Clement XIII: The Pope fights for the Jesuits as European monarchs put on the pressure.
In this episode of Habemus Papam, Fr. Conrad discusses Clement XIII, who succeeded Benedict XIV: A learned and moderate Pope, an “honest man”, and the first rumblings against the Jesuits. You can listen to the podcast about him here.
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Born Carlo della Torre di Rezzonico on March 7, 1693 to a recently ennobled family of Venice, the second of two children to Giovanni Battista della Torre Rezzonico and Vittoria Barbarigo.
Carlo received his education in Bologna with the Jesuits and studied at the University of Padua. He received a doctorate in both canon and civil law.
After Pope Benedict XIV died in 1758, a College of Cardinals gathered and started a conclave to elect the next pope. They saw Rezzonico as a good candidate because of his support of the Jesuits. He received 31 out of 44 votes and he chose the name Clement XIII to honor Pope Clement XII. He became pope on July 16, 1758.
During his pontificate disputes regarding the Jesuits came from Enlightenment circles in France. Pope Clement XIII elevated the Feast of the Sacred Heart to the Universal Liturgical Calendar to support the Jesuits and to oppose the Jansenist heresy. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque received visions and promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart.
Clement XIII died on the night of February 2, 1769 and Clement XIV succeeded him.