Pope Pius VIII
English name=Pius VIII
birth_name=Francesco Saverio Castiglioni
March 31, 1829
November 30, 1830
dead=dead|death_date=death date and age|1830|11|30|1761|11|20|mf=y
Quirinal Palace, Rome
Pope Pius VIII (
November 20, 1761– December 1, 1830), born Francesco Saverio Castiglioni, was Popein 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 bishopof 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
soreson 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 Statesas autocratically as though he had himself worn the triple crown" [http://www.pickle-publishing.com/papers/triple-crown-pius-viii.htm] .
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 1829he 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.
25 March 1830, in the brief" Litteris altero", he condemned masonic secret societies and modernist biblical translations.
During his brief pontificate, the
Catholic Emancipationoccurred 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 Irelandand 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 theoryas 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.
papal name=Pope Pius VIII
* [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]
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