Pietro Ottoboni, born at Venice, April, 1610; elected 5 October, 1689; died at Rome, 1 February, 1691. He was the son of Marco Ottoboni, chancellor of the Republic of Venice, and a descendant of a noble family of that city. The future pope enjoyed ail that wealth and social position could contribute towards a perfect education. His early studies were made with marked brilliancy at the University of Padua , where, in 1627, he secured the doctorate in canon and civil law. He went to Rome, during the pontificate of Urban VIII (1623-44), and was made governor of Terni, Rieti, and Spoleto. For fourteen years he served as auditor of the Rota (q.v.). At the request of the Republic this favoured son was made Cardinal by Innocent X (19 February, 1652), and was later given the Bishopric of Brescia, in Venetian territory? where he quietly spent the best years of middle life. Clement IX made him Cardinal-Datary. He was already an octogenarian when elected to the papacy, and lived but sixteen months, during which time little of importance was done. Louis XIV of France whose political situation was now critical, profited by the peaceful dispositions of the new Pope, restored to him Avignon, and renounced the longabused right of asylum for the French Embassy. (See ALEXANDER VII .) But the king's conciliatory spirit did not dissuade the resolute Pope from declaring (4 August, 1690) that the Declaration of Gallican Liberties (q.v.), drawn up in 1682, was null and invalid. He assisted his native Venice by generous subsidies in the war against the Turks, and he purchased for the Vatican library the books and manuscripts owned by Queen Christina of Sweden. He condemned the doctrine of a number of variously erroneous propositions, among them (24 August, 1690) the doctrine of "philosophical sin " (see SIN); cf. Denzinger, "Enchiridion Symb. et Defin." (9th ed., Freiburg, 1900), 274-278; and Vacant "Dict. de théol. cath." (Paris, 1903), I, 748-763. Alexander was an upright man, generous, peace-loving, and indulgent. Out of compassion for the poor of well-nigh impoverished Italy, he sought to succour them by reducing the taxes. But this same generous nature led him to bestow on his relations the riches they were eager to accumulate; in their behalf, and to the discredit of his pontificate, he revived sinecure offices which had been suppressed by his predecessor.
Biography Of The Trinity
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online