SEDE VACANTE 1769

(February 2, 1769—May 19, 1769)





Arms of Card.Rezzonico AG
1/5 scudo (doppio giulio)




SEDE • VACAN | TE • MDCCLXIX

Shield with the Coat of Arms of Carlo Card. Rezzonico, Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, crossed keys above, surmounted by Cardinal's hat with six tassels on each side; the Ombrellone over all.


Th e Holy Spirit , in the form of a dove




VENI • SANCTE • SPIRITVS

QVINTO • DI • SCV:

The Holy Spirit, surrounded by rays and tongues of fire (Pentecost).




Berman, p. 189 #2925.






CARLO CARDINAL DELLA TORRE REZZONICO, iuniore (1724-1799), nephew of Pope Clement XIII (1758-1769), who ordained him as a priest. He was made Referendary of the Tribune of the Apostolic Segnatura in 1751. After his uncle became pope, he was immediately named Cardinal Deacon (September 11, 1758) and Vice-Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church (1758-1763). He was named Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church on January 24, 1763, a post which he held until his death on January 26, 1799. At the time of the Conclave of 1769, he was forty years old.  In the new reign (Clement XIV) in 1773 he became Cardinal Bishop of Sabina, exchanging it for Porto and Santa Rufina in 1776. He was Archpriest of the Lateran and Secretary of the Roman Inquisition.

The Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals was Cardinal Carlo Cavalchini, Bishop of Ostia and Velletri, the Datary of Pope Clement XIII.  He had nearly been elected pope in 1758, but had been vetoed by the French Court (Wahrmund, 228-229; cf. 326-327), a veto which was finally withdrawn by the Duc de Choiseul on March 4, 1769 (Montor, p. 218).

 

Arms of Card.Rezzonico AE




SEDE • VA | CANTE

Shield with the Coat of Arms of Msgr. Antonio Casale surmounted by a clerical hat with six tassels on each side.


Inscription of Antinio Casali Prefect of Rome




ANTONIVS
CASALI
VRBIS ET CIV(itatis) •LEON(inae)
PRÆF(ectus) •
VICE CAMERAR(ius) •
ANNO
MDCCLXIX:




Monsignor Antonio Casali, son of Giovanni Battista Casale, Marchese di Postina.  Doctor in utroque iure (Rome). Canon of S. Maria Maggiore. Vice-Chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church and the Governor of Rome (1766-1774; he resigned during the Conclave of 1774-1775). He became a cardinal in pectore in 1770 (revealed publicly in 1773). He died on January 14, 1787. [R. Ritzler and P. Sefrin, Hierarchia catholica  VI (Patavii 1958) pp. 27, 51]

The Treasurer General of the Apostolic Chamber (Reverendae Camerae Apostolicae Thesaurius Generalis) was Msgr. Giovanni Angelo Braschi (the future Pope Pius VI) (from 1766).  In the Conclave of 1740 he had been one of the Conclavists of Cardinal Tommaso Ruffo.  He had then been Private Secretary of Pope Benedict XIV, who appointed him a Canon of the Vatican Basilica.  Civil Secretary (Auditor) of Cardinal Carlo Rezzonico, the Camerlengo (1759).

The Prefect of the Apostolic Palaces and the Governor of the Conclave was Monsignor Giovanni Battista Rezzonico, the brother of Cardinal Carlo Rezzonico, the Camerlengo, and a future Cardinal.

The Secretary of the College of Cardinals was Monsignor Muzio Gallo, Secretary of the Consistorial Congregation.

The First Master of Ceremonies was Msgr. Ignazio Reali, Archbishop of Athens, Secretary of the Congregazione Ceremoniale, and Canon of the Vatican Basilica.  Giovanni Diversini, Beneficiarius of the Vatican Basilica, Giovanni Lucca Beneficiarius of the Vatican Basilica, Giovanni Battista Valeriani Beneficiarius of the Vatican Basilica, and Giovanni Battista Lizzani  Beneficiarius of S. Maria Maggiore.  Supernumeraries were Msgrs. Francesco Manganoni and Abb. Giuseppe Dini.




