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INNOCENT (Innocentius), the name of thirteen popes and one antipope.

Innocent I., pope from 402 to 417, was the son of Pope Anastasius I. It was during his papacy that the siege of Rome by Alaric (408) took place, when, according to a doubtful anecdote of Zosimus, the ravages of plague and famine were so frightful, and help seemed so far off, that papal permission was granted to sacrifice and pray to the heathen deities; the pope was, however, absent from Rome on a mission to Honorius at Ravenna at the time of the sack in 410. He lost no opportunity of maintaining and extending the authority of the Roman see as the ultimate resort for the settlement of all disputes; and his still extant communications to Victricius of Rouen, Exuperius of Toulouse, Alexander of Antioch and others, as well as his action on the appeal made to him by Chrysostom against Theophilus of Alexandria, show that opportunities of the kind were numerous and varied. He took a decided view on the Pelagian controversy, confirming the decisions of the synod of the province of proconsular Africa held in Carthage in 416, which had been sent to him. He wrote in the same year in a similar sense to the fathers of the Numidian synod of Mileve who, Augustine being one of their number, had addressed him. Among his letters are one to Jerome and another to John, bishop of Jerusalem, regarding annoyances to which the first named had been subjected by the Pelagians at Bethlehem. He died on the 12th of March 417, and in the Roman Church is commemorated as a confessor along with Saints Nazarius, Celsus and Victor, martyrs, on the 28th of July. His successor was Zosimus.

Innocent II. (Gregorio Paparesci dei Guidoni), pope from 1130 to 1143, was originally a Benedictine monk. His ability, pure life and political connexions raised him rapidly to power. Made cardinal deacon of Sant Angelo in Pescheria by Paschal II. he was employed in various diplomatic missions. Calixtus II. appointed him one of the ambassadors who made peace with the Empire and drew up the Concordat of Worms (1122), and in the following year, with his later enemy Cardinal Peter Pierleoni, he was papal legate in France. On the 13th of February 1130 Honorius II. died, and on that night a minority of the Sacred College elected Paparesci, who took the name of Innocent II. After a hasty consecration he was forced to take refuge with a friendly noble by the faction of Pierleoni, who was elected pope under the name of Anacletus II. by a majority of the cardinals. Declaring that the cardinals had been intimidated, Innocent refused to recognize their choice; by June, however, he was obliged to flee to France. Here his title was recognized by a synod called by Bernard of Clairvaux at Étampes. Similar action was taken in Germany by the synod of Würzburg. In January 1131 Innocent held a personal interview with King Henry I. of England at Chartres, and in March, at Liége, with 578 the German King Lothair, whom he induced to undertake a campaign against Anacletus. The German army invaded Italy in August 1132, and occupied Rome, all except St Peter’s church and the castle of St Angelo which held out against them. Lothair was crowned emperor at the Lateran in June 1133, and as a further reward Innocent gave him the territories of the Countess Mathilda as a fief, but refused to surrender the right of investiture. Left to himself Innocent again had to flee, this time to Pisa. Here he called a council which condemned Anacletus. A second expedition of Lothair expelled Roger of Sicily (to whom Anacletus had given the title of king in return for his support) from southern Italy, but a quarrel with Innocent prevented the emperor attacking Rome. At this crisis, in January 1138, Anacletus died, and a successor elected by his faction, as Victor IV., resigned after two months. The Lateran council of 1139 restored peace to the Church, excommunicating Roger of Sicily, against whom Innocent undertook an expedition which proved unsuccessful. In matters of doctrine the pope supported Bernard of Clairvaux in his prosecution of Abelard and Arnold of Brescia, whom he condemned as heretics. The remaining years of Innocent’s life were taken up by a quarrel with the Roman commune, which had set up an independent senate, and one with King Louis VII. of France, about an appointment. France was threatened with the interdict, but before matters came to a head Innocent died on the 22nd of September 1143.

See Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklopädie, “Innocenz II.,” with full references. Gregorovius, History of Rome in the Middle Ages, trans. by Hamilton (London, 1896), vol. iv. part ii. pp. 420-453.

(P. Sm.)

Innocent III. (Lando da Sezza), antipope (1179-1180), sprang from a noble Lombard family. Opponents of Alexander III. tried to make him pope in September 1179. Alexander, however, bribed his partisans to give him up, and imprisoned him in the cloister of La Cava in January 1180.

Innocent III. (Lotario de’ Conti di Segni), pope from 1198 to 1216, was the son of Trasimondo, count of Segni, and of Claricia, a Roman lady of the noble family of Scotti, and was born at Anagni about 1160. His early education he received at Rome, whence he went to the university of Paris and subsequently to that of Bologna. At Paris, where he attended the lectures of Peter of Corbeil, he laid the foundations of his profound knowledge of the scholastic philosophy; at Bologna he acquired an equally profound knowledge of the canon and civil law. Thus distinguished by birth, intellect and attainments, on his return to Rome he rose rapidly in the church. He at once became a canon of St Peter’s; he was made subdeacon of the Roman Church by Gregory VIII.; and in 1190 his uncle, Pope Clement III., created him cardinal-deacon of Santi Sergio e Baccho. The election of Celestine III. in the following year withdrew Lotario for a while from the active work of the Curia, the new pope belonging to the family of the Orsini, who were at feud with the Scotti. Lotario, however, employed his leisure in writing several works: Mysteriorum evangelicae legis ac sacramenti eucharistiae libri VI., De contemtu mundi, sive de miseria humanae conditionis, and De quadrapartita specie nuptiarum. Of these only the two first are extant; they are written in the scholastic style, a sea of quotations balanced and compared, and they witness at once to the writer’s profound erudition and to the fact that his mind had not yet emancipated itself from the morbid tendencies characteristic of one aspect of medieval thought. Yet Lotario was destined to be above all things a man of action, and, though his activities to the end were inspired by impracticable ideals, they were in their effects intensely practical; and Innocent III. is remembered, not as a great theologian, but as a great ruler and man of affairs.

