Death of Pope Clement XIV Hot

Death of Pope Clement XIV

Death of Pope Clement XIV

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Pope Clement XIV dies in Rome at the age of 68.

One of the significant acts of his papacy was the official suppression of the Jesuits. Although he was himself educated by Jesuits, there was a powerful group of cardinals opposed to the order who were determined to prevent the election of anyone who didn't feel the same way.

There will thus always be questions as to whether Pope Clement XIV suppressed the Jesuits because he sincerely thought they were a problem, or if he only did so in order to placate secular rules — and perhaps as part of a deal to get himself elected pope.

At one point in the bull Dominus ac Redemptor noster, the official document suppressing the Jesuits, he offered a reason he may have wished were true, stating that the Jesuits "can no longer bring forth the abundant fruits or be of the usefulness for which it was founded."

Later, however, he will write what is probably a more genuine reason, stating that so long as the Jesuits continued to exist, "it is hardly, if at all, possible to restore a true and lasting peace to the Church."

The anti-Jesuit feelings in some areas have gotten so bad that some Catholic countries have threatened to break from the Catholic Church over the matter. So it was arguably true that the existence of the Jesuits was making peace in the Church difficult to maintain — but not through any malice or fault of their own.

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