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Clement XIV

Pope from 1769. Born Giovanni Vincenzo Antonio Ganganelli near Rimini, he joined the Franciscan Order in 1723, at which time he took the name Lorenzo. He was named cardinal in 1759. His election to the papacy came at a time when Catholic powers were pressing for the suppression of the Jesuits. It was thought that his coming to a secret understanding with the former (though this has never been proved) led to his choice as pope after many of the other cardinals had been rejected. Whatever the truth of the accusation, Clement did in fact suppress the Jesuits in 1773; he may have thought it a price worth paying in order to appease potential allies in an age when the papacy had to cope with anticlericalism and growing secularism.