On the 8th of January 1198 Celestine III. died, and on the same day Lotario, though not even a priest, was unanimously elected pope by the assembled cardinals. He took the name of Innocent III. On the 21st of February he was ordained priest, and on the 22nd consecrated bishop. Innocent was but thirty-seven years old at this time, and the vigour of youth, guided by a master mind, was soon apparent in the policy of the papacy. His first acts were to restore the prestige of the Holy See in Italy, where it had been overshadowed by the power of the emperor Henry VI. As pope it was his object to shake off the imperial yoke, as an Italian prince to clear the land of the hated Germans. The circumstances of the time were highly favourable to him. The early death of Henry VI. (September 1197) had left Germany divided between rival candidates for the crown, Sicily torn by warring factions of native and German barons. It was, then, easy for Innocent to depose the imperial prefect in Rome itself and to oust the German feudatories who held the great Italian fiefs for the Empire. Spoleto fell; Perugia surrendered; Tuscany acknowledged the leadership of the pope; papal rectores once more governed the patrimony of St Peter. Finally, Henry’s widow, Constance, in despair, acknowledged the pope as overlord of the two Sicilies, and on her death (November 27, 1198) appointed him guardian of her infant son Frederick. Thus in the first year of his pontificate Innocent had established himself as the protector of the Italian nation against foreign aggression, and had consolidated in the peninsula a secure basis on which to build up his world-power.

The effective assertion of this world-power is the characteristic feature of Innocent’s pontificate. Other popes before him—from Gregory VII. onwards—had upheld the theory of the supremacy of the spiritual over the temporal authority, with various fortune; it was reserved for Innocent to make it a reality. The history of the processes by which he accomplished this is given elsewhere. Here it will suffice to deal with it in the broadest outline. In Germany his support of Otto IV. against Philip of Swabia, then of Philip against Otto and finally, after Philip’s murder (June 21, 1208), of the young Frederick II. against Otto, effectually prevented the imperial power, during his pontificate, from again becoming a danger to that of the papacy in Italy. Concessions at the cost of the Empire in Italy were in every case the price of his support (see Germany: History). In his relations with the German emperors Innocent acted partly as pope, partly as an Italian prince; his victories over other and more distant potentates he won wholly in his spiritual capacity. Thus he forced the masterful Philip Augustus of France to put away Agnes of Meran and take, back his Danish wife Ingeborg, whom he had wrongfully divorced; he compelled Peter of Aragon to forgo his intended marriage with Bianca of Navarre and ultimately (1204) to receive back his kingdom as a fief of the Holy See; he forced Alphonso IX. of Leon to put away his wife Berengaria of Castile, who was related to him within the prohibited degrees, though he pronounced their children legitimate. Sancho of Portugal was compelled to pay the tribute promised by his father to Rome, and Ladislaus of Poland to cease from infringing the rights of the church. Even the distant north felt the weight of Innocent’s power, and the archbishop of Trondhjem was called to order for daring to remove the ban of excommunication from the repentant King Haakon IV., as an infringement of the exclusive right of the pope to impose or remove the ban of the church in the case of sovereigns. So widespread was the prestige of the pope that Kaloyan, prince of Bulgaria, hoping to strengthen himself against internal foes and the aggressions of the Eastern Empire, submitted to Rome and, in November 1204, received the insignia of royalty from the hands of the papal legates as the vassal of the Holy See.

Meanwhile Innocent had been zealous in promoting the crusade which ultimately, under the Doge Dandolo, led to the Latin occupation of Constantinople (see Crusades). This diversion from its original object was at first severely censured by Innocent; but an event which seemed to put an end to the schism of East and West came to wear a different aspect; he was the first pope to nominate a patriarch of Constantinople, and he expressed the hope that henceforth the church would be “one fold under one shepherd.” By a bull of October 12, 1204, moreover, Innocent proclaimed the same indulgences for a crusade to Livonia as the Holy Land. The result was the “conversion” of the Livonians (1206) and the Letts (1208) by the crusaders headed by the knights of the Teutonic Order. The organization of the new provinces thus won for the church 579 Innocent kept in his own hands, instituting the new archbishopric of Riga and defining the respective jurisdictions of the archbishops and the Teutonic Knights, a process which, owing to the ignorance at Rome of the local geography, led to curious confusion.

Another crusade, horrible in its incidents and momentous in its consequences, was that proclaimed by Innocent in 1207 against the Albigenses. In this connexion all that can be said in his favour is that he acted from supreme conviction; that the heresies against which he appealed to the sword were really subversive of Christian civilization; and that he did not use force until for ten years he had tried all the arts of persuasion in vain (see Albigenses).

Of all Innocent’s triumphs, however, the greatest was his victory over King John of England. The quarrel between the pope and the English king arose out of a dispute as to the election to the vacant see of Canterbury, which Innocent had settled by nominating Stephen Langton over the heads of both candidates. John refusing to submit, Innocent imposed an interdict on the kingdom and threatened him with a crusade; and, to avert a worse fate, the English king not only consented to recognize Langton but also to hold England and Ireland as fiefs of the Holy See, subject to an annual tribute (May 1213). The submission was no idle form; for years the pope virtually ruled England through his legates (see English History and John, king of England). So great had the secular power of the papacy become that a Byzantine visitor to Rome declared Innocent to be “the successor not of Peter but of Constantine.”

As in the affairs of the world at large, so also in those of the church itself, Innocent’s authority exceeded that of all his predecessors. Under him the centralization of the ecclesiastical administration at Rome received a great impulse, and the independent jurisdiction of metropolitans and bishops was greatly curtailed. In carrying out this policy his unrivalled knowledge of the canon law gave him a great advantage. To his desire to organize the discipline of the church was due the most questionable of his expedients: the introduction of the system of provisions and reservations, by which he sought to bring the patronage of sees and benefices into his own hands—a system which led later to intolerable abuses.

