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Pope Pius VIII
He was born in Cingoli , Italy. He studied canon law and, in 1800 became bishop of Montalto . After he refused to swear allegiance to Napoleon he was taken to France, but following the defeat of France, he was, in 1816, made a cardinal.
He held various high offices thereafter, including that of Grand Penitentionary, and, upon the death of Leo XII was elected pope. As Pius VIII, he initiated some reforms in the States of the Church. On 24 May 1829 he issued an encyclical, Traditi humilitati nostrae . In 25 March 1830 the Brief Litteris altero he condemned Bible societies and secret associations. During his pontificate, the Catholic Emancipation occurred in the United Kingdom, and the July Revolution in France - after which he recognised Louis Philippe as King (while maintaining the independence of the church from any regime). Pius accepted the situation on mixed marriages in Germany, but opposed liberalising tendencies in Ireland and Poland.
Because Pius VIII died after hardly two years in office, there were rumours that he had been poisoned. A secret autopsy, whose results only became public over a century after his death, did indeed find evidence that he had been poisoned.
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