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|Bishop of Rome|
|Papacy began||12 July 1691|
|Papacy ended||27 September 1700|
|Consecration||27 October 1652|
by Marcantonio Franciotti
|Created cardinal||1 September 1681|
by Innocent XI
|Birth name||Antonio Pignatelli|
|Born||13 March 1615|
Spinazzola, Kingdom of Naples
|Died||27 September 1700 85) (aged|
Rome, Papal States
|Other popes named Innocent|
Pope Innocent XII (Latin : Innocentius XII; 13 March 1615 – 27 September 1700), born Antonio Pignatelli, was Pope from 12 July 1691 to his death in 1700.
He took a hard stance against nepotism in the church, continuing the policies of Pope Innocent XI, who started the battle against nepotism but which did not gain traction under Pope Alexander VIII. To that end, he issued a papal bull strictly forbidding it. The pope also used this bull to ensure that no revenue or land could be bestowed to relatives.
Antonio Pignatelli was born on 13 March 1615 in Spinazzola(now in Apulia) to one of the most aristocratic families of the Kingdom of Naples, which had included several Viceroys and ministers of the crown. He was the fourth of five children of Francesco Pignatelli and Porzia Carafa. His siblings were Marzio, Ludovico, Fabrizio and Paola Maria.
He was educated at the Collegio Romano in Rome where he earned a doctorate in both canon and civil law.
At the age of 20 he became an official of the court of Pope Urban VIII. Pignatelli was the Referendary of the Apostolic Signatura and served as the Governor of Fano and Viterbo. Later he went to Malta where he served as an inquisitor from 1646 to 1649,and then governor of Perugia. Shortly after this, he received his priestly ordination.
Pignatelli was made Titular Archbishop of Larissa in 1652 and received episcopal consecration in Rome. He served as the Apostolic Nuncio to Poland from 1660 to 1668 and later in Austria from 1668 to 1671.He was transferred to Lecce in 1671. Pope Innocent XI appointed him as the Cardinal-Priest of San Pancrazio in 1681 and then moved him to the see of Faenza in 1682. He was moved to his final post before the papacy, as Archbishop of Naples in 1686.
Pope Alexander VIII died in 1691 and the College of Cardinals assembled to hold a conclave to select his successor. Factions loyal to the Kingdom of France, Kingdom of Spain and the broader Holy Roman Empire failed to agree on a consensus candidate.
After five months, Cardinal Pignatelli emerged as a compromise candidate between the cardinals of France and those of the Holy Roman Empire.Pignatelli took his new name in honour of Pope Innocent XI and was crowned on 15 July 1691 by the protodeacon, Cardinal Urbano Sacchetti. He took possession of the Basilica of Saint John Lateran on 13 April 1692.
Immediately after his election on 12 July 1691, Innocent XII declared his opposition to the nepotism which had afflicted the reigns of previous popes. The following year he issued the papal bull, Romanum decet Pontificem , banning the curial office of the Cardinal-Nephew and prohibiting popes from bestowing estates, offices, or revenues on any relative. Further, only one relative (and only "if otherwise suitable") was to be raised to the cardinalate.
At the same time he sought to check the simony in the practices of the Apostolic Chamber and to that end introduced a simpler and more economical manner of life into his court. Innocent XII said that "the poor were his nephews" and compared his public beneficence to the nepotism of many predecessors.
Innocent XII also introduced various reforms into the States of the Church including the Forum Innocentianum, designed to improve the administration of justice dispensed by the Church. In 1693 he compelled French bishops to retract the four propositions relating to the Gallican Liberties which had been formulated by the assembly of 1682.
In 1699, he decided in favour of Jacques-Benigne Bossuet in that prelate's controversy with Fénelon about the Explication des Maximes des Saints sur la Vie Intérieure of the latter. Innocent XII's pontificate also differed greatly from his predecessors' because of his leanings towards France instead of the Habsburg Monarchy; the first in the 20 years following France's failure to have its candidate elected in 1644 and 1655.
Innocent XII created 30 cardinals in four consistories; two of those he elevated were those he reserved in pectore .
He canonized Saint Zita of Lucca on 5 September 1696. Innocent XII beatified Augustin Kažotić on 17 July 1700 and approved the cultus of Angela of Foligno in 1693. He also beatified Osanna Andreasi on 24 November 1694, Mary de Cerevellon on 13 February 1692, Jane of Portugal on 31 December 1692, Umiliana de' Cerchi on 24 July 1694, Helen Enselmini on 29 October 1695 and Delphine in 1694.