The year before Innocent’s death the twelfth ecumenical council assembled at the Lateran under his presidency. It was a wonderful proof at once of the world-power of the pope and of his undisputed personal ascendancy. It was attended by the plenipotentiaries of the emperor, of kings and of princes, and by some 1500 archbishops, bishops, abbots and other dignitaries. The business before it, the disciplining of heretics and Jews, and the proclamation of a new crusade, &c., vitally concerned the states represented; yet there was virtually no debate and the function of the great assembly was little more than to listen to and endorse the decretals read by the pope (see Lateran Councils). Shortly after this crowning exhibition of his power the great pope died on the 16th of July 1216.

Innocent III. is one of the greatest historical figures, both in the grandeur of his aims and the force of character which brought him so near to their realization. An appreciation of his work and personality will be found in the article Papacy; here it will suffice to say that, whatever judgment posterity may have passed on his aims, opinion is united as to the purity of the motives that inspired them and the tireless self-devotion with which they were pursued. “I have no leisure,” Innocent once sighed, “to meditate on supermundane things; scarce I can breathe. Yea, so much must I live for others, that almost I am a stranger to myself.” Yet he preached frequently, both at Rome and on his journeys—many of his sermons, inspired by a high moral earnestness, have come down to us—and, towards the end of his life, he found time to write a pious exposition of the Psalms. His views on the papal supremacy are best explained in his own words. Writing to the patriarch of Constantinople (Inn. III., lib. ii. ep. 200) he says: “The Lord left to Peter the governance not of the church only but of the whole world;” and again in his letter to King John of England (lib. xvi. ep. 131): “The King of Kings ... so established the kingship and the priesthood in the church, that the kingship should be priestly, and the priesthood royal (ut sacerdotale sit regnum et sacerdotium sit regale), as is evident from the epistle of Peter and the law of Moses, setting one over all, whom he appointed his vicar on earth.” In his answer to the ambassadors of Philip Augustus he states the premises from which this stupendous claim is logically developed:—

“To princes power is given on earth, but to priests it is attributed also in heaven; to the former only over bodies, to the latter also over souls. Whence it follows that by so much as the soul is superior to the body, the priesthood is superior to the kingship.... Single rulers have single provinces, and single kings single kingdoms; but Peter, as in the plenitude, so in the extent of his power is pre-eminent over all, since he is the Vicar of Him whose is the earth and the fullness thereof, the whole wide world and all that dwell therein.”

To the emperor of Constantinople, who quoted 1 Peter ii. 13, 14, to the contrary, he replied in perfect good faith that the apostle’s admonition to obey “the king as supreme was addressed to lay folk and not to the clergy.” The more intelligent laymen of the time were not convinced even when coerced. Even so pious a Catholic as the minnesinger Walther von der Vogelweide, giving voice to the indignation of German laymen, ascribed Innocent’s claims, not to soundness of his scholastic logic, but to the fact that he was “too young” (owê der babest ist ze junc).

The literature on Innocent III. is very extensive; a carefully analysed bibliography will be found in Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklopädie (3rd ed., 1901) s. “Innocenz III.” In A. Potthast, Bibliotheca hist. med. aevi (2nd ed., Berlin, 1896), p. 650, is a bibliography of the literature on Innocent’s writings. In the Corpus juris canonici, ed. Aemilius Friedberg (Leipzig, 1881), vol. ii., pp. xiv.-xvii., are lists of the official documents of Innocent III. excerpted in the Decretales Gregorii IX. The most important later works on Innocent III. are Achille Luchaire’s Innocent III, Rome et l’Italie (Paris, 1904), Innocent III, la croisade des Albigeois (ib. 1905), Innocent III, la papauté et l’empire (ib. 1906), Innocent III, la question d’orient (ib. 1906); Innocent III, les royautés vassales du Saint-Siège (ib. 1908); and Innocent III, la concile de latran et la réforme de l’église (1908); Innocent the Great, by C. H. C. Pirie-Gordon (London, 1907); is the only English monograph on this pope and contains some useful documents, but is otherwise of little value. See also H. H. Milman, History of Latin Christianity, vol. v.; F. Gregorovius, Rome in the Middle Ages, translated by A. Hamilton (1896), vol. v. pp. 5-110; J. C. L. Gieseler, Ecclesiastical Hist., translated by J. W. Hull, vol. iii. (Edinburgh, 1853), which contains numerous excerpts from his letters, &c. Innocent’s works are found in Migne, Patrologiae Cursus Completus, Series Latina, vols. ccxiv.-ccxvii. For a translation of Innocent’s answer to King John on the interdict, and John’s surrender of England and Ireland to Innocent, see Gee and Hardy, Documents illustrative of Church History (London, 1896), pp. 73 et seq.

(W. A. P.)

Innocent IV. (Sinibaldo Fiesco), pope 1243-1254, belonged to the noble Genoese family of the counts of Lavagna. Born at Genoa, he was educated under the care of his uncle Opizo, bishop of Parma. After taking orders at Parma, when he was made canon of the cathedral, he studied jurisprudence at Bologna. His first recorded appearance in political affairs was in 1218-1219, when he was associated with Cardinal Hugolinus (afterwards Gregory IX.) in negotiating a peace between Genoa and Pisa. This led to his rapid promotion. In 1223 Pope Honorius III. gave him a benefice in Parma, and in 1226 he was established at the curia as auditor contradictarum literarum of the pope, a post he held also under Gregory IX., until promoted (1227) to be vice-chancellor of the Roman Church. In September of the same year he was created cardinal priest of San Lorenzo in Lucina. He was papal rector (governor) of the March of Ancona from 1235 to 1240. On the 25th of June 1243 he was elected pope by the cardinals assembled at Anagni.

