Pope Innocent VI

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Innocent VI
Bishop of Rome
Papa Innocentius Sextus.jpg
Papacy began18 December 1352
Papacy ended12 September 1362
Predecessor Clement VI
Successor Urban V
Created cardinal20 September 1342
by Clement VI
Personal details
Birth nameÉtienne Aubert
Beyssac, Kingdom of France
Died12 September 1362(1362-09-12) (aged 79–80)
Avignon, Papal States
Other popes named Innocent
Papal styles of
Pope Innocent VI
C o a Innocenzo VI.svg
Reference style His Holiness
Spoken styleYour Holiness
Religious styleHoly Father
Posthumous styleNone

Pope Innocent VI (Latin : Innocentius VI; 1282 or 1295 – 12 September 1362), born Étienne Aubert, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 18 December 1352 to his death in 1362. He was the fifth Avignon pope and the only one with the pontifical name of "Innocent".

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

Papal States Territories mostly in the Appenine Peninsula under the sovereign direct rule of the pope between 752–1870

The Papal States, officially the State of the Church, were a series of territories in the Italian Peninsula under the direct sovereign rule of the Pope, from the 8th century until 1870. They were among the major states of Italy from roughly the 8th century until the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia successfully unified the Italian Peninsula by conquest in a campaign virtually concluded in 1861 and definitively in 1870. At their zenith, the Papal States covered most of the modern Italian regions of Lazio, Marche, Umbria and Romagna, and portions of Emilia. These holdings were considered to be a manifestation of the temporal power of the pope, as opposed to his ecclesiastical primacy.


Early life

Étienne's father was Adhemar Aubert (1260-?), seigneur de Montel-de-Gelat in Limousin province. He was a native of the hamlet of Les Monts, Diocese of Limoges [1] (today part of the commune of Beyssac, département of Corrèze), and, after having taught civil law at Toulouse, he became successively Bishop of Noyon in 1338 and Bishop of Clermont in 1340. [2] On 20 September 1342, he was raised to the position of Cardinal Priest of SS. John and Paul. [1] He was made cardinal-bishop of Ostia and Velletri on 13 February 1352, by Pope Clement VI, whom he succeeded. [3]

Montel-de-Gelat Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Montel-de-Gelat is a commune in the Puy-de-Dôme department in Auvergne in central France.

The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain. The United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered. The communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France.

Beyssac Commune in Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

Beyssac is a commune of the Corrèze department in central France.

His papacy

Etienne was crowned pope on 30 December 1352 by Cardinal Gaillard de la Mothe after the papal conclave of 1352. [4] Upon his election, he revoked a signed agreement stating the college of cardinals was superior to the pope. [2] His subsequent policy compares favourably with that of the other Avignon Popes. He introduced many needed reforms in the administration of church affairs, and through his legate, Cardinal Albornoz, who was accompanied by Rienzi, he sought to restore order in Rome. In 1355, Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor, was crowned in Rome with Innocent's permission, after having made an oath that he would quit the city on the day of the ceremony. [1]

Avignon Papacy Period during which the popes resided in Avignon, France

The Avignon Papacy was the period from 1309 to 1376 during which seven successive popes resided in Avignon rather than in Rome. The situation arose from the conflict between the papacy and the French crown, culminating in the death of Pope Boniface VIII after his arrest and maltreatment by Philip IV of France. Following the further death of Pope Benedict XI, Philip forced a deadlocked conclave to elect the French Clement V as pope in 1305. Clement refused to move to Rome, and in 1309 he moved his court to the papal enclave at Avignon, where it remained for the next 67 years. This absence from Rome is sometimes referred to as the "Babylonian Captivity of the Papacy".

Rome Capital of Italy

Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.

Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor Holy Roman Emperor

Charles IV, born Wenceslaus, was the first King of Bohemia to become Holy Roman Emperor. He was a member of the House of Luxembourg from his father's side and the Czech House of Přemyslid from his mother's side; he emphasized the latter due to his lifelong affinity for the Czech side of his inheritance, and also because his direct ancestors in the Přemyslid line included two saints.

It was largely through the exertions of Innocent VI that the Treaty of Brétigny (1360) between France and England was brought about. During his pontificate, the Byzantine emperor John V Palaeologus offered to submit the Greek Orthodox Church to the Roman See in return for assistance against John VI Cantacuzenus. The resources at the disposal of the Pope, however, were all required for exigencies nearer home, and the offer was declined.

Treaty of Brétigny treaty

The Treaty of Brétigny was a treaty, drafted on 8 May 1360 and ratified on 24 October 1360, between King Edward III of England and King John II of France. In retrospect it is seen as having marked the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years' War (1337–1453)—as well as the height of English power on the Continent.

France Republic with majority of territory in Europe and numerous oversea territories around the world

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.02 million. France is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

Most of the wealth accumulated by John XXII and Benedict XII had been lost during the extravagant pontificate of Clement VI. Innocent VI economised by cutting the chapel staff (capellani capelle) from twelve to eight. Works of art were sold rather than commissioned. His pontificate was dominated by the war in Italy and by Avignon's recovery from the plague, both of which made draining demands on his treasury. By 1357, he was complaining of poverty.

Innocent VI was a liberal patron of letters. If the extreme severity of his measures against the Fraticelli is ignored, he retains a high reputation for justice and mercy. However, St. Bridget of Sweden denounced him as a persecutor of Christians. [4] He died on 12 September 1362 and was succeeded by Urban V. Today his tomb can be found in the Chartreuse du Val de Bénédiction, the Carthusian monastery in Villeneuve-les-Avignon.

The Fraticelli or Spiritual Franciscans were extreme proponents of the rule of Saint Francis of Assisi, especially with regard to poverty, and regarded the wealth of the Church as scandalous, and that of individual churchmen as invalidating their status. They were thus forced into open revolt against the whole authority of the Church and were declared heretical in 1296 by Boniface VIII.

Bridget of Sweden 14th-century Swedish nun, mystic, and saint

Bridget of Sweden ; born as Birgitta Birgersdotter, also Birgitta of Vadstena, or Saint Birgitta, was a mystic and saint, and founder of the Bridgettines nuns and monks after the death of her husband of twenty years. Outside of Sweden, she was also known as the Princess of Nericia and was the mother of Catherine of Vadstena.

Pope Urban V pope

Pope Urban V, born Guillaume de Grimoard, was Pope from 28 September 1362 until his death in 1370 and was also a member of the Order of Saint Benedict. He was the sixth Avignon Pope, and the only Avignon pope to be beatified.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 Coulombe, Charles A. (2003). Vicars of Christ: A History of the Popes. Citadel Press. p. 298. ISBN   9780806523705.
  2. 1 2 Musto, Ronald G. (2003). Apocalypse in Rome: Cola di Rienzo and the Politics of the New Age. University of California Press. p. 308. ISBN   9780520233966.
  3. Conrad Eubel, Hierarchia catholica Tomus I, editio altera (Monasterii 1913), p. 36; p. 18.
  4. 1 2 McBrien, Richard P. (2000). Lives of the Popes. HarperCollins. p. 242. ISBN   9780060878078.

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Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bertrand du Pouget
Cardinal-bishop of Ostia
Succeeded by
Pierre Bertrand de Colombier
Preceded by
Clement VI
18 December 1352 – 12 September 1362
Succeeded by
Urban V