Birth of Pope Innocent XI

Birth of Pope Innocent XI

Pope Innocent XI

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Religious History

Pope Innocent XI is born Benedetto Odescalchi in Milan. Much of his reign will be marred by conflicts with the king of France.

In fact, the conflicts will start even before his election. He was expected to succeed Clement IX but was blocked by King Louis XIV of France. The same almost happened again after the death of Clement X, but by this time Odescalchi had become even more popular and the king relented.

Louis will try to placate Pope Innocent XI by presenting himself as a zealous Catholic. For example, he revokes the Edict of Nantes in 1685 and engages in widespread persecution of French Protestant Huguenots.

In 1682, however, Louis convinces the French clergy to publish the Gallican Articles, a divisive document which denies that the pope has any authority in secular matters and claims he is subordinate to general church councils. Innocent, naturally enough, denounces the document.

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