Innocent was raised to the Holy See when it was at deadly feud with the emperor Frederick II., who lay under excommunication. Frederick at first greeted the elevation of a member of an imperialist family with joy; but it was soon clear that Innocent intended to carry on the traditions of his predecessors. Embassies and courtesies were, indeed, interchanged, and on the 31st of March 1244 a treaty was signed at Rome, whereby the emperor undertook to satisfy the pope’s claims in return for his own absolution from the ban. Neither side, however, 580 was prepared to take the first steps to carry out the agreement, and Innocent, who had ventured back to Rome, began to feel unsafe in the city, where the imperial partisans had the ascendancy. Fearing a plan to kidnap him, he left Rome, ostensibly to meet the emperor, and from Sutri fled by night on horseback, pursued by 300 of the emperor’s cavalry, to Civitavecchia, whence he took ship for Genoa and thence proceeded across the Alps to Lyons, at that time a merely nominal dependence of the Empire. Thence he wrote to the French king, Louis IX., asking for an asylum in France; but this Louis cautiously refused. Innocent, therefore, remained at Lyons, whence he issued a summons to a general council, before which he cited Frederick to appear in person, or by deputy. The council, which met on the 5th of June 1245, was attended only by those prepared to support the pope’s cause; and though Frederick condescended to be represented by his justiciar, Thaddeus of Suessa, the judgment was a foregone conclusion. On the 17th of July Innocent formally renewed the sentence of excommunication on the emperor, and declared him deposed from the imperial throne and that of Naples. Frederick retorted by announcing his intention of reducing “the clergy, especially the highest, to a state of apostolic poverty,” and by ordaining the severest punishments for those priests who should obey the papal sentence. Innocent thereupon proclaimed a crusade against the emperor and armed his ubiquitous agents, the Franciscan and Dominican friars, with special indulgences for all those who should take up the cross against the imperial heretic. At the same time he did all in his power to undermine Frederick’s authority in Germany and Italy. In Naples he fomented a conspiracy among the feudal lords, who were discontented with the centralized government established under the auspices of Frederick’s chancellor, Piero della Vigna. In Germany, at his instigation, the archbishops with a few of the secular nobles in 1246 elected Henry Raspe, landgrave of Thuringia, German king; but the “priests’ king,” as he was contemptuously called, died in the following year, William II., count of Holland, being after some delay elected by the papal party in his stead.

Innocent’s relentless war against Frederick was not supported by the lay opinion of his time. In Germany, where it wrought havoc and misery, it increased the already bitter resentment against the priests. From England the pope’s legate was driven by threats of personal violence. In France not even the saintly King Louis IX., who made several vain attempts to mediate, approved the pope’s attitude; and the failure of the crusade which, in 1248, he led against the Mussulmans in Egypt, was, with reason, ascribed to the deflection of money and arms from this purpose to the war against the emperor. Even the clergy were by no means altogether on Innocent’s side; the council of Lyons was attended by but 150 bishops, mainly French and Spanish, and the deputation from England, headed by Robert Grossetête of Lincoln and Roger Bigod, came mainly in order to obtain the canonization of Edmund of Canterbury and to protest against papal exactions. Yet, for better or for worse, Innocent triumphed. His financial position was from the outset strong, for not only had he the revenue from the accustomed papal dues but he had also the support of the powerful religious orders; e.g. in November 1245 he visited the abbey of Cluny and was presented by the abbot with gifts, the value of which surprised even the papal officials. At first the war went in Frederick’s favour; then came the capture of the strategically important city of Parma by papal partisans (June 16th, 1247). From this moment fortune changed. On the 18th of February 1248 Frederick’s camp before Parma (the temporary town of Vittoria) was taken and sacked, the imperial insignia—of vast significance in those days—being captured. From this blow the emperor never recovered; and when on the 13th of December 1250 he died Innocent greeted the news by quoting from Psalm xcvi. 11, “Let the heavens rejoice and let the earth be glad.”

On the 19th of April 1251 Innocent left Lyons, which had suffered severely from his presence, and returned to Italy. He continued the struggle vigorously with Frederick’s son and successor, Conrad IV., who in 1252 descended into Italy, reduced the rebellious cities and claimed the imperial crown. Innocent, determined that the Hohenstaufen should not again dominate Italy, offered the crown of Sicily in turn to Richard of Cornwall, Charles of Anjou, and Henry III. of England, the last of whom accepted the doubtful gift for his son Edmund. Even after Conrad’s capture of Naples Innocent remained inexorable; for he feared that Rome itself might fall into the hands of the German king. But fortune favoured him. On the 20th of May 1254 Conrad died, leaving his infant son Conradin, as Henry VI. had left Frederick II., under the pope’s guardianship. Innocent accepted the charge and posed as the champion of the infant king. He held, indeed, to his bargain with Henry III. and, with all too characteristic nepotism, exercised his rights over the Sicilian kingdom by nominating his own relations to its most important offices. Finally, when Manfred, who by Frederick’s will had been charged with the government of the two Sicilies, felt obliged to acknowledge the pope’s suzerainty, Innocent threw off the mask, ignored Conradin’s claims, and on the 24th of October formally asserted his own claims to Calabria and Sicily. He entered Naples on the 27th; but meanwhile Manfred had fled and had raised a considerable force; and the news of his initial successes against the papal troops reached Innocent as he lay sick and hastened his end. He died on the 7th of December 1254.

