Pope Clement XII

. Clement XII, Lorenzo Corsini actually (* April 16, 1652 in Florence, (large) Duchy of Tuscany; † February 6, 1740 in Rome) was Pope from 1730 to 1740.


The noble Lorenzo Corsini, whose mother was a Strozzi, was born into a family from the highest layer of the Florentine society. He had earned a law degree at the University of Pisa and processed according to the instructions given by his uncle, Cardinal Neri Corsini. After the death of his uncle and his father was Lorenzo Corsini in 1685 at the age of 33 years, the head of the family of Corsini. In his hometown, he was also a member of the Accademia della Crusca.

However, he laid aside his rights as firstborn, acquired by Pope Innocent XI. , As it was in his time common for 30,000 scudi to the rank of prelates and devoted his wealth and time of the enlargement of the library, which had bequeathed him by his uncle.

As a lawyer and banker, he worked for several of his predecessors in the papacy. In 1690 he was under Alexander VIII Titular Archbishop of Nicomedia " in partibus infidelium ", ie the territory of the infidels. Under Pope Innocent XII. he was appointed apostolic treasurer and in 1696 treasurer general and administrator of the Castel Sant'Angelo. Pope Clement XI. , The estimated Corsinis talents, appointed him in the consistory of 17 May 1706 20 other cardinal, so he continued acting as papal financial manager. Under his successor, Benedict XIII. the financial affairs of the Curia, however, were given into the hands of Cardinal Niccolò Coscia and others, which significantly worsened the financial position of the Holy See. Benedict XIII. appointed him the prefect of the "fair tribunal ", which Segnatura di Giustizia, one of the central court tribunals of the Papal States. He was below the cardinal priest of St. Peter in Chains and Cardinal Bishop of Frascati.

After the death of Benedict XIII. on February 21, 1730 Cardinals the 78 -year-old, almost blind Lorenzo Corsini chose finally to 129 -day election period on July 12, 1730 the Pope.

Political action as Pope

Clemens was largely politically powerless and ineffective. The papal fiefs of Parma and Piacenza were, despite protests by the Emperor Charles VI. in 1731 to Don Carlos, the Infante of Spain, passed. Clemens had to recognize the Bourbons ultimately as King of Naples and Sicily. Likewise failed his attempt of 1739, the Republic of San Marino to annex the Papal States.

In 1730 he appointed his nephew Neri Corsini cardinal and in 1731 he appointed his nephew Giovanni Antonio Guadagni cardinal. Since 1732 completely blind and confined to bed, from which he held audiences and businesses led, he surrounded himself with capable advisors, many of them relatives of the Corsini. His family otherwise received little attention - with the exception of the purchase and expansion of the palace in Trastevere the Riarii, which became known as the Palazzo Corsini (since 1883 the seat of the Regia Accademia dei Lincei ) and the first cardinal appointment of his pontificate, which his nephew, almost one month after taking office, favored on August 14, 1730.

His first acts as Pope were in the rest of the consolidation of the papal finances. Clement XII. repayments demanded money from those Curia members who had abused the trust of his predecessor. The main defendant, Cardinal Coscia, was severely punished and sentenced to ten years imprisonment. With the recent introduction of the public lottery, previously due to serious moral concerns of Benedict XIII. had been suppressed, a significant source of revenue was developed. The income from the lottery amounted annually to about half a million scudi. They put him in a position to put his plans into action.

Ecclesiastical work as Pope

After Elector Augustus the Strong of Saxony had become Catholic King of Poland on his election, Clemens tried to move the axes to return to the Catholic Church by the papal bull Sedes he apostolica 1732 presented the possession of the former church property in view.

On April 28, 1738 issued Clement XII. the first papal bull (in eminenti Apostolatus specula ) against Freemasonry.

After the Cardinal Neri Corsini appointment of his nephew followed 34 others, including those of the first eight years of Luis Antonio Jaime de Borbon y Farnesio, a Spanish prince.

He canonized St. Vincent de Paul and worked against the French Jansenists. Next he sought the reunification of the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Church, where he managed to convince the patriarch of the Coptic Church and the Armenian Patriarch to abandon anathema against the Council of Chalcedon and Leo I.. Giuseppe Simone Assemani he sent to the East. He should on the one hand and on the other hand are looking for manuscripts participate as legate at the Council of the Maronites.

Pontifical construction activities

Clemens was known. Mainly through the construction of a new façade for the Lateran Basilica and the start of construction at the Trevi Fountain in Rome, as well as the purchase of antiques collection of Cardinal Albani for the papal gallery He left again build the Arch of Constantine and led the construction of the Government Palace, the " Consulta " on the Quirinal, the expansion of the streets in Rome and those out of town as well as the broadening of the Corso.

The magnificent sarcophagus of Lorenzo Corsini, Pope Clement XII. , Located in the Lateran Basilica.