biographie (Berlin 1953–) 3:282–283.