Pope Pius VIII

Infobox Pope
English name=Pius VIII

birth_name=Francesco Saverio Castiglioni
term_start=March 31, 1829
term_end=November 30, 1830
predecessor=Leo XII
successor=Gregory XVI
birth_date=birth date|1761|11|20|mf=y
birthplace=Cingoli, Italy
dead=dead|death_date=death date and age|1830|11|30|1761|11|20|mf=y
deathplace=Quirinal Palace, Rome

Pope Pius VIII (November 20, 1761 – December 1, 1830), born Francesco Saverio Castiglioni, was Pope in 1829 and 1830.


He was born in Cingoli, Marche, the son of Count Ottavio Castiglioni and his wife Sanzia Ghislieri. He studied Canon law and, in 1800 became bishop of Montalto. After he refused to swear allegiance to Napoleon I of France (1804–14, 1815) he was taken to France, but following the defeat of France, he was, in 1816, made a cardinal.

"As a Cardinal, Castiglione had continued to live modestly, made no enemies, and although his own private life had always been irreproachable, he had shown no signs of censoriousness where others were concerned. He suffered from a very painful and distressing complaint, having perpetually suppurating sores on his neck and body, and was far too ill and feeble to do more than sign the documents presented to him by Cardinal Giuseppe Albani, who ruled the Papal States as autocratically as though he had himself worn the triple crown" [http://www.pickle-publishing.com/papers/triple-crown-pius-viii.htm] .

As pope

He held various high offices thereafter, including that of Major Penitentiary, and, after the death of Pope Leo XII (1823–29), was elected Pope in the papal conclave.

As Pope Pius VIII, he initiated some reforms in the States of the Church. On 24 May 1829 he issued an encyclical, "Traditi humilitati". Perhaps indicating that the current debate on religious pluralism was also occurring in his own time he condemned the "foul contrivance of the sophists of this age" that would place Catholicism on par with any other religion.

Regarding Bible translations, he wrote in that encyclical::We must also be wary of those who publish the Bible with new interpretations contrary to the Church's laws. They skillfully distort the meaning by their own interpretation. They print the Bibles in the vernacular and, absorbing an incredible expense, offer them free even to the uneducated. Furthermore, the Bibles are rarely without perverse little inserts to insure that the reader imbibes their lethal poison instead of the saving water of salvation.

On 25 March 1830, in the brief "Litteris altero", he condemned masonic secret societies and modernist biblical translations.

During his brief pontificate, the Catholic Emancipation occurred in the United Kingdom, and the July Revolution (1830) in France – after which he recognised Louis Philippe (1830–48) as the de facto king of France after the toppling of Charles X.

Pius VIII accepted the situation on mixed marriages between Protestants and catholics in Germany, but opposed liberalising tendencies in Ireland and Poland.

Health, death and conspiracy theory

Pius VIII was in very poor health from his election until his death. Nevertheless there were rumours that he had been poisoned. Prince Don Agostino Chigi, a contemporary of the Pope's and one of the papal nobility associated with the papal court, recorded in his diary (2 December, 1830):

:"Nella sezione del cadavere del Pontefice che seguì ieri sera per quanto si dice, furono trovate le viscere sanissime e solo si è rinvenuta qualche debolezza nel polmone, altri dicono qualche sfiancamento nel cuore; resterebbe perciò a sapersi di qual male sia morto."

:(Translation: "During the dissection of the Pope's body, which occurred yesterday evening, as far as they say, only very healthy internal organs (viscera) were found, except some weakness of the lungs, or, according to others, a tired heart; it is therefore impossible to know the cause of death.")

These few words have been interpreted by some partisans of a conspiracy theory as evidence that the Pope had indeed been poisoned. Camillo di Pietro gave the funeral ovation for the late Pope before the cardinals entered the conclave.

infobox popestyles
papal name=Pope Pius VIII
dipstyle=His Holiness
offstyle=Your Holiness
relstyle=Holy Father

External links

* [http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius08/index.htm Papal Encyclicals Online]
* [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12134a.htm Catholic Encyclopedia article]
* [http://www.intratext.com/Catalogo/Autori/AUT301.HTM Pope Pius VIII encyclicals and other works, IntraText Digital Library]
* [http://www.intratext.com/X/ITA1632.HTM Agostino Chigi Diary, IntraText Digital Library] it icon
* [http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/bishop/bcastig.html Catholic-Hierarchy entry]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pope Pius VIII —     Pope Pius VIII     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Pope Pius VIII     (Francesco Xaverio Castiglione).     B. at Cingoli, 20 Nov., 1761; elected 31 March, 1829; d. 1 Dec., 1830. He came of a noble family and attended the Jesuit school at Osimo,… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Pope Gregory VIII —     Pope Gregory VIII     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Pope Gregory VIII     (ALBERTO DI MORRA).     Born about the beginning of the twelfth century, at Benevento; elected at Ferrara, 21 Oct., 1187; died at Pisa, 17 Dec., 1187, after a pontificate… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Pope Clement VIII — Not to be confused with Antipope Clement VIII. Clement VIII Papacy began 30 January 1592 Papacy ended 3 March 1605 ( 1000000000000001300000013 yea …   Wikipedia

  • Pope Urban VIII — Urban VIII Papacy began 6 August 1623 Papacy ended 29 July 1644 ( 1000000000000002000000020 years …   Wikipedia

  • Pope Pius IX — Pius IX Papacy began 16 June 1846 Papacy ended 7 February 1878 ( 1000000000000003100000031 years, 10000000000000236000000236 days) …   Wikipedia

  • Pius VIII —     Pope Pius VIII     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Pope Pius VIII     (Francesco Xaverio Castiglione).     B. at Cingoli, 20 Nov., 1761; elected 31 March, 1829; d. 1 Dec., 1830. He came of a noble family and attended the Jesuit school at Osimo,… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Pope Pius — There have been 12 Popes of the Roman Catholic Church who were named Pius: *Pope Pius I (c. 140 ndash;154, but Vatican lists 142/146 ndash; 157/161) *Pope Pius II (1458 ndash;1464) *Pope Pius III (1503 ndash;1503) *Pope Pius IV (1559 ndash;1565)… …   Wikipedia

  • Pope Pius XII — Pius XII Papacy began 2 March 1939 Papacy ended 9 October 1958 ( 1000000000000001900000019 years, 10000000000000221000000221 days) Predecessor …   Wikipedia

  • Pope Pius XI — Pius XI Papacy began 6 February 1922 Papacy ended 10 February 1939 ( 1000000000000001700000017 years, 100000000000000040000004&# …   Wikipedia

  • Pope Pius V — Pius V Papacy began 7 January 1566 Papacy ended 1 May 1572 (6 years, 3 months, 24 days) Predecessor Pius IV …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.