Innocent X | Free Online Biblical Library

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Innocent X

1574-1655. Pope from 1644. Born Giovanni Battista Pamfili, he rose rapidly as a papal advocate, auditor, and nuncio, became a cardinal in 1629, and was elected pope as the nominee of the Spanish party. He began his pontificate by trying to recover money purloined by the Barberini, the relatives of the late pope who had the support of Mazarin, while not neglecting to advance his own family. He waged a cruel war against Parma, promised considerable help for Venice against the Turks but sent little, encouraged Spain to revolt against Naples, and was at first hostile to the independence of Portugal. He protested strongly against the Peace of Westphalia* (1648) and issued a bull against it as a violation of the laws of the church. In 1653 he condemned five Propositions from Jansen's Augustinus. In his later years Innocent fell under the dominance of the arrogant Donna Olimpia Maidalchini, his brother's wife, who mulcted the papal treasury and contributed to the spread of corruption.