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|Bishop of Rome|
|Papacy began||6 October 1689|
|Papacy ended||1 February 1691|
|Consecration||27 December 1654|
by Marcantonio Bragadin
|Created cardinal||19 February 1652|
by Innocent X
|Birth name||Pietro Vito Ottoboni|
|Born||22 April 1610|
Venice, Republic of Venice
|Died||1 February 1691 80) (aged|
Rome, Papal States
|Other popes named Alexander|
Pope Alexander VIII (22 April 1610 – 1 February 1691), born Pietro Vito Ottoboni, was Pope from 6 October 1689 to his death in 1691. He is to date the last pope to take the pontifical name of "Alexander" upon his election to the papacy.
Pietro Vito Ottoboni was born in 1610 of a noble Venetian family,and was the youngest of nine children of Vittoria Tornielli and Marco Ottoboni, grand chancellor of the Republic of Venice.
His early studies were made with marked brilliance at the University of Padua where, in 1627, he earned a doctorate in canon and civil law. Ottoboni went to Rome during the pontificate of Pope Urban VIIIand served as the Referendary of the Apostolic Signatura, and later served as the governor of the cities Terni, Rieti, Citta di Castello and Spoleto. He also served as the auditor of the Sacred Roman Rota.
Pope Innocent X appointed him to the cardinalate and in 1652 at the request of the Venetian government and he was made the Cardinal-Priest of San Salvatore in Lauro. He was appointed as Bishop of Brescia in 1654 and later received episcopal consecration in the church of San Marco in Rome. He would spend a quiet decade in his diocese. He opted to be Cardinal-Priest of San Marco in 1660 and resigned as Bishop of Brescia in 1664. Ottoboni also opted to become Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria in Trastevere in 1677 and later as Cardinal-Priest of Santa Prassede in 1680. He later became the Cardinal-Bishop of Sabina in 1681 and then to Frascati in 1683. His last swap was that of Porto e Santa Rufina in 1687.
Ottoboni was also the Vice-Dean of the College of Cardinals from 1687 to his pontifical election.
|Papal styles of|
Pope Alexander VIII
|Reference style||His Holiness|
|Spoken style||Your Holiness|
|Religious style||Holy Father|
The ambassador of King Louis XIV of France (1643–1715) succeeded in procuring his election on 6 October 1689, as the successor to Pope Innocent XI (1676–89); nevertheless, after months of negotiation Alexander VIII finally condemned the declaration made in 1682 by the French clergy concerning the liberties of the Gallican church.
He chose the pontifical name of "Alexander VIII" in gratitude to Cardinal Flavio Chigi, the nephew of Pope Alexander VII, who also had helped support his candidacy.Ottoboni was crowned as pontiff on 16 October 1689 by the protodeacon Cardinal Francesco Maidalchini and took possession of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran on 28 October 1689.
Old but of a strong constitution, Alexander VIII was said to be an able diplomat. During his brief pontificate he managed to destroy most of his predecessor's good work. All the money saved by Innocent XI was spent on enriching the Ottoboni family and to a cardinal he said: "I have no time to lose; for me the day is almost done!"
Alexander VIII was almost an octogenarian when elected to the papacy, which lasted only sixteen months, during which time little of importance was done. Louis XIV, whose political situation was now critical, profited by the peaceful dispositions of the new pope, restored Avignon to him, and renounced the long-abused right of asylum for the French Embassy.
Charities on a large scale and unbounded nepotism exhausted the papal treasury,reversing the policies of his predecessor. Among the various nominations, his 22-year-old grandnephew Pietro was made cardinal and vice-chancellor of the Church, nephew Marco, son of his brother Agostino, was made inspector of naval fortifications and Duke of Fiano, and nephew Antonio, another of Agostino's children, was made general of the church. His nephew Giovanni Rubin was made secretary of state and bishop of Vicenza. Out of compassion for the poor of the impoverished Papal States, he sought to help them by reducing taxes. But this same generous nature led him to bestow on his relations the riches they were eager to accumulate; on their behalf, and to the discredit of his pontificate, he revived sinecure offices which had been suppressed by Innocent XI. He bought the books and manuscripts of Queen Christina of Sweden for the Vatican Library. Alexander VIII assisted his native Venice by generous subsidies in the war against the Turks, as well as sending seven galleys and 2,000 infantry for the campaign in Albania.
In 1690 he condemned the doctrines of the so-called philosophical sin, taught in the Jesuit schools.He also held three consistories that saw 14 new cardinals elevated.
Alexander VIII confirmed the cultus of Kinga of Poland on 11 June 1690 which served as the beatification. On 16 October 1690, he canonized several saints: Ss. Pascal Baylon, Lorenzo Giustiniani, John of Sahagun, John of God and John of Capistrano.
The pope created 14 cardinals in three consistories and elevated individuals such as his grandnephew Pietro Ottoboni in a restoration of nepotism that had not been seen in his predecessor's reign.
Alexander VIII died on 1 February 1691. His grandiose tomb in St. Peter's was commissioned by his grandnephew, Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, and designed by Count Arrigo di San Martino. The bas-relief at the base and the flanking figures (1704) were sculpted by Angelo de' Rossi, while the bronze statue of the pope was cast by Giuseppe Bertosi.
Pope Alexander VIII was the principal consecrator of:
Pope Alexander VII, born Fabio Chigi, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 7 April 1655 to his death in 1667.
