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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

BENEDICT XIV

( enlightened leader of the Catholic Church)

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Biography BENEDICT XIV
(1675-1658)

In the XVIII century confessional boundaries of Christendom in Western Europe have evolved considerably. The Roman Catholic Church ceded the position not only in political but in the spiritual realm. The birth of secular science and culture, ideology and policy, advance the young Protestant churches, who gained power antipapistskie trends in policies of European monarchs were forecasting a deep crisis of Catholicism. Among the popes century Enlightenment was not the brightest individuals, except for one - Benedict XIV.

In May of 1740 to elect a new pope convened the cardinals. Month after month passed, but they could not agree. Cardinals associated with various political factions and the royal houses of Europe, defending only their own interests and refused to compromise. As a result, all nominators rejected. Finally, on August 16, at 255 th vote required number of votes were the Archbishop of Bologna, Prospero Lambertini, who was not connected with any of the competing parties. However, the papacy (the period of stay on the papal throne), the new pope, Benedict XIV, was not only one of the longest, but certainly the most distinguished in the century.

Lambertini was born in Bologna in 1675. He received an excellent legal and theological education and became known as an expert on church law. Pope Benedict XIII appointed him Bishop of Ancona. In 1728 Lambertini cardinals robes, and from 1731 he - Archbishop of Bologna. Priests and parishioners appreciated him for his gentleness, kindness and ability to make a joke.

As a theologian Lambertini investigated the cult of saints, religious holidays, the rules of canonization. He admired the work of theological and polemical speeches of the French cardinals and Bourdaloue Bossuet, had many friends among Catholic theologians and jurists in different countries. But his interests went far beyond theology: he constantly met and maintained an extensive correspondence with cultural figures, politicians and monarchs of great help to writers, actors, artists and scientists. Lambertini corresponded with Montesquieu and Voltaire, who had dedicated his tragedy of 'Mahomet', with the Prussian King Frederick II. Faithful to the Catholic tradition of philanthropy, he contributed to the restoration of ancient churches and fountains, the restoration of the Colosseum. But a special passion felt for museums, to update and organizations which took an active part. He had great material support to the University of Rome, founded the archaeological and anatomical museums, saw a lot of money for the restoration of cultural monuments. Benedict XIV knew the ancient heritage and for its study and promotion of the Academy of Sciences has established a theological and liturgical Academy.

Many problems with the new pope provoked the war of the Austrian Succession. Heads warring powers laid claim to the number of holdings of the Papal States. Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Valenti, torn between France, Spain, Portugal and Austria. Benedict XIV managed to avoid one-sided dependence, he sought only to bilateral talks and sign agreements on the preservation of their rights with the powers of both warring parties.

. However, the territorial claims of monarchs, military actions, destruction, smuggling, financial problems left no hope of improving the affairs of the Roman Catholic Church
. She tried to assert his authority with the help of the Inquisition and religious censorship, negotiations with the secular rulers, the expansion of missionary activity, propaganda and secret diplomacy. Sam Benedict XIV pursued a policy of enlightened despotism, reformed the judicial system, fighting against crime.

Benedict XIV continued renewal of Catholicism. Revitalized the Christian education of believers, especially in rural areas, need to create small schools and seminaries. Clergy younger, formed a new type of enlightened Catholic priest. However, religious education is not kept pace with the soaring of Sciences and Humanities. Reason successfully advancing to the Revelation, the religious consciousness is giving way to secular. Between science and theology have emerged and multiplied the conflicts that Dad was trying to resolve. Benedict XIV lends breadth and the sound of jubilee for Catholics in 1750, to celebrate the return of which almost 50 thousand. pilgrims. (In the XIV century to attract pilgrims to Rome - the center of Catholic church established jubilee, or holy, years. They celebrated the first every 100, 50, and then 25 years. This period continues.) Papa cautious in making judgments about religious and philosophical currents in Catholicism, in particular on Jansenism. Raised by the Netherlands K. Jansen, theologian (1585-1638) questions about human nature, salvation and predestination were still then under discussion.

. Bull (papal letter) 'Providas' in 1751 Benedict XIV confirmed the ban on Catholics joining Masonic lodges in, but approved the reduction in the number of public holidays of religious holidays in Austria and Tuscany
. Under his Roman commission was prepared by the new Breviary (a collection of theological texts for the Catholic clergy), which takes into account the results of scientific research on church history. Taking care of maintaining the purity of faith, the Pope recommended that the Breviary for the use of all Catholic priests, but a special commission was unable to remove the contradictions of its individual provisions of the old canonical text.

. Benedict XIV was a sober politician, resisting the fall of the spiritual and secular authority of the Roman Catholic Church, he tried, as far as possible, maintain the position of the papacy, strengthen and even expand them.

. Peacemaking efforts chapter of Catholics did not bring the desired results: Europe at war, then preparing for war for the next inheritance.

. Enlisted the sympathy of many religious and political figures of his time, Pope Benedict XIV died in 1758 under the unbearable burden lay on his shoulders load
. Catholic world remained in serious condition, do not promise positive change in the near future. Attempts to bring the papacy of Benedict XIV from the blows of new historical forces that came on the political scene in Europe, were doomed. This is probably aware, many, including himself Benedict XIV.

He went down in history as an enlightened leader of the Catholic Church, trying to maintain its position. His openness and willingness to debate the great minds of our time, charitable activities in the field of science and education have allowed Benedict XIV occupy a prominent place among the popes of the new period of history


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