Clement IV, Pope

views updated


Pontificate: Feb. 5, 1265 to Nov. 29, 1268; b. Guy Fulcodi, Saint-Gilles (Rhône), toward the end of the 12th century. Guy was a lawyer in the service of the counts of the Toulouse and a consultant of King louis ix. After the death of the his wife (c. 1256), he was ordained and served as archdeacon of Le Puy. His advancement in the Church was meteoric: he became bishop of Le Puy Oct. 19, 1257; archbishop of Narbonne, 1259; cardinal bishop of Sabina, 1261; and papal legate to England, Wales, and Ireland. He was elected pope at Perugiain absentia. During much of his pontificate, Clement, in collaboration with France, participated in the political affairs of Italy and Germany. He abetted the cause of Charles of Anjou, the brother of St. Louis. In a bull (Nov. 4, 1265) Clement confirmed Charles in the Kingdom of Sicily. The Angevin was crowned in St. Peter's (1266) by cardinals appointed by the pope. Moreover, Clement helped considerably in the financing of Charles's expedition against Manfred who was defeated at Benevento and slain Feb. 26, 1266. Clement and Charles disagreed over the king's failure to fulfill the agreement made at his coronation. On several occasions Clement upbraided him for his rapacity, greed, and the cruelty that he exercised toward his new subjects.

Difficulty again arose in the Kingdom of Sicily when Conradin, the son of Conrad IV, was persuaded to invade Italy and assert his hereditary claims. Clement, not wishing to have another Hohenstaufen neighbor, sent letters to Abp. Wernher of Cologne and to other ecclesiastical princes in Germany, excommunicating all who would abet Conradin's candidacy for the vacant ecclesiastical post in April 1267. In Lombary and Sicily, Ghibellines rose in Conradin's support, but the problem was decided in favor of the Angevins when Charles defeated and captured Conradin in 1268 (see guelfs and ghibellines). Ghibelline resistance collapsed, and savage reprisals culminated in the execution of Conradin. Clement actively supported the "crusade" in Prussia, Livonia, and Courland. He also vigorously assisted Alfonso X of Castile against the Moors of Spain and Africa. Although often criticized for his centralizing and financial policies, particularly his extension of the usage of reserving benefices to the Holy See, Clement was primarily concerned in lessening the influence of local nobles and kings in the important matter of the appointment of bishops.

Bibliography: e. jordan, Les Registres de Clement IV (Paris 1904). a. potthast, Regesta pontificum romanorum inde ab a. 1198 ad a. 1304 (Berlin 187475; repr. Graz 1957) 2:15421650. j. heidemann, Papst Clemens IV: Das Vorleben des Pastes und sein Legationregister (Münster 1903). e. horn, "Le Rôle politique de Clement IV," Compte rendu de l'Académie des sciences morales et politiques (1925) 273300. h. k. mann, The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages from 590 to 1304 (London 190232) 15. c. nicolas, Un Pape Saint-Gillois: Clément IV dans le monde et dans l'Église (Nimes 1910). j. haller, Das Papsttum (2d ed. Stuttgart 195053) 4:314359, 451464. j. n. d. kelly, Oxford Dictionary of Popes (New York 1986) 196. a. kiesewtter, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche (Freiburg 1996) 2:12201221. m. miglio, "Una ricognizione dlla tomba di Clement IV," Rivista Storica di Lazio 4 (1996) 5:2540.

[j. j. smith]