 

The Death of Pope Clement XIII

Pope Clement XIII died at the Quirinale Palace on February 2, 1769, at the age of 75, harassed to the end by the demands of the ministers of Naples, Spain, and France.  He was also being pressed by Cardinal Alessandro Albani, as José de Azara remarked in a letter of February 2 to Manuel de Roda, Minister of Justice in Madrid (written without the knowledge of, and possibly before, the Pope's death) [Espiritu de ... Azara, p. 209]:

El cardenal Alejandro tuvo esta semana una audiencia particular, y en ella procuró meter al Papa en la conversacion de jesuitas, y nuestras Memorias; nó con otro fin, que el de animarlo, y quitarle los miedos que ha concebido de Viena.  Calini dice, que se lo contó el Papa miso.  Yo, todo lo malo del mundo creo de Alejandro Albani; porque por los jesuitas, es capaz de echarse en un pozo, y de vender diez veces su córte, y achacarla lo que nunca ha pensado: en lo demas, el Papa nada se ha explicado, si hará consistorio, ó nó, ni cómo piensa dar esta respuesta.  Los cardenales volantes murmuran de esta inaccion del Papa; pero es, porque se ven privados de manipular.

Earlier in the day he had participated in the usual ceremonies associated with the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary from the blood-stain of having given birth.  He participated with such energy that he appeared to be in glowing good health.  After lunch he received the Procurator General of the Franciscans, and other persons who had participated in the blessing of the candles.  He did not, however, go out of the palace that day, since Rome had been in the grip of cold weather for some days.  At 24:00 hours he received his nephew Cardinal Rezzonico, and between 1:00 and 2:00 of the evening Cardinal Torregiani, his Secretary of State.  He then had supper, assisted by his nephew Don Abondio Rezzonico, Senator of Rome.   He then said his evening prayers and was getting ready for bed when suddenly he collapsed across the bed, crying, "O Dio, O Dio, che dolore!"  The Chamberlain and his surgeon came, and the surgeon tried blood-letting, but the Pope died quickly, blood gurgling in his mouth.  It was 5:15 in the evening.

Additional important details are given in a dispatch of February 6, 1769, by the French Ambassador, d'Aubeterre, pointing toward an aneurism of a blood vessel near the heart [Theiner I, 182]:

Le pape est mort si subitement, que le cardinal neveu et le secrétaire d' État, dont les appartements sont au-dessous du sien, et y communiquent par un escalier dérobé, n' ont pu y arriver à temps.  À l' ouverture du corps, on a trouvé toutes les parties saines et en bon état; seulement une veine dilatée pres du coeur, qui est ce qui l' a tué.  

Cardinal Rezzonico was informed, and he informed the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Cavalchini. When the Cardinal Nephew arrived at the death chamber, more than two hundred persons had gathered, without any sense of order or decorum.  Cardinal Rezzonico gave instructions to the Vice-Chamberlain, Msgr. Antonio Casali, to secure the prisoners incarcerated in Castel S. Angelo; he also advised the Cardinal Vicar of Rome, Marc' Antonio Colonna, to have the customary Masses said and the bells to be tolled.

Next morning, Cardinal Torregiani removed himself from the Apostolic Palace and returned to his private residence.  That same morning Cardinal Rezzonico, as Camerlengo, and assisted by the Clerics of the Apostolic Camera, performed the official rite of recognition of the body of the deceased Pope, and took custody of the Fisherman's Ring.  The large bell on the Capitoline was ordered to be rung, which brought a sudden end to Carnevale.  That afternoon, the first General Congregation was held, at the house of Cardinal Lante della Rovere, the Subdean of the Sacred College, since the Dean was ill.

Pope Clement's body was interred on February 7. The Novendiales concluded with a Solemn Requiem Mass in St. Peter's on February 12.  The Funeral Oration was pronounced by Msgr. Benedetto Stay of Ragusa, Secretary of Briefs to Princes and Canon of S. Maria Maggiore. The conclave began on February 15. The sede vacante was to last for three months and sixteen days.

