Pope Clement XIV was the 14th pope to take the name of Clement and the 249th man to lead the Catholic Church and its Papal States. In acknowledgement of the vast number of personalities who have governed Catholicism, this guide has been created to distinguish Clement XIV from the other Clements and other popes as a whole. Covered below is a summary of his time before becoming pope, a list of notable things he did or achieved during his papacy, a stat sheet and a handful of personal tidbits.
Life Before the Papacy.
Giovanni Ganganelli was the second of Lorenzo Ganganelli and Angela Serafina Maria Mazza’s children. While he began his studies at Verucchio, he would broaden his education by studying from Rimini’s Jesuits in 1717, though he also learned from the Piarists of Urbino. Gangenelli joined the Order of Friars Minor Conventual in May of 1623, even undergoing a name change. He became a full member on May 18th, 1724. From then until 1728, he studied theology at the convents in Pesaro, Fano and Recanati. He finished his theological education during 1731 in Rome, studying under the guidance of Antonio Lucci.
Fully ordained and educated, he spent a decade teaching philosophy and theology in Ascoli, Bologna and Milan. He would later become regent of his alma mater and then Definitor General of his order’s college in 1741. Come 1753 and 1756, he abstained generalship of his order, possibly because he wanted higher office. Ganganelli befriended Pope Benedict XIV and Benedict XIB in turn tasked him with verifying the merit of Jewish blood libel.
Clement XIII would elevate Ganganelli to cardinal on September 24th, 1759, appointing him Cardinal-Priest of San Lorenzo in Panisperna. This promotion came at Lorenzo Ricci’s insistence; Lorenzo was Superior-General of the Jesuits. Three years later, Ganganelli would become Cardinal-Priest of Ss. XII Apostoli.
Papal Acts and Legacy.
- Sensing infighting among the European nobles, he did his best to ease over tensions regarding the Church’s role in world affairs through acts like declining rule over Parma.
- He was ardently opposed to the Jesuits. This policy nearly caused France and Spain to completely leave the Catholic Church.
- He reestablished the papacy’s influence in Portugal by appointing an ambassador and naming one Portuguese cardinal.
Quick Facts About Pope Clement XIV
- He was born on Halloween, October 31st, 1705, within Papal State Romagna by way of Santarcangelo di Romagna.
- Prior to the name Clement XIV, he first went by Giovanni Vincenzo Antonio Ganganelli and then Lorenzo Francesco Ganganelli.
- He died on September 22nd, 1774.
- Beyond the sorrow of his various failures as a pope, his final days were spent in agony from scurvy and from hemorrhoids incurred from overworking himself. He was also likely dehydrated as he needed assistance to produce sweat.
- His papacy began May 19th, 1769.
- His papacy ended when his life did on September 22nd of 1774.
- His papal successor was Pius VI.
Five Interesting Facts About Pope Clement XIV.
- He remains the last pope to have taken the name of Clement.
- His cousin Vincenzo also entered the Church as a friar.
- He knighted Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as a member of the Order of the Golden Spur after being amazed by the 14-year-old-boy’s perfect recollection .
- While some believe that he was poisoned, no evidence arose to definitively prove this to be the case.
- Some believe that the spirit of St. Alphonsus of Liguori manifested by his death-bed in order to prepare him for Heaven.