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Pope Innocent VI

Innocent VI, Stephen Aubert, pope at Avignon from 1352 to 1362, the successor of Clement VI, was a native of the diocese of Limoges, and, after having taught civil law at Toulouse, became bishop successively of Noyon and of Clermont.

In 1342 he was raised to the dignity of cardinal. On the death of Clement VI, after the cardinals had each bound himself by a solemn agreement as to a particular line of policy should he be elected, Aubert was chosen (December 18, 1352); one of the first acts of his pontificate was to declare the paction to have been illegal and null.

His subsequent policy compares favourably with that of the other Avignon popes. He brought about many needed reforms in the administration of church affairs, and by his legate, Cardinal Albornoz, who was accompanied by Rienzi, he sought to restore order in Rome, where, in 1355, Charles IV was with his permission crowned, after previously having come under an oath that he would quit the city on the day of the ceremony.

It was largely through the exertions of Innocent that the peace of Bretigny (136_) between France and England was brought about. During this pontificate also John Palaeologus offered to submit the Greek church to the Roman see on condition of assistance being rendered him against John Cantacuzenus. The resources at the disposal of the pope, however, were all required for exigencies nearer home, and the offer was declined.

Innocent was a liberal patron of letters, and, if the extreme severity of his measures against the Fraticelli be kept out of account, had a deservedly high reputation for justice and mercy. He died on September 12, 1362, and his successor was Urban V

 

text from the 9th edition (1879) of an unnamed encyclopedia



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