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Pius VI

Pope from 1775. Born of noble parents, he was educated by the Jesuits. In 1740 he went to Rome as secretary to Cardinal Ruffo and became secretary to [[Benedict XIV]] and a canon of St. Peter’s in 1755, but was not ordained until 1758. In 1773 he was created a cardinal despite his opposition to the suppression of the Jesuit Order which took place the same year. As pope he contrived by delicate diplomatic efforts to secure the Jesuits’ resettlement in Prussia and Russia. His first years were taken up with domestic concerns, but soon he was threatened by an outbreak of national church movements similar to Gallicanism.* In the [[Holy Roman Empire]], Febronianism* spread rapidly with the encouragement of the archbishop-electors, though at the Ems Congress* of 1786 their aims were cleverly frustrated by the pope, and the movement soon came to an end. In Tuscany the grand duke Leopold adopted a similar course which reached its height at the [[Synod of Pistoia]]* in 1786. By 1790, however, a