Clement IX, Pope
CLEMENT IX, POPE
Pontificate: June 20, 1667, to Dec. 9, 1669; b. Giulio Rospigliosi, Pistoia, Jan. 28, 1600. He came of an ancient family from Lombardy. He studied first at Rome with the Jesuits, then at the University of Pisa. A man of talents, Rospigliosi was an author of verses and a successful playwright. His dramas on religious themes, influenced by Calderón, were quite successful, and he is credited with developing comic opera as an individual form. Through the favor of urban viii he rose from referendary (1632) to become nuncio to Spain (1644–53) and titular archbishop of Tarsus. alexander vii made him his secretary of state (1657) and cardinal priest of S. Sisto. The two chief problems of his pontificate were the stubborn Jansenists and the oncoming Ottomans. Four Jansenist bishops—Caulet de Pamiers, Buzenvol de Beauvais, Pavillon d'Alet, Henri Arnauld d'Angers—had refused to give their acceptance to the formulary of Alexander VII (1665), and these were supported by many others. They had written pastorals that had been condemned and in general had showed themselves recalcitrant. The French authorities, alarmed over the possibility of schism, persuaded the four bishops to sign their acceptance of Alexander's bull. Clement permitted them to do this without any explicit retraction of their pastoral letters. The bishops signed, with reservations carefully kept from the pope, and an uneasy peace (Pax Clementina ) settled on France. Since the Jansenists had deceived the pope, the peace was not lasting. (see jansenism; heresy, history of.)
The Ottomans, who had been attacking Crete since 1645, were engaged in reducing Candia, the last Christian stronghold on that island kingdom. Clement did everything to help the beleaguered Venetians. He failed to secure the aid of Louis XIV and in sadness learned that Candia had fallen on Sept. 5, 1669. Clement was a good shepherd. He reduced taxes and was charitable to the poor, solicitous for the spiritual welfare of his flock, and interested in missionary expansion. He was kind to christina of sweden, who returned to Rome after an absence of more than two years in her homeland. During his reign he canonized Mary Magdalene de' pazzi and peter of alcantara, and declared rose of lima blessed.
Bibliography: l. pastor, The History of the Popes From the Close of the Middle Ages (London–St. Louis 1938–61) 31:314–430. a. f. artaud de montor, The Lives and Times of the Popes, 10 v. (New York 1910–11) 6:106–115. h. bremond, Histoire littéraire du sentiment réligieux en France depuis la fin des guerres de religion jusqu'd nos jours, 12 v. (Paris 1911–36) 4:241–242. n. j. abercrombie, The Origins of Jansenism (Oxford 1936). Bullarium Romanum (Magnum), ed. h. mainardi and c. cocquelines, 18 folio v. (Rome 1733–62) 17:512–839. r. mols, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillat et al. (Paris 1912–) 12:1297–1313, with bibliog. j. de la serviÈre, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., 15 v. (Paris 1903–50; Tables générales 1951–) 3:86–94, with bibliog. r. chalumeau, Catholicisme 2:1195. a. nigro, La collezione Rospigliosi (Rome 1999).
[j. s. brusher]