Birth of Giovanni Francesco Albani, the Future Pope Clement XI

Birth of Giovanni Francesco Albani, the Future Pope Clement XI

Pope Clement XI

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Pope Clement XI is born Giovanni Francesco Albani in the Papal States. His papacy will be tumultuous, beset with both political and theological conflicts.

Theologically, Pope Clement XI will have to deal with dissent from the Jansenist priests; in the papal bull Unigentius Dei Filius, published in September 1713, Pope Clement XI condemns Jansenism and excommunicates many of its adherents.

He will also have to handle a problem with Jesuits in China who try to accomodate Catholicism to the native Chinese culture — for example, by conducting Catholic rites in Chinese rather than Latin and by paying honor to Confucius or the ancestors of the emperors of China.

Pope Clement XI will denounce both, calling the latter "idolatrous and barbaric." In 1715 he demands an end to all such practices, and the consequence will be persecution of Chinese Christians by the authorities.

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