The Society of Jesus

The main issue at the conclave was the demand of a number of European states for the dissolution of the Society of Jesus. Benedict XIV (1740-1758) had already responded to complaints from Portugal by ordering an investigation of the Jesuits by the Patriarch of Lisbon, Cardinal Saldhana. In 1759 the Portuguese Prime Minister the Conte de Pombal sequestered Jesuit assets and deported the members of the Society to the Papal States. The new Pope, Clement XIII Rezzonico, protested repeatedly, but France joined the attack, abolishing the Society by royal decree (December 1, 1764). In 1767 the Jesuits were expelled from Spain, Naples, and Sicily and, in 1768 from Parma. In January, 1769, these powers made a formal demand for the dissolution of the Society. On Monday, January 16, the Spanish Minister Abbe Tomás Azpuru (Auditor of the Sacred Roman Rota for Aragon) presented his Memorial, demanding the disbanding of the Jesuits [El Espiritu de D. José Nicolas de Azara I, p. 201].  In a Memorial presented to the Pope dated January 18, 1769, the Marquis d' Aubeville, the French Ambassador in Rome since 1763, made the major point [Ravignan I, 231; Theiner I, 164-165]:

... Le roi [Louis XV], tant en son particulier que dans le concert le plus intime avec Leurs Majestés Catholique et Sicilienne, prie donc très instamment Sa Sainteté d' éteindre absolument, sans réserve et sans délai, dans le mond entier, la société dite de Jésus, et de séculariser tous les individus dont elle est composeé avec la défense la plus expresse à chacun d' eux de s' assembler désormais en communauté et de former une association, sous quelque dénomination et quelque prétexte que ce soit.

On Friday, January 20, Cardinal Orsini, the Ambassador of Naples, was received by the Pope and presented his Memorial, which echoed, as planned, those of the Spanish Ambassador and the French Ambassador [El Espiritu de D. José Nicolas de Azara  I, p. 206].  But Clement died during the night of February 2/3, the day before a Consistory was to be held which had been called to discuss the subject.  The demand for the dissolution of the Society of Jesus was again expressed by the Conde de Oeyras (Pombal) in his  Instructions for the Conclave  (February 27, 1769).  Cardinal Saldhana, however, did not attend the Conclave, and it was left to the Minister Plenipotentiary Don Francisco de Almada to work in cooperation with the French and Spanish plenipotentiaries..

The Cardinals

The usual concessions, by way of the motu proprio Nos Volentes. for Conclavists and for Dapiferi were signed by Clement XIV (June 20, 1769), and are printed in the Bullarii Romani Continuatio (Romae 1841), nos. III and VII; but the editors chose, foolishly, to omit the appended lists of Cardinals, their Conclavists and their Dapiferi.  Cf. Clemens XIV, Gratiae et privilegia conclavistis postremi conclavis concessa (Roma: Camera Apostolica 1769). There is a list of all the living cardinals, fifty-seven in number, in the Proseguimento delle Relazioni storico-anedotte  Num. II. (Roma 1769) pp. 37-41.

Cardinals attending:

  1. Carlo Alberto Guidobono Cavalchini (aged 85), Bishop of Ostia e Velletri (1763–1774). (died March 7, 1774). Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals, pro-Datary of His Holiness (1758-1774).
  2. Federico Marcello Lante della Rovere (aged 73), Bishop of Porto e Santa Rufina (1763–1773).  (died March 3, 1773). Subdean of the Sacred College of Cardinals, Prefect of the S.C. of Good Government (1759-1773).
  3. Giovanni Francesco Albani (aged 49), son of Carlo Albani, Duca di Soriano. Bishop of Sabina (1760–1773).   (died September 15, 1803).  "Il ment beaucoup." [Aubeterre to Bernis, May 10, 1769: Crétineau-Joly, p. 239].
  4. Henry Benedict Mary Clement Stuart (aged 43) [Rome], Bishop of Frascati (1761–1803). Vice-Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church (1763–1807). Archpriest of S. Peter's Basilica. 'Duke of York' and future  'King Henry IX' of England (died July 13, 1807).
  5. Fabrizio Serbelloni (aged 73) [Milan], Bishop of Albano (1763–1774).  Former Nuncio in Cologne (1734-1738), Poland (1738-1746), and Vienna (1746-1753). (died December 7, 1775).
  6. Giovanni Francesco Stoppani (aged 73) [Milan], Bishop of Palestrina (1763–1774).  Prefect of the SC de propaganda fide (died November 18, 1774).

