Pope Celestine IV

Infobox Pope
English name=Celestine IV

birth_name=Goffredo da Castiglione
term_start=October 25, 1241
term_end=November 10, 1241
predecessor=Gregory IX
successor=Innocent IV
birth_date=Date unknown
birthplace= Milan, Italy
dead=dead|death_date=death date|1241|11|10|mf=y
deathplace=Rome, Italy

Pope Celestine IV (died November 10, 1241 in Rome), born Goffredo da Castiglione, was pope from October 25, 1241 to November 10, 1241.

Born in Milan, Goffredo or Godfrey was the son of a sister of Pope Urban III (1185–87); his early life is unknown until he became chancellor of the church of Milan (perhaps as early as 1219, certainly in 1223–27). Pope Gregory IX (1227–41) made him a cardinal September 18, 1227 [http://www.fiu.edu/~mirandas/consistories-xiii.htm] , with the cure of San Marco, and in 1228–29 sent him as legate in Lombardy and Tuscany, where the cities and communes had generally remained true to the Hohenstaufen emperor, Frederick II, in an attempt to bring them around to the curial side, without success ("Lex. der Mittelalters"). In 1238 he was made cardinal bishop of Sabina (Pallavicini Bagliani 1972).

The papal election, 1241 that elected him was held under stringent conditions that hastened his death. The papal curia was disunited over the violent struggle to bring the Emperor and King of Sicily Frederick II, to heel. One group of cardinals favored the ambitious schemes of the Gregorian Reform, and aimed to humble Frederick II as a papal vassal. Frederick II however controlled as his unwilling guests in Tivoli two cardinals whom he had captured at sea, and in Rome Cardinal Giovanni Colonna was his ally, largely because the curia were in the hands of the Colonna archenemy, the senator Matteo Rosso Orsini, who held the consistory immured under his guards in the ramshackle palace of the Septizodium, where rains leaked through the roof of their chamber, mingled with the urine of Orsini's guards on the rooftiles (Abulafia 1988, p 350). One of the cardinals fell ill and died.

One group, which included Sinibaldo de' Fieschi (soon to be Pope Innocent IV) backed a candidate from the inner circle of Pope Gregory IX expected to pursue the hard line with Frederick II. Another group advocated a moderated middle course, not allies of the Hohenstaufen, but keen to reach an end to the Italian war. Overtures to Frederick II, however, were met with the impossible demand, that if they wished the cardinals in his hands to return to Rome, they must elect as Pope one of them, Otto of St. Nicholas, an amenable compromise figure. Matteo Orsini's candidate was also unacceptable, Romano da Porto, who had persecuted scholars at the University of Paris and had conducted himself in unseemly fashion in the presence of the Queen Mother.

The cardinal bishop of Sabina was finally elected Pope Celestine IV by seven cardinals only, on October 25, 1241. He occupied the throne for only seventeen days, his only notable papal act being the timely excommunication of Matteo OrsiniFact|date=June 2008, and died, before consecration, of wear and age, on November 10, 1241, and was buried in St Peter's.

His relative, Goffredo Castiglioni, was made a cardinal by Pope Innocent IV (1243–54) on May 28, 1244. He died March 1245 [http://www.fiu.edu/~mirandas/consistories-xiii.htm] .


*Wendy J. Reardon,"The Deaths of the Popes"
*Robert Abulafia, 1988. "Frederick II: a Medieval Emperor" (Oxford: Oxford University Press)
*"Lexikon der Mittelalters," vol. iii, part 7 ( [http://www.genealogie-mittelalter.de/paepste/coelestin_4_papst_+_1241.html On-line] ).

Further reading

*Agostino Pallavicini Bagliani, 1972. "Cardinali di curia e familiae cardinalizie dal 1227 al 1254" in series "Italia Sacra" vols 18–19 (Padua: Antenore 1972) A standard account.

External links

* [http://www.fiu.edu/~mirandas/consistories-xiii.htm The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church:] XIII Century

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