Innocent IV. is comparable to his greater predecessor Innocent III. mainly in the extreme assertion of the papal claims. “The emperor,” he wrote, “doubts and denies that all men and all things are subject to the See of Rome. As if we who are judges of angels are not to give sentence on earthly things.... The ignorant assert that Constantine first gave temporal power to the See of Rome; it was already bestowed by Christ Himself, the true King and Priest, as inalienable from its nature and absolutely unconditional. Christ established not only a pontifical but a royal sovereignty (principatus) and committed to blessed Peter and his successors the empire both of earth and heaven, as is sufficiently proved by the plurality of the keys” (Codex epist. Vatic. No. 4957, 49, quoted in Raumer, Hohenstaufen, iv. 78). But this language, which in the mouth of Innocent III. had been consecrated by the greatness of his character and aims, was less impressive when it served as a cloak for an unlimited personal ambition and a family pride which displayed itself in unblushing nepotism. Yet in some respects Innocent IV. carried on the high traditions of his great predecessors. Thus he admonished Sancho II. of Portugal to turn from his evil courses and, when the king disobeyed, absolved the Portuguese from their allegiance, bestowing the crown on his brother Alphonso. He also established an ecclesiastical organization in the newly converted provinces of Prussia, which he divided into four dioceses; but his attempt to govern the Baltic countries through a legate broke on the opposition of the Teutonic Order, whose rights in Prussia he had confirmed.

It was Innocent IV. who, at the council of Lyons, first bestowed the red hat on the Roman cardinals, as a symbol of their readiness to shed their blood in the cause of the church.

Innocent was a canon lawyer of some eminence. His small work De exceptionibus was probably written before he became pope; but the Apparatus in quinque libros decretalium, which displays both practical sense and a remarkable mastery of the available materials, was written at Lyons immediately after the council. His Apologeticus, a defence of the papal claims against the Empire, written—as is supposed—in refutation of Piero della Vigna’s argument in favour of the independence of the Empire, has been lost. Innocent was also a notable patron of learning, he encouraged Alexander of Hales to write his Summa universae theologiae, did much for the universities, notably the Sorbonne, and founded law schools at Rome and Piacenza.

Innocent’s letters, the chief source for his life, are collected by E. Berger in Les Registres d’Innocent IV (3 vols., Paris, 1884-1887). For English readers the account in Milman’s Latin Christianity, vol. vi. (3rd ed., 1864) is still useful. Full references will be found in Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklopädie, vol. ix. (1901).

(W. A. P.)


Innocent V. (Pierre de Champagni or de Tarentaise), pope from the 21st of January to the 22nd of June 1276, was born about 1225 in Savoy and entered the Dominican order at an early age. He studied theology under Thomas Aquinas, Albertus Magnus and Bonaventura, and in 1262 was elected provincial of his order in France. He was made archbishop of Lyons in 1271; cardinal-bishop of Ostia and Velletri, and grand penitentiary in 1275; and, partly through the influence of Charles of Anjou, was elected to succeed Gregory X. As pope he established peace between the republics of Lucca and Pisa, and confirmed Charles of Anjou in his office of imperial vicar of Tuscany. He was seeking to carry out the Lyons agreement with the Eastern Church when he died. His successor was Adrian V. Innocent V., before he became pope, prepared, in conjunction with Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas, a rule of studies for his order, which was accepted in June 1259. He was the author of several works in philosophy, theology and canon law, including commentaries on the Scriptures and on the Sentences of Peter Lombard, and is sometimes referred to as famosissimus doctor. He preached the funeral sermon at Lyons over St Bonaventura. His bulls are in the Turin collection (1859).

See F. Gregorovius, Rome in the Middle Ages, vol. 5, trans. by Mrs G. W. Hamilton (London, 1900-1902); A. Potthast, Regesta, pontif. Roman. vol. ii. (Berlin, 1875); E. Bourgeois, Le Bienheureux Innocent V (Paris, 1899); J. E. Borel, Notice biogr. sur Pierre de Tarentaise (Chambéry, 1890); P. J. Béthaz, Pierre des Cours de la Salle, pape sous le nom Innocent V (Augustae, 1891); L. Carboni, De Innocentio V. Romano pontifice (1894).

(C. H. Ha.)

Innocent VI. (Étienne Aubert), pope from the 18th of December 1352 to the 12th of September 1362, was born at Mons in Limousin. He became professor of civil law at Toulouse and subsequently chief judge of the city. Having taken orders, he was raised to the see of Noyon and translated in 1340 to that of Clermont. In 1342 he was made cardinal-priest of Sti Giovanni e Paolo, and ten years later cardinal-bishop of Ostia and Velletri, grand penitentiary, and administrator of the bishopric of Avignon. On the death of Clement VI., the cardinals made a solemn agreement imposing obligations, mainly in favour of the college as a whole, on whichever of their number should be elected pope. Aubert was one of the minority who signed the agreement with the reservation that in so doing he would not violate any law, and was elected pope on this understanding; not long after his accession he declared the agreement null and void, as infringing the divinely-bestowed power of the papacy. Innocent was one of the best Avignon popes and filled with reforming zeal; he revoked the reservations and commendations of his predecessor and prohibited pluralities; urged upon the higher clergy the duty of residence in their sees, and diminished the luxury of the papal court. Largely through the influence of Petrarch, whom he called to Avignon, he released Cola di Rienzo, who had been sent a prisoner in August 1352 from Prague to Avignon, and used the latter to assist Cardinal Albornoz, vicar-general of the States of the Church, in tranquillizing Italy and restoring the papal power at Rome. Innocent caused Charles IV. to be crowned emperor at Rome in 1355, but protested against the famous “Golden Bull” of the following year, which prohibited papal interference in German royal elections. He renewed the ban against Peter the Cruel of Castile, and interfered in vain against Peter IV. of Aragon. He made peace between Venice and Genoa, and in 1360 arranged the treaty of Bretigny between France and England. In the last years of his pontificate he was busied with preparations for a crusade and for the reunion of Christendom, and sent to Constantinople the celebrated Carmelite monk, Peter Thomas, to negotiate with the claimants to the Greek throne. He instituted in 1354 the festival of the Holy Lance. Innocent was a strong and earnest man of monastic temperament, but not altogether free from nepotism. He was succeeded by Urban V.