  7. Giuseppe Pozzobonelli (aged 72) [Milan], Cardinal Priest of S. Maria sopra Minerva (1758–1770).  (died April 27, 1783). Archbishop of Milan (1743–1783).
  8. Carlo Vittorio Amedeo delle Lanze (aged 56) [Torino], Cardinal Priest of S. Prassede (1763–1783).   (died January 25, 1784). Titular Archbishop of Nicosia (1747–1773).  One of the zelanti.
  9. Vincenzo Malvezzi (aged 54) [Bologna], Cardinal Priest of SS. Marcellino e Pietro (1753–1775).  Archbishop of Bologna (1754-1775). (died December 3, 1775).
  10. Antonio Sersale (aged 66) [Sorrento, Kingdom of Naples], Cardinal Priest of S. Pudenziana (died June 24, 1775). Archbishop of Naples.
  11. Francisco de Solís Folch de Cardona (aged 56), son of José Solís y Gante, Marquis of Castelnovo, Count of Saldueña and Duke of Montellano.  Cardinal Priest without titulus (died March 21, 1775). Archbishop of Seville (1755-1775).  Confidant of King Charles III of Spain and of the Conde de Aranda.   Given the titulus of SS. XII Apostoli (1769–1775) after the Conclave, on June 26, by the new Pope Clement XIV.  He died in Seville on April 12, 1775.
  12. Paul d'Albert de Luynes (aged 66) [Versailles], Cardinal Priest of S. Tommaso in Parione (1758–1788). Archbishop of Sens (1753–1788)  (died January 21, 1788).
  13. Carlo Rezzonico, iuniore (aged 45) [Venetus], Cardinal Priest of S. Clemente (1763-1772). Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church (1763-1799). (died January 26, 1799)
  14. Antonio Maria Priuli (aged 61), Cardinal Priest of S. Marco (died October 26, 1772). Bishop of Vincenza (1738–1767). Bishop of Padua (1767-1772).  Met the Emperor Joseph at Spoleto and accompanied him to Rome, arriving on March 14 [Mariani, Il viaggio di Giuseppe II a Roma, p. 43].
  15. François-Joachim de Pierres de Bernis (aged 53), Cardinal Priest without titulus.  He was assigned the titulus of S. Silvestro in Capite by the new pope on January 26, 1769 (died November 3, 1794). Archbishop of Albi (1764-1794)
  16. Fernando Maria de Rossi (aged 72), Cardinal Priest of S. Cecilia (1767-1775). (died February 4, 1775). Prefect of the S.C. of the Tridentine Council.
  17. Girolamo Spinola (aged 55), Cardinal Priest of S. Balbina (1760–1775)  (died July 22, 1784). Legate in Ferrara.
  18. Giuseppe Maria Castelli (aged 63) [Milanese], Cardinal Priest of SS. Bonifacio ed Alessio (died April 9, 1780). Prefect of the S.C. de propaganda fide (1763-1780).
  19. Gaetano Fantuzzi (aged 60) [Ravenna], Cardinal Priest of S. Pietro in Vincoli (died October 1, 1778).
  20. Pietro Girolamo Guglielmi (aged 74) [Jesi], Cardinal Priest of Santissima Trinità al Monte Pincio (died November 15, 1773).
  21. Pietro Paolo de Conti (aged 80), Cardinal Priest of S. Stefano al Monte Celio (died December 14, 1770).  Petruccelli (IV, 176) states that he was deprived of his vote because he was "fou". An anonymous Conclavist terms him   un cadavere ambulante.... il buon Conti mostra di non conoscere, non parla e solamente si sforza di sorridere a quelli che gli parlano.
  22. Lorenzo Ganganelli, OFMConv. (aged 63), Cardinal Priest of SS. XII Apostoli (died September 22, 1774).
  23. Marcantonio Colonna (aged 44) [Romanus], son of Fabrizio, Prince and Duke of Paliano and Grand Constable of the Kingdom of Naples, and Caterina Salviati, daughter of Antonio Maria Salviati, Duke of Giuliano.  Cardinal Priest of S. Maria della Pace (1762-1784). Vicar-General of Rome (1762-1793). (died December 4, 1793)
  24. Buenaventura de Córdoba Espínola de la Cerda (aged 44) [Madrid], son of Nicolas, Duke of Medinacelli. Cardinal Priest without titlulus.  Granted the title of S. Lorenzo in Panisperna on June 26, 1769 by the new pope, Clement XIV. Patriarch of the West Indies (1761-1777).  (died May 6, 1777)
  25. Giovanni Molino (aged 63) [Venice], Cardinal Priest without titlulus.  Granted the title of S. Sisto by the new Pope on June 26, 1769 (1769-1773)  (died March 14, 1773). Bishop of Brescia (1755–1773).
  26. Simone Buonaccorsi (aged 60) [Macerata], grand-nephew of Cardinal Buonaccorso Buonaccorsi. Cardinal Priest of S. Giovanni a Porta Latina (1763–1776).  (died April 27, 1776).
  27. Giovanni Ottavio Bufalini (aged 60) [Città di Castello], Cardinal Priest of S. Maria degli Angeli (1766–1782).  (died August 3, 1782). Bishop of Ancona (1766–1782).
  28. Giovanni Carlo Boschi (aged 53) [Faenza], Cardinal Priest of SS. Giovanni e Paolo (died September 6, 1788). Major Penitentiarius.
  29. Ludovico Calini (aged 73) [Calino, Diocese of Brescia], Cardinal Priest of S. Anastasia (died December 9, 1782). Prefect of the SC of Sacred Relics and Indulgences.
  30. Antonio Colonna Branciforte (aged 58) [Palermo], Cardinal Priest of S. Maria in Via (died August 31, 1786). President of Urbino.
  31. Lazzaro Opizio Pallavicino (aged 49) [Genoa], Cardinal Priest of Ss. Nereo ed Achilleo (died February 23, 1785).  Legate in Bologna.
  32. Vitaliano Borromeo (aged 48) [Milan], Cardinal Priest of S. Maria in Ara Coeli (died June 7, 1793).
  33. Pietro Pamphlj (aged 43) [Romanus], Cardinal Priest of S. Maria in Trastevere (died December 4, 1780).
  34. Urbano Paracciani Rutili (aged 54) [Romanus], Cardinal Priest of S. Callisto (died January 2, 1777). Archbishop of Fermo.
  35. Filippo Maria Pirelli (aged 60) [Naples], Cardinal Priest of S. Crisogono (died January 10, 1771) .