Innocent died on 27 September 1700 and was succeeded by Pope Clement XI (1700–1721). His tomb at St. Peter's Basilica was sculpted by Filippo della Valle.
Innocent appears as one of the narrators in Robert Browning's long poem The Ring and the Book (1869), based on the true story of the pope's intervention in a historical murder trial in Rome during his papacy. Innocent is the most recent pope to have decorative facial hair.
Pope Innocent XIII, born as Michelangelo dei Conti, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 8 May 1721 to his death in 1724. He is the last pope to date to take the pontifical name of "Innocent" upon his election.
Giambattista Rubini was a cardinal of the Catholic Church from 1690 to 1707.
Antonio Barberini was an Italian Catholic cardinal, Archbishop of Reims, military leader, patron of the arts and a prominent member of the House of Barberini. As one of the cardinal-nephews of Pope Urban VIII and a supporter of France, he played a significant role at a number of the papal conclaves of the 17th century. With his brothers Cardinal Francesco Barberini and Taddeo Barberini he helped to shape politics, religion, art and music of 17th century Italy. He is sometimes referred to as Antonio the Younger or Antonio Barberini iuniore to distinguish him from his uncle Antonio Marcello Barberini.
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.
Romanum decet Pontificem is a papal bull issued by Pope Innocent XII (1691—1700) on June 22, 1692, banning the office of cardinal-nephew, limiting his successors to elevating only one cardinal relative, eliminating various sinecures traditionally reserved for cardinal-nephews and capping the stipend or endowment the nephew of a pope could receive to 12,000 scudi.
In the Papal curia the first man to fill the position of cardinal-secretary of state was the newly created Cardinal, Girolamo Dandini. By the time of Pope Innocent X (1644–55) the Secretary of State was always himself a Cardinal, and Pope Innocent XII (1691–1700) abolished the office of Cardinal Nephew in 1692.
The Italian Catholic Archdiocese of Lecce in Apulia, southern Italy, has existed as a diocese since the 11th century. On 28 September 1960, in the bull Cum a nobis, Pope John XXIII separated the diocese of Lecce from the ecclesiastical province of Otranto and made it directly subject to the Holy See. In the bull Conferentia Episcopalis Apuliae issued on 20 October 1980, Pope John Paul II created the ecclesiastical province of Lecce, with the Archdiocese of Otranto becoming a suffragan diocese.
Sebastiano Antonio Tanara was an Italian cardinal.
Francesco Pignatelli was an Italian cardinal.
Fabrizio Spada was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, and served as Secretary of State under Pope Innocent XII.
Giovanni Francesco Ginetti was a nephew of Cardinal Marzio Ginetti (1585-1681).
Alderano Cybo was an Italian Catholic Cardinal. He served as the Secretary of State of Pope Innocent XI.
Paluzzo Paluzzi Altieri degli Albertoni was an Italian Catholic Cardinal and Cardinal-Nephew to Pope Clement X.
The papal conclave of 1700 was convened following the death of Pope Innocent XII. It ended in the election of Giovanni Albani as Pope Clement XI. The conclave saw a rise in the dominance of the zelanti faction College of Cardinals. It remained deadlocked for a month until the death of the childless Charles II of Spain. The cardinal electors anticipated that his death without a clear heir would cause a political crisis, and moved to elect a pope that was seen as non-partisan.
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.
Giambattista Costaguti (1636–1704) was a Catholic cardinal from 1690 to 1704.
The Venerable Marcantonio Barbarigo was an Italian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He was the founder of the Pontifical Institute of the Religious Teachers Filippini and also founded both the Religious Teachers Filippini of Montefiascone and the Augustinian Sisters of Divine Love. He was the great-uncle of Pope Clement XIII and was a relative of Saint Gregorio Barbarigo.
Giovanni Battista Visconti Aicardi, B. was a Roman Catholic prelate who served as Bishop of Novara (1688–1713).
|Catholic Church titles|
| Cardinal-Priest of San Pancrazio |
1681 – 1691
| Archbishop of Naples |
1686 – 1691
| Pope |
12 July 1691 – 27 September 1700
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