The chief sources for the life of Innocent VI. are in Baluzius, Vitae Pap. Avenion, vol. i. (Paris, 1693); Magnum bullarium Romanum, vol. iv. (Turin, 1859); E. Werunsky, Excerpta ex registris Clementis VI. et Innocentii VI. (Innsbruck, 1885). See also L. Pastor History of the Popes, vol. i. trans. by F. I. Antrobus (London, 1899); F. Gregorovius, Rome in the Middle Ages, vol. 6, trans. by Mrs G. W. Hamilton (London, 1900-1902); D. Cerri, Innocenzo Papa VI. (Turin, 1873); J. B. Christophe, Histoire de la papauté pendant le XIVe siècle, vol. 2 (Paris, 1853); M. Souchon, Die Papstwahlen (Brunswick, 1888); G. Daumet, Innocent VI. et Blanche de Bourbon (Paris, 1899); E. Werunsky, Gesch. Kaiser Karls IV. (Innsbruck, 1892). There is an excellent article by M. Naumann in Hauck’s Realencyklopädie, 3rd ed.

(C. H. Ha.)

Innocent VII. (Cosimo dei Migliorati), pope from the 17th of October 1404 to the 6th of November 1406, was born of middle-class parentage at Sulmona in the Abruzzi in 1339. On account of his knowledge of civil and canon law, he was made papal vice-chamberlain and archbishop of Ravenna by Urban VI., and appointed by Boniface IX. cardinal priest of Sta Croce in Gerusalemme, bishop of Bologna, and papal legate to England. He was unanimously chosen to succeed Boniface, after each of the cardinals had solemnly bound himself to employ all lawful means for the restoration of the church’s unity in the event of his election, and even, if necessary, to resign the papal dignity. The election was opposed at Rome by a considerable party, but peace was maintained by the aid of Ladislaus of Naples, in return for which Innocent made a promise, inconsistent with his previous oath, not to come to terms with the antipope Benedict XIII., except on condition that he should recognize the claims of Ladislaus to Naples. Innocent issued at the close of 1404 a summons for a general council to heal the schism, and it was not the pope’s fault that the council never assembled, for the Romans rose in arms to secure an extension of their liberties, and finally maddened by the murder of some of their leaders by the pope’s nephew, Ludovico dei Migliorati, they compelled Innocent to take refuge at Viterbo (6th of August 1405). The Romans, recognizing later the pope’s innocence of the outrage, made their submission to him in January 1406. He returned to Rome in March, and, by bull of the 1st of September, restored the city’s decayed university. Innocent was extolled by contemporaries as a lover of peace and honesty, but he was without energy, guilty of nepotism, and showed no favour to the proposal that he as well as the antipope should resign. He died on the 6th of November 1406 and was succeeded by Gregory XII.

See L. Pastor, History of the Popes, vol. i., trans. by F. I. Antrobus (London, 1899); M. Creighton, History of the Papacy, vol. i. (London, 1899); N. Valois, La France et le grand schisme d’occident (Paris, 1896-1902); Louis Gayet, Le Grand Schisme d’occident (Paris, 1898); J. Loserth, Geschichte des späteren Mittelalters (1903); Theodorici de Nyem, De schismate libri tres, ed. by G. Erler (Leipzig, 1890); K. J. von Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, Bd. 6, 2nd ed.; J. von Haller, Papsttum u. Kirchenreform (Berlin, 1903).

(C. H. Ha.)

Innocent VIII. (Giovanni Battista Cibo), pope from the 29th of August 1484 to the 25th of July 1492, successor of Sixtus IV., was born at Genoa (1432), the son of Arano Cibo, who under Calixtus III. had been a senator of Rome. His youth, spent at the Neapolitan court, was far from blameless, and it is not certain that he was married to the mother of his numerous family. He later took orders, and, through the favour of Cardinal Calandrini, half-brother of Nicholas V., obtained from Paul II. the bishopric of Savona. Sixtus IV. translated him to the see of Molfetta, and in 1473 created him cardinal-priest of Sta Balbina, subsequently of Sta Cecilia. As pope, he addressed a fruitless summons to Christendom to unite in a crusade against the infidels, and concluded in 1489 a treaty with Bayezid II., agreeing in consideration of an annual payment of 40,000 ducats and the gift of the Holy Lance, to detain the sultan’s fugitive brother Jem in close confinement in the Vatican. Innocent excommunicated and deposed Ferdinand, king of Naples, by bull of the 11th of September 1489, for refusal to pay the papal dues, and gave his kingdom to Charles VIII. of France, but in 1492 restored Ferdinand to favour. He declared (1486) Henry VII. to be lawful king of England by the threefold right of conquest, inheritance and popular choice, and approved his marriage with Elizabeth, the daughter of Edward IV. Innocent, like his predecessor, hated heresy, and in the bull Summis desiderantes (5th of December 1484) he instigated very severe measures against magicians and witches in Germany; he 582 prohibited (1486) on pain of excommunication the reading of the propositions of Pico della Mirandola; he appointed (1487) T. Torquemada to be grand inquisitor of Spain; and he offered plenary indulgence to all who would engage in a crusade against the Waldenses. He took the first steps towards the canonization of Queen Margaret of Scotland, and sent missionaries under Portuguese auspices to the Congo. An important event of his pontificate was the capture of Granada (2nd of January 1492), which was celebrated at Rome with great rejoicing and for which Innocent gave to Ferdinand of Aragon the title of “Catholic Majesty.” Innocent was genial, skilled in flattery, and popular with the Romans, but he lacked talent and relied on the stronger will of Cardinal della Rovere, afterwards Julius II. His Curia was notoriously corrupt, and he himself openly practised nepotism in favour of his children, concerning whom the epigram is quoted: “Octo nocens pueros genuit, totidemque puellas:—Hunc merito poterit dicere Roma patrem.” Thus he gave to his undeserving son Franceschetto several towns near Rome and married him to the daughter of Lorenzo de’ Medici. Innocent died on the 25th of July 1492, and was succeeded by Alexander VI.