  36. Alessandro Albani (aged 76), Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria in Via Lata and S. Maria in Cosmedin (died December 11, 1779). Bibliothecarius S. R. E.  Nephew of Pope Clement XI.  Administrum plenipotentiarium Imperatoris apud Sanctum Sedem   [Note of the Majordomo,  March 16, 1769:  Theiner, Epistolae et brevia selectiora, p. 341]
  37. Neri Maria Corsini (aged 83), Cardinal Deacon of S. Eustachio (died December 6, 1770). Archpriest of the Lateran Basilica, Secretary of the Roman and Universal Inquisition.
  38. Domenico Orsini d'Aragona (aged 49) [Naples], son of Ferdinando Bernualdo Filippo, 14th Duca di Gravina, and Donna Giacinta Marescotti Ruspoli, daughter of Don Francesco, Principe di Cerveteri.  Domenico was the fifteenth Duke of Gravina. He married Principessa Donna Anna Paola Flaminia Odescalchi, daughter of Principe Don Baldassarre, Duca di Bracciano, in 1738 (died 1742).  They had two sons and two daughters.  Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria ad Martyres (1763–1777). (died January 19, 1789).  Grand-Nephew of Benedict XIII (12th Duke of Gravina).
  39. Flavio Chigi (aged 57), Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria in Portico (1759–1771).  (died July 12, 1771). Prefect of the S.C. of Rites.
  40. Luigi Maria Torregiani (aged 71) [Florentinus], Cardinal Deacon of S. Agata alla Suburra (1765–1777).  (died January 6, 1777). Secretary of State (1758-1769).
  41. Giovanni Costanzio Caracciolo (aged 53), Cardinal Deacon of S. Cesareo in Palatio (died September 22, 1780).
  42. Nicola Perrelli (aged 72), Cardinal Deacon of S. Giorgio in Velabro (died February 24, 1772).
  43. Andrea Corsini (aged 33), Cardinal Deacon of S. Angelo in Pescheria (1759–1769).  (died January 18, 1795).
  44. Andrea Negroni (aged 58), Cardinal Deacon of SS. Vito, Modesto e Crescenzia (1765–1779).   (died January 17, 1789).
  45. Saverio Canale (aged 74) [Terni], Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria della Scala (died March 20, 1773).
  46. Benedetto Veterani (aged 65) [Urbino], Cardinal Deacon of Ss. Cosma e Damiano (died August 12, 1776).

