Innocent XIII: A short papacy of a Pope from an old papal family.
In this episode of Habemus Papam, Fr. Conrad discusses Innocent XIII, who succeeded Clement XI: The War of Spanish Succession, Jansenism (again), and the Controversy about Chinese Rites. You can listen to the podcast about him here.
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Born Michelangelo dei Conti on May 13, 1655 in Poli, near Rome as the son of Carlo II, duke of Poli, and Isabella d’Monti. His relatives were Popes Innocent III, Gregory IX, and Alexander IV.
He studied at Ancona and later with the Jesuits in Rome at the Collegio Romano and finally at La Sapienza University. Conti received doctorates in canon law and civil law. He received the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
After Pope Clement XI died in 1721 a conclave ensued to elect the next pope. It took 75 ballots to reach the decision to have Conti succeed Clement XI. His coronation occurred on May 18th, 1721 and he chose the name Innocent XIII in honor of Pope Innocent III.
The papacy was comparatively uneventful. The Chinese Rites controversy continued under his papacy and Innocent XIII prohibited Jesuit missions in China and no new members received into the order.
He fell ill in 1724 and died on March 7, 1724 at the age of 68. Pope Benedict XIII succeeded him.