The sources for the life of Innocent VIII. are to be found in L. Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores, vol. 3, and in Raynaldus, a. 1484-1492. See also L. Pastor, History of the Popes, vol. 5, trans. by F. I. Antrobus (London, 1898); M. Creighton, History of the Papacy, vol. 4 (London, 1901); F. Gregorovius, Rome in the Middle Ages, vol. 7, trans. by Mrs. G. W. Hamilton (London, 1900-1902); T. Hagen, Die Papstwahlen von 1484 u. 1492 (Brizen, 1885); S. Riezler, Die Hexenprozesse (1896); G. Viani, Memorie della famiglia Cybo (Pisa, 1808); F. Serdonati, Vita e fatti d’Innocenzo VIII. (Milan, 1829).

(C. H. Ha.)

Innocent IX. (Giovanni Antonio Fachinetti) was born in 1519. He filled the offices of apostolic vicar of Avignon, legate at the council of Trent, nuncio to Venice, and president of the Inquisition. He became cardinal in 1583; and under the invalid Gregory XIV. assumed almost the entire conduct of affairs. His election to the papacy, on the 29th of October 1591, was brought about by Philip II., who profited little by it, however, inasmuch as Innocent soon succumbed to age and feebleness, dying on the 30th of December 1591.

See Ciaconius, Vitae et res gestae summorum Pontiff. Rom. (Rome, 1601-1602); Cicarella, continuator of Platina, De Vitis Pontiff. Rom. (both contemporaries of Innocent); Ranke, Popes (Eng. trans., Austin), ii. 233 sq. (all brief accounts).

(T. F. C.)

Innocent X. (Giovanni Battista Pamfili) was born in Rome on the 6th of May 1574, served successively as auditor of the Rota, nuncio to Naples, legate apostolic to Spain, was made cardinal in 1627, and succeeded Urban VIII. as pope on the 15th of September 1644. Throughout his pontificate Innocent was completely dominated by his sister-in-law, Donna Olimpia Maidalchini, a woman of masculine spirit. There is no reason to credit the scandalous reports of an illicit attachment. Nevertheless, the influence of Donna Olimpia was baneful; and she made herself thoroughly detested for her inordinate ambition and rapacity. Urban VIII. had been French in his sympathies; but the papacy now shifted to the side of the Habsburgs, and there remained for nearly fifty years. Evidences of the change were numerous: Innocent promoted pro-Spanish cardinals; attacked the Barberini, protégés of Mazarin, and sequestered their possessions; aided in quieting an insurrection in Naples, fomented by the duke of Guise; and refused to recognize the independence of Portugal, then at war with Spain. As a reward he obtained from Spain and Naples the recognition of ecclesiastical immunity. In 1649 Castro, which Urban VIII. had failed to take, was wrested from the Farnese and annexed to the Papal States. The most worthy efforts of Innocent were directed to the reform of monastic discipline (1652). His condemnation of Jansenism (1653) was met with the denial of papal infallibility in matters of fact, and the controversy entered upon a new phase (see Jansenism). Although the pontificate of Innocent witnessed the conversion of many Protestant princes, the most notable being Queen Christina of Sweden, the papacy had nevertheless suffered a perceptible decline in prestige; it counted for little in the negotiations at Münster, and its solemn protest against the peace of Westphalia was entirely ignored. Innocent died on the 7th of January 1655, and was succeeded by Alexander VII.

For contemporary lives of Innocent see Oldoin, continuator of Ciaconius, Vitae et res gestae summorum Pontiff. Rom.; and Palazzi, Gesta Pontiff. Rom. (Venice, 1687-1688) iv. 570 sqq.; Ciampi’s Innoc. X. Pamfili, et la sua Corte (Rome, 1878), gives a very full account of the period. Gualdus’ (pseud. of Gregorio Leti; v. bibliog. note, art. “Sixtus V.”) Vita de Donna Olimpia Maidalchina (1666) is gossipy and untrustworthy; Capranica’s Donna Olympia Pamfili (Milan, 1875, 3rd ed.) is fanciful and historically of no value. See also Ranke, Popes (Eng. trans., Austin), iii. 40 sqq.; v. Reumont, Gesch. der Stadt Rom. iii. 2, p. 623 sqq.; Brosch, Gesch. des Kirchenstaates (1880) i. 409 sqq.; and the extended bibliography in Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklopädie, s.v. “Innocenz X.”

(T. F. C.)

Innocent XI. (Benedetto Odescalchi), pope from 1676 to 1689, was born at Como on the 16th of May 1611. He studied law in Rome and Naples, entered the Curia under Urban VIII. (his alleged military service seems to be questionable), and became successively protonotary, president of the Apostolic Chamber, governor of Macerate and commissary of Ancona. Innocent X. made him a cardinal (1647), legate to Ferrara, and, in 1650, bishop of Novara. His simple and blameless life, his conscientious discharge of duty, and his devotion to the needs of the poor had won for him such a name that, despite the opposition of France, he was chosen to succeed Clement X. on the 21st of September 1676. He at once applied himself to moral and administrative reform; declared against nepotism, introduced economy, abolished sinecures, wiped out the deficit (at the same time reducing rents), closed the gaming-houses, and issued a number of sumptuary ordinances. He held monks strictly to the performance of their vows; took care to satisfy himself of the fitness of candidates for bishoprics; enjoined regular catechetical instruction, greater simplicity in preaching, and greater reverence in worship. The moral teaching of the Jesuits incurred his condemnation (1679) (see Liguori), an act which the society never forgave, and which it partially revenged by forcing, through the Inquisition, the condemnation of the quietistic doctrines of Molinos (1687), for which Innocent entertained some sympathy (see Molinos).