Pope Innocent XII, born Antonio Pignatelli, was Pope from 12 July 1691 to his death in 1700.
Pietro Ottoboni was an Italian cardinal and grandnephew of Pope Alexander VIII, who was also born Pietro Ottoboni. He is remembered especially as a great patron of music and art. Ottoboni was the last person to hold the curial office of Cardinal-nephew, which was abolished by Alexander's successor, Pope Innocent XII, in 1692. Ottoboni '"loved pomp, prodigality, and sensual pleasure, but was in the same time kind, ready to serve and charitable".
Giambattista Rubini was a cardinal of the Catholic Church from 1690 to 1707.
Gregorio Giovanni Gaspare Barbarigo was an Italian Roman Catholic cardinal who served as the Bishop of Bergamo and later as the Bishop of Padua. He was a frontrunner in both the 1689 and 1691 papal conclaves as he had distinguished himself for his diplomatic and scholastic service. He became a noted scholar for his distinguished learning and as an able pastor for his careful attention to pastoral initiatives and frequent parish visitations.
The Ottoboni were an aristocratic Venetian family, who gained prominence in Rome after the 17th century, mainly due to the papacy of Alexander VIII and his cardinal nephew, Pietro Ottoboni, known for his patronage of musicians and painters. Cardinal Ottoboni's acceptance of a role representing France at the Holy See was objected to by the Serene Republic, whose senate had not been consulted first. A recent infraction of the rule that no Venetian citizen should serve a foreign power without the express leave of the Serenissima rankled at Venice: Cardinal Vincenzo Grimani had moved to Vienna in 1699 and was appointed viceroy of Naples in 1708. Cardinal Ottoboni did not placate the Senate, and the Ottoboni were ceremonially erased from the Libro d'Oro and their properties confiscated. The diplomatic rupture between France and Venice was soon smoothed over, but the Ottoboni remained in disgrace.
The Squadrone Volante was a 17th-century group of independent and liberal cardinals within the College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church. It attempted to influence the outcome of a number of papal conclaves.
The Diocese of Frascati is a suburbicarian see of the Holy Roman Church and a diocese of the Catholic Church in Italy, based at Frascati, near Rome. The bishop of Frascati is a Cardinal Bishop; from the Latin name of the area, the bishop has also been called Bishop of Tusculum. Tusculum was destroyed in 1191. The bishopric moved from Tusculum to Frascati, a nearby town which is first mentioned in the pontificate of Pope Leo IV. Until 1962, the Cardinal-Bishop was concurrently the diocesan bishop of the see in addition to any curial duties he possessed. Pope John XXIII removed the Cardinal Bishops from any actual responsibility in their suburbicarian dioceses, and made the title purely honorific.
A cardinal-nephew was a cardinal elevated by a pope who was that cardinal's relative. The practice of creating cardinal-nephews originated in the Middle Ages, and reached its apex during the 16th and 17th centuries. The last cardinal-nephew was named in 1689 and the practice was extinguished in 1692. The word nepotism originally referred specifically to this practice, when it appeared in the English language about 1669. From the middle of the Avignon Papacy (1309–1377) until Pope Innocent XII's anti-nepotism bull, Romanum decet pontificem (1692), a pope without a cardinal-nephew was the exception to the rule. Every Renaissance pope who created cardinals appointed a relative to the College of Cardinals, and the nephew was the most common choice, although one of Alexander VI's creations was his own son.
Francesco Barberini, iuniore was an Italian Cardinal of the family of Pope Urban VIII (1623–1644) and of the Princes of Palestrina.
Fabrizio Spada was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, and served as Secretary of State under Pope Innocent XII.
Pope Innocent X created 40 cardinals in 8 consistories:
The papal conclave of 1689 was convened after the death of Pope Innocent XI. It led to the election of Pietro Vito Ottoboni as Pope Alexander VIII. The conclave saw previous factions join together because they lacked numerical strength, and saw the rise of the zelanti as a political force in the election of the next pope. Ottoboni was eventually unanimously elected with the consent of the secular monarchs, becoming the first Venetian in over 200 years to be elected pope.
Paluzzo Paluzzi Altieri degli Albertoni was an Italian Catholic Cardinal and Cardinal-Nephew to Pope Clement X.
The papal conclave of 1691 was convened on the death of Pope Alexander VIII and ended with the election of Antonio Pignatelli as Pope Innocent XII. It lasted for five months, from 12 February to 12 July 1691. The conclave became deadlocked after Catholic monarchs opposed the election of Gregorio Barbarigo, who some members of the College of Cardinals also viewed as too strict. The conclave only ended in the July when cardinals started to become ill from the heat, and after French cardinals agreed to vote for Pignatelli despite him coming from Spanish-controlled Naples.
Bandino Panciatici as a Roman Catholic cardinal from 1690 to 1718.
Giacomo Cantelmo was a Roman Catholic cardinal from 1690 to 1702.
Gaspare Carpegna was an Italian Catholic Cardinal.
Pietro Leoni was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Verona (1691–1697) and Bishop of Ceneda (1667–1691).
Opisto Pallavicini, sometimes also known as Opio Pallavicino, was born on 15 October 1632 in Genoa by noble family. He was a Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church.
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|Catholic Church titles|
| Pope |
6 October 1689 – 1 February 1691