Election of Pope Benedict XIV After Longest Conclave in Modern History

Election of Pope Benedict XIV After Longest Conclave in Modern History

Pope Benedict XIV
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Benedict XIV is elected pope after the longest conclave in modern history: six months.

Born Prospero Lorenzo Lambertini to a noble Italian family in Bologna, Pope Benedict XIV will have a very difficult pontificate because of multiple political issues he faces. He will able to settle many of these problems, but only at great political cost.

Pope Benedict XIV gets concordats signed with Spain, Naples, and others, for example, but only at the cost of making significant concessions to the authority of secular rulers who want to appoint bishops themselves.

Benedict XIV will have more success addressing the demand for reforms within the church, such as improving church finances, boosting priests' education, and condemning Jansenism.

At the same time, though, he will create more problems than he solves when it comes to relations between Christian missionaries and non-Christian cultures. Benedict will write two papal bulls, (Ex quo singulari and Omnium solicitudinum), that condemn the use of Christian terminology to describe ideas or practices in native cultures. This will cause many native converts in China to abandon Christianity entirely and return to familiar, traditional beliefs.

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