The pontificate of Innocent fell within an important period in European politics, and he himself played no insignificant rôle. His protest against Louis XIV.’s extended claim to regalian rights called forth the famous Declaration of Gallican Liberties by a subservient French synod under the lead of Bossuet (1682), which the pope met by refusing to confirm Louis’s clerical appointments. His determination to restrict the ambassadorial right of asylum, which had been grossly abused, was resented by Louis, who defied him in his own capital, seized the papal territory of Avignon, and talked loudly of a schism, without, however, shaking the pope in his resolution. The preponderance of France Innocent regarded as a menace to Europe. He opposed Louis’s candidate for the electorate of Cologne (1688), approved the League of Augsburg, acquiesced in the designs of the Protestant William of Orange, even in his supplanting James II., whom, although a Roman Catholic, he distrusted as a tool of Louis. The great object of Innocent’s desire was the repulse of the Turks, and his unwearying efforts to that end entitled him to share in the glory of relieving Vienna (1683).

Innocent died on the 12th of August 1689, lamented by his subjects. His character and life were such as to suggest the propriety of canonization, but hostile influences have defeated every move in that direction.

The life of Innocent has been frequently written. See Guarnacci, Vitae et res gestae Pontiff. Rom. (Rome, 1751), i. 105 sqq.; Palazzi, Gesta Pontiff. Rom. (Venice, 1690); also the lives by Albrizzi (Rome, 1695); Buonamici (Rome, 1776); and Immich (Berlin, 1900). Particular phases of Innocent’s activity have been treated by Michaud, Loius XIV. et Innoc. XI. (Paris, 1882 sqq., 4 vols.); Dubruel, La Correspond.... du Card. Carlo Pio, &c. (see Rev. des quest. hist. lxxv. (1904) 602 sqq.); and Gerin, in Rev. des quest. hist., 1876, 1878, 1886. For correspondence of Innocent see Colombo, Notizie biogr. e lettere di P. Innoc. XI. (Turin, 1878); and Berthier, Innoc. PP. XI. Epp. ad Principes (Rome, 1890 sqq.). An extended bibliography may be found in Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklopädie, s.v. “Innocenz XI.”

(T. F. C.)


Innocent XII. (Antonio Pignatelli), pope from 1691 to 1700 in succession to Alexander VIII., was born in Naples on the 13th of March 1615, was educated at the Jesuit College in Rome, entered upon his official career at the age of twenty, and became vice-legate of Urbino, governor of Perugia, and nuncio to Tuscany, to Poland and to Austria. He was made cardinal and archbishop of Naples by Innocent XI., whose pontificate he took as a model for his own, which began on the 12th of July 1691. Full of reforming zeal, he issued ordinances against begging, extravagance and gambling; forbade judges to accept presents from suitors; built new courts of justice; prohibited the sale of offices, maintaining the financial equilibrium by reducing expenses; and, an almost revolutionary step, struck at the root of nepotism, in a bull of 1692 ordaining that thenceforth no pope should grant estates, offices or revenues to any relative. Innocent likewise put an end to the strained relations that had existed between France and the Holy See for nearly fifty years. He adjusted the difficulties over the regalia, and obtained from the French bishops the virtual repudiation of the Declaration of Gallican Liberties. He confirmed the bull of Alexander VIII. against Jansenism (1696); and, in 1699, under pressure from Louis XIV., condemned certain of Fénelon’s doctrines which Bossuet had denounced as quietistic (see Fénelon). When the question of the Spanish succession was being agitated he advised Charles II. to make his will in favour of the duke of Anjou. Innocent died, on the eve of the great conflict, on the 27th of September 1700. Moderate, benevolent, just, Innocent was one of the best popes of the modern age.

See Guarnacci, Vitae et res gestae Pontiff. Rom. (Rome, 1751), i. 389 sqq.; Ranke, Popes (Eng. trans., Austin), iii. 186 sqq.; v. Reumont, Gesch. der Stadt Rom. iii. 2, p. 640 sqq.; and the Bullarium Innoc. XII. (Rome, 1697).

(T. F. C.)

Innocent XIII. (Michele Angelo Conti), pope from 1721 to 1724, was the son of the duke of Poli, and a member of a family that had produced several popes, among them Innocent III., was born in Rome on the 13th of May 1655, served as nuncio in Switzerland, and, for a much longer time, in Portugal, was made cardinal and bishop of Osimo and Viterbo by Clement XI., whom he succeeded on the 8th of May 1721. One of his first acts was to invest the emperor Charles VI. with Naples (1722); but against the imperial investiture of Don Carlos with Parma and Piacenza he protested, albeit in vain. He recognized the Pretender, “James III.,” and promised him subsidies conditional upon the re-establishment of Roman Catholicism in England. Moved by deep-seated distrust of the Jesuits and by their continued practice of “Accommodation,” despite express papal prohibition (see Clement XI.), Innocent forbade the Order to receive new members in China, and was said to have meditated its suppression. This encouraged the French Jansenist bishops to press for the revocation of the bull Unigenitus; but the pope commanded its unreserved acceptance. He weakly yielded to pressure and bestowed the cardinal’s hat upon the corrupt and debauched Dubois. Innocent died on the 7th of March 1724, and was succeeded by Benedict XIII.

See Guarnacci, Vitae et res gestae Pontiff. Rom. (Rome, 1751), ii. 137 sqq., 381 sqq.; Sandini, Vitae Pontiff. Rom. (Padua, 1739); M. v. Mayer, Die Papstwahl Innocenz XIII. (Vienna, 1874); Michaud, “La Fin du Clement XI. et le commencement du pontificat d’Innocent XIII.” in the Internat. Theol. Zeitschr. v. 42 sqq., 304 sqq.

(T. F. C.)
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