Gregory XVI is elected pope. Gregory XVI came from an aristocratic family and was the last monk to be pope; prior to assuming the papal throne he was a Camadolese monk and had been the Vicar-general of the Camaldolese order.
Pope Gregory XVI is very reactionary, opposing all aspects of modernism and liberalism in matters of religion, philosophy, and politics. Pope Gregory XVI bans railroads within his region of authority because he sees them as a dangerous invention of modernity. He will not permit internal dissent and punishes H.F.R de Lammenais, a French priest who starts the newspaper L'Avenir (The Future) which promotes ideas like the separation of church and state, religious liberty and the freedom of the press.
Gregory XVI resists reforms of papal governments and works to further centralize authority. His policies and style of administration will be so extreme that they help push the Papal States into open revolt, something only suppressed with the aid of the Austrian military.