Pope Alexander VIII
Infobox Pope|English name=Alexander VIII
Latin name=Alexander PP. VIII
birth_name=Pietro Vito Ottoboni
October 6 1689
February 1 1691
dead=dead|death_date=death date and age|1691|2|1|1610|4|22|mf=y
Pope Alexander VIII (
April 22 1610– February 1 1691), born Pietro Vito Ottoboni, was Popefrom 1689 to 1691.
Pietro Ottoboni was born of a noble Venetian family, and was the son of Marco Ottoboni, chancellor of the
Republic of Venice. His early studies were made with marked brilliancy at the University of Padua, where, in 1627, he earned a doctorate in canon and civil law.
Governor of Terni, Rieti and Spoleto
He went to Rome during the pontificate of
Pope Urban VIII(1623–44), and was made governor of Terni, Rieti, and Spoleto. For fourteen years he served as auditor of the Rota. At the request of the Venetian Republic, Ottoboni was made Cardinal by Pope Innocent X(1644–55) in 1652, and was later given the bishopric of Brescia, in Venetian territory, where he quietly spent the best years of middle life.
The ambassador of
Louis XIV of France(1643–1715) succeeded in procuring his election on October 6, 1689as successor to Pope Innocent XI(1676–89); nevertheless, after months of negotiation Alexander VIII finally condemned the declaration made in 1682 by the French clergy concerning the liberties of the Gallican church.Alexander VIII was already an octogenarian when elected to the papacy, and lived but sixteen months, during which time little of importance was done. Louis XIV, whose political situation was now critical, profited by the peaceful dispositions of the new pope, restored to him Avignon, and renounced the long-abused right of asylumfor the French Embassy.
Charities on a large scale and unbounded nepotism (among the various nominations, his 22-year-old nephew Pietro was made cardinal, nephew Marco Duc of Fiano and nephew Antonio Church general) exhausted the papal treasury, reversing the policies of his predecessor. Out of compassion for the poor of the impoverished
Papal States, he sought to help them by reducing taxes. But this same generous nature led him to bestow on his relations the riches they were eager to accumulate; on their behalf, and to the discredit of his pontificate, he revived sinecureoffices which had been suppressed by Innocent XI. He bought the books and manuscripts of Queen Christina of Swedenfor the Vatican Library. Alexander VIII assisted his native Venice by generous subsidies in the war against the Turks, as well as sending seven galleys and 2,000 infantry for the campaign in Albania.In 1690 he condemned the doctrines of the so-called philosophical sin, taught in the Jesuit schools. That year he also canonised St John of God.
Alexander VIII died on
February 1 1691. His tomb in St. Peter's was designed by Count Arrigo di San Martinoand sculpted (1691-1725) by Angelo de' Rossiand Giuseppe Bertosi.
*cite book|first=Claudio|last=Rendina|title=I papi. Storia e segreti|publisher=Newton Compton|location=Rome|year=1984
* [http://www.serlupi.it/Ottoboni.html Ottoboni family]
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