Benedict XIII: A Holy Dominican Pope, who doesn’t know how to play politics and trusted the wrong people.
In this episode of Habemus Papam, Fr. Conrad discusses Benedict XIII, who succeeded Innocent XIII: A short papacy of a Pope from an old papal family. You can listen to the podcast about him here.
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Born Pietro Francesco Orsini and later called Vincenzo Maria Orsini, in Gravina in Puglia as the eldest of six sons to Ferdinado III Orsini, duke of Gravina and Giovanna Frangipani della Tolfa. At the age of eighteen, he resigned his inheritance and entered the Dominican Order. He received the Sacrament of Holy Orders on February 1671.
Pope Clement X named him Cardinal-Priest of San Sisto on February 22, 1672. Pope Innocent XIII died in 1724 and a conclave ensued. Orsini’s lack of political expertise suggested that he was neutral and malleable by his electors.
On June 4, 1724, Benedetto Pamphili coronated the new pope and Orsini took the name Benedict XIII. As pope, he made an effort to maintain his monastic lifestyle. He inaugurated the Spanish steps. All in all, he was not an affective politician and put power in the hands of those who abused it.
Benedict XIII contracted catarrh and died on February 21, 1730. Pope Clement XII succeeded him.