New Catholic Dictionary – Pope Innocent XI

portrait of Blessed Pope Innocent XI, 1787, artist unknownArticle

Reigned from 21 September 1676 to 12 August 1689. Born in 19 May 1611 at Como, Italy as Benedetto Odescalchi; died in Rome, Italy on 12 August 1689. After fulfilling many important offices he became cardinaldeacon, cardinal-priest, and Bishop of Novara. Elected pope, he at once directed his efforts to reducing the expenses of the Curia, setting an example by his strict economy. His pontificate was marked by a continuous struggle with Louis XIV of France, who extended the right of regalia and convoked an assembly of the French clergy which adapted the “Declaration of the French Clergy.” With an idea of appeasing the pope Louis later inaugurated a persecution of Protestants by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, but Innocent expressed his displeasure at these drastic methods. By filling the vacant See of Cologne, he irritated Louis who seized Avignon from the papacy. He disapproved of James II’s method of attempting to restore Catholicism in England, but it is not true that he supported William of Orange against the king. He encouraged daily communion, insisted on a high standard of education in the seminaries, condemned immodesty in dress, gambling, and laxism in moral theology.

MLA Citation

  • “Pope Innocent XI”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 11 August 2016. Web. 24 January 2019. <>