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Pope Innocent X

Portrait by Diego Velazquez

Innocent X, Giovanni Battista Pamphili, Pope from 1644 to 1655, was born in Rome in 1574, attained the dignity of cardinal in 1629. With the help of French influence was chosen to succeed Urban VIII as Pope on September 15, 1644. He was one of the most politically shrewd Pontifs of the era, and much increased the temporal power of the Vatican.

According to the text from the 9th edition of an encyclopedia from 1880:

Throughout his reign the influence exercised over him by Olympia Maidalchina, his deceased brother's wife, was very great, and such as to give rise to gross scandal, for which, however, there appears to have been no adequate ground. He naturally enough objected to the conclusion of the Peace of Westphalia, against which his nuncio in his name vainly protested, and against which he issued the bull Zelo Domus Dei in November 1648. The most important of his doctrinal decisions was his condemnation of the five Jansenist propositions in 1653. The avarice of his female counsellor gave to his reign a tone of oppression and sordid greed which probably it would not otherwise have shown, for personally he was not without noble and reforming impulses.

He died January 5, 1655, and was succeeded by Alexander VII.

Preceded by:
Pope Urban VIII
List of popesSucceeded by:
Pope Alexander VII