Clement XII

Clement XII

Pope (Lorenzo Corsini), was born at Florence in 1652. He was appointed cardinal May 17, 1706, cardinal bishop of Frascati in 1725, and became pope July 12,1730, when 78 years old. Immediately upon his accession to the papal chair, he instituted a trial against Coscia, the favorite of his predecessor, Benedict XIII, for extortion. Coscia was sentenced to eight years' imprisonment, and a fine of 40,000 ducats. In 1732 he issued a papal "constitution" for a better regulation of the conclave; by a brief of 1736 he suppressed the sect of the Cocchiari, and in 1738 he condemned the Free- masons. He took a special interest in the union of the Greek Church with the Roman, and in 1734 founded the "Corsinian" ecclesiastical seminary for young Greeks at Bissignano, in Calabria; but the endeavors of the Jesuits to gain over the patriarch of Constantinople were fruitless. Equally inefficient were special efforts made for winning over the Protestants of Saxony and Silesia. His relations to the Roman Catholic states were, in general, not friendly. Parma, which he claimed after the death of the last Farnese (1731), was occupied by Austria. Spain, against the consent of the pope, made enlistments in the papal states, and placed garrisons in several towns. Portugal claimed the cardinal's hat for a favorite of the king (Bicchi), and the pope, in 1731, yielded. Charles Emanuel of Sardinia was threatened with the ban for occupying several places in Piedmont which the pope claimed as fief. The little republic of San Marino, which Cardinal Alberoni, in 1739, had rashly annexed to the papal states, soon recovered its independence. He supported the emperor of Austria with money in his war against the Turks. He promoted the study of Oriental languages, especially the Syriac, and sent Asseynani on his second journey to the East, to collect Oriental manuscripts for the library of the Vatican. His private life was austere, and he was rigid in the enforcement of ecclesiastical discipline. He died Feb. 6, 1740. The Bullarium Romans Cont. P. VIII (Luxemb. 1740), contains 277 constitutions of this pope. — Hase, Ch. History, p. 514; Ranke, Hist. Pap. b. 8; Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen-Lex. 2, 611; Hoefer, Biogr. Generale, 10, 769.

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Definition of clement

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