Portrait of Pope Clement XIV (Latin: Clemens XIV, Pontifex Romanus), Bishop of Rome (1769-1774); Giovanni Vincenzo Antonio Ganganelli (1705 -1774), Cardinal (1759-1769)
Pope Clement XIV (Italian: Papa Clemente XIV; 31 October 1705 – 22 September 1774), born Giovanni Vincenzo Antonio Ganganelli, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 19 May 1769 to his death in 1774. At the time of his election, he was the only Franciscan friar in the College of Cardinals. To date, he is the last pope to take the pontifical name of "Clement" upon his election. He is best known for his suppression of the Society of Jesus. Ganganelli was born in Santarcangelo di Romagna in 1705 as the second child of Lorenzo Ganganelli and Angela Serafina Maria Mazza. He received the sacrament of baptism on 2 November 1705. He initially studied at Verucchio but later received his education from the Society of Jesus at Rimini from 1717. He also studied with the Piarists of Urbino. Ganganelli entered the Order of Friars Minor Conventual on 15 May 1723 in Forlì and taking the name to Lorenzo Francesco. He was professed as a full member of that order on 18 May 1724. He was sent to the convents of Pesaro, Fano and Recanati from 1724 to 1728 where he did his theological studies. He continued his studies in Rome under Antonio Lucci and obtained his doctorate in theology in 1731. He was ordained around this time after he received his doctorate and he taught philosophy and theology for almost a decade in Ascoli, Bologna and Milan. He later returned to Rome as the regent of the college that he studied in and was later elected as the Definitor General of the order in 1741. In the general chapters of his order in 1753 and 1756, he declined the generalship of his order and some rumored it was due to his desire of a higher office. Ganganelli became a friend of Pope Benedict XIV, who in 1758 appointed him to investigate the issue of the traditional blood libel regarding the Jews, which Ganganelli found to be untrue. Pope Clement XIII elevated Ganganelli to the cardinalate on 24 September 1759 and appointed him as the Cardinal-Priest of San Lorenzo in Panisperna. His elevation came at the insistence of Lorenzo Ricci, who was the Superior-General of the Society of Jesus. Ganganelli opted to become the Cardinal-Priest of Ss. XII Apostoli in 1762. The papal conclave in 1769 was almost completely dominated by the problem of the Society of Jesus. During the previous pontificate, the Jesuits had been expelled from Portugal and from all the courts of the House of Bourbon, which included France, Spain, Naples, and Parma. In January, 1769, these powers made a formal demand for the dissolution of the Society. Clement XIII had planned a consistory to discuss the matter, but died on 2 February, the night before it was to be held.
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