Cardinals not attending:

  1. Giacomo Oddi (aged 89) [Perugia], Cardinal Priest of S. Lorenzo in Lucina (1763–1770). Bishop of Viterbo e Toscanella (1749-1770)  [He wrote a letter to the Sacred College of Cardinals, claiming exemption from attendance on the grounds of old age].  (died May 2, 1770).
  2. Carlo Francesco Durini (aged 76) [Milan], Cardinal Priest of Ss. Quattro Coronati (1754–1769). (died June 25, 1769). Bishop of Pavia e Amasea (1753-1769). {He claimed exemption from attendance on the grounds of serious illness which did not permit him to travel]
  3. Luis Fernández de Córdoba Portocarrero (aged 73), Cardinal Priest without titulus (1754–1771).   Archbishop of Toledo (1755-1771). [He entered Rome on April 23, 1769: El Espiritu de D. José Nicolas de Azara, p. 262, 264, 265].  (died March 26, 1771).
  4. Etienne-René Potier de Gesvres (aged 72), Cardinal Priest of S. Agnese fuori le mura (1758–1774).  Bishop of Beauvais (1728-1772). (died July 24, 1774).
  5. Franz Konrad Casimir von Rodt (aged 62), Cardinal Priest of S. Maria del Popolo (1758–1775).  (died October 16, 1775). Bishop of Konstanz (1751-1775).
  6. Francisco de Saldanha da Gama (aged 45),  son of John, Viceroy of India.  Doctor of Canon Law. Cardinal Priest without titulus (1759–1776), previously Cardinal Deacon with no deaconry (1756-1759), on the nomination of King Joseph I of Portugal.  He conducted the investigation of the activities of the Jesuits in Portugal, the Algarves, and the Two Indies, with papal faculties from Benedict XIV (In specula supremae: April 1, 1758), granted at the request of the Marques de Pombal  [Biker (editor),  Collecção dos Negocios de Roma no Reinado de El-Rey Dom José I. Parte I (Lisboa 1874), pp. 48-52].  In thanks for his cooperation, he was made Patriarch of Lisbon (1759–1776), at the instigation of Pombal.  (died November 1, 1776).
  7. Christoph Anton von Migazzi von Waal und Sonnenthurn (aged 54), Cardinal Priest without titulus (died April 14, 1803). Archbishop of Vienna (1757–1803).  Apostolic Administrator of Vác (1762-1786).
  8. Antoine Clairiard de Choiseul de Beaupré (aged 61), Cardinal Priest without titulus (died January 7, 1774). Archbishop of Besançon (1755–1774).
  9. Jean-François-Joseph Rochechouart (aged 60), Cardinal Priest of S. Eusebio (1762–1777).  (died March 20, 1777). Bishop of Laon (1741-1777).
  10. Franz Christoph Freiherr von Hutten zu Stolzenfels (aged 62), Cardinal Priest without titulus (died April 20, 1770). Bishop of Speyer (1744-1770).
  11. Louis-César-Constantine de Rohan-Guéménée (aged 71), Cardinal Priest without titulus (died March 11, 1779). Bishop of Strasbourg (1756-1779).

Conclave: Positions and Candidates

The Conclave was seriously divided by the joint campaign of the Bourbon monarchs to achieve their goals. Even before the death of Clement XIII, various ambassadors and their courts were compiling lists of acceptable and unacceptable candidates. At the beginning of 1764, the first secretary at the French Embassy, the Chevalier de la Houze, indicated in a dispatch that he was most inclined toward Cardinals Conti (of Camerino, former secretary of the SC on Good Government), Monti e Caprara (of Bologna, former Governor of Rome and Vice-Chamberlain), Guglielmi (of Jesi, former secretary of the SC of Bishops and Regulars) and Fantuzzi (of Ravenna, former auditor of causes of the Apostolic Palace); among those he thought should be excluded were Cavalchini (of Tortona, Dean of the Sacred College), Castelli (of Milan, Prefect of the Congregation de propaganda fide), De Rossi (a Roman, Prefect of the SC de Concilio), Torregiani (of Florence, the Secretary of State) Buonacorsi (Macerata), and Antonelli (Pergola).

In a document written on August 29, 1765, the Marquis d' Aubeville, the French Ambassador, analyzing the various cardinals, indicated strong negative opinions on Rezzonico, Castelli, De Rossi, Antonelli and Buonaccorsi. The French Court favored Cardinals Galli, Conti, Durini and Ganganelli. [Theiner, 194-195]. Aubeville believed that there was a faction gathered around Cardinal Rezzonico, the Cardinal nipote, which included Torregiani, Castelli, Buonaccorsi and Boschi, and that the two Cardinals Albani, Cardinal Chigi and Cardinal Fantuzzi would adhere to this party.   Of Ganganelli he wrote in 1765, four years before the Conclave [Crétineau-Joly, 234-235]:

On dirait que ce moine Franciscain qui est parvenu au cardinalat par son adresse, marche sur les traces de Sixte V. On ne connaît pas son penchant ni pour la France ui pour les autres nations. Il se trouve toujours du côté le plus utile à ses vues, tantôt Zelante et tantôt anti-Zelante, selon le vent le plus favorable. Il ne dit jamais ce qu’il pense. Sa grande étude est de plaire à tout le monde et de faire voir qn’il est du parti de celui qui lui parle. Il n’ose pas s’opposer aux désirs des souverains; il craint les Cours et les ménage. Le Pape a pour lui beaucoup d’estime, et il obtient ce qu’il veut par mille manœuvres secrètes. Mais comme il s’est mêlé de trop d’afl`aires, ses intrigues ont diminué son crédit dans le Sacré College, qui, au premier Conclave, barrera vraisemblablement son ambition quelque masquée qu'elle soit sous le froc. ll est nécessaire de gagner ce Cardinal pour tous les objets qui ont rapport au Saint-Office, parce que son voeu attire la plupart des autres. Quant aux affaires ecclésiastiques qui concernent la France, on ne peut pas se fier entièrement à lui; mais la crainte du mécontentement du Roi peut seule déterminer à seconder les vues toujours justes et pacifiques de Sa Majesté pour le maintien de la Religion.

The Neapolitan Court intimated that there were eleven 'good' cardinals: Antonio Sersale (Archbishop of Naples), Cavalchini (the Dean), Neri Corsini, Conti, Durini (of Milan, Bishop of Pavia, former ambassador to France), Ganganelli, Pirelli (a Neapolitan patrician), Negroni, Branciforte (of Palermo, the presidente of Urbino, former ambassador to Venice), Caracciolo, and Andrea Corsini.  Three of these, however, were over eighty years of age, and one was only 34.  The list, therefore, must not be regarded as a list of 'papabili',  but only a list of cardinals whose political stance approximated that of the Courts.  They were 'reliable', not necessarily electable. The 'pessimi' included Torregiani, Castelli, Buonacorsi, Chigi, Boschi and Rezzonico. Another fifteen cardinals were designated 'cattivi' [Theiner, 229; cf. Ravignan, p. 552.  The list is given in Danvila, Reinado de Carlos III, III (Madrid 1894), p. 310 n.2, from the Archives at Simancas].  Eight cardinals were to be excluded, not because of their politics, but because of their lack of a record of achievement and their incapacity to be pope;  they included Canali, Pozzobonelli, Perelli, Malvezzi, Pallavicini, Pamphili, Colonna and Stuart. 

The Imperial Plenipotentiaries at the Conclave of 1769 were Cardinals Albani and Pozzobonelli.  The formal instructions given to Graf Kaunitz, on March 4, 1769, were that the Imperial Government would impose no public or formal veto [Wahrmund, 327]:

.... Ex hucusque adductis promanat, nulli cardinalium nomine Caesareo publicam aut formalem opponendam esse esclusivam, sed si, contra meliorem exspectationem a saepedicta salutari meta fors deflecti vellet, indirecta solummodo cautaque media adhibenda, ac ob oculos ponendum esse, quam innumera exinde super ipsam ecclesiam redundanda forent damna....

The Conclave

The Conclave of 1730 opened on Wednesday, February 15.  The security for the conclave area had been delegated to Cardinals Henry Stuart, Giovanni Francesco Stoppani, and Flavio Chigi. On February 15, the opening day, there were only twenty-seven cardinals in attendance, out of a total of fifty-seven. Cardinal Giovanni Costanzio Caracciolo , the twenty-eighth, was unable to participate in the ceremonies due to illness (fu sorpreso da flussione di Chiragra) [A list of twenty-six cardinals entering the Conclave on February 15 is given in the Aneddote relazioni storiche Nr. IV, pp. 3-4].   In a dispatch of that date, the French Ambassador d' Aubeville informed Choiseul that the General of the Jesuits, Father Leonardo Ricci, had visited all of the cardinals assembled for the Conclave, with the exception of Cardinal Domenico Orsini d' Aragona (the Ambassador of Naples, who had refused to receive him) [Theiner, 183, 210; Saint-Priest, 84-85]. In fact, as Cardinal Bernis, one of the French agents inside the Conclave, admitted, three-quarters of the cardinals were on the side of the Jesuits. The personal inclinations of individual cardinals, however, were under the strongest pressure from the Powers against the Jesuits.  That evening, the Conclave was enclosed. The Conclave did not settle down to business for a considerable time, however, since the Powers demanded a sufficient interval so that their cardinals, suitably advised, could be present in Rome.

On Thursday, February 16, after Mass celebrated by Cardinal Lante della Rovere, the Bishop of Porto, the First Scrutiny took place.   The leaders in the poll were Cardinals Fulvio Chigi,  Nicola Perrelli, and Gaetano Fantuzzi.  Chigi had the largest number of votes  (The Aneddote Relazione storiche  [IV, p.4] claims that he was short of a single vote on the accessio—which would have made 17 votes in all), and might have become pope, were he not a friend of the Jesuits and strongly opposed by the Bourbon Courts. Fantuzzi, too, was being supported by a group of cardinals led by Giovanni Francesco Albani, and including Buffalini, Boschi, Parracciani, and Torreggiani—but his number of votes never exceeded ten.   He was not, in any event, a viable candidate, only an opening gambit on the part of the pro-Jesuit faction. He was a man of probity, in a situation where another sort of person was needed.  To surprise of the agents of the Crowns, however, Fantuzzi's candidacy seemed to rise from the dead on April 15 [Ambassador d'Aubeterre to Cardinal Bernis, April 25, 1769; Carayon, p. 157].

The next cardinals to arrive were Neri Corsini and Andrea Corsini.

On Sunday, the 19th of February, in the afternoon, after the Scrutiny, the newly arrived Ambassador Extraordinary of the Serene Republic of Venice, Nicolò Erizo, was received by the Cardinals at the Gate of the Conclave.  That day the Heads of each of the three Orders of cardinals were:  Giovanni Francesco Albani (Bishops),  Fernando Maria de Rossi (Priests), and Neri Corsini (Deacons).  His address to the Cardinals, and the reply of Cardinal Albani, is given in Aneddote Relazione storiche No. V, pp. 13-15.

On Monday, February 20, Cardinal Carlo Vittorio Amadeo de le Lanze, Grand Eleemosynary of the King of Sardinia, arrived in Rome, and next day entered Conclave. He was the 29th cardinal to enter.

On Thursday, February 23,  in the Scrutiny, the number of votes for named cardinals amounted to twelve;  eighteen cardinals voted for "Nemini" [Theiner I, 194].  There is no question that the cardinals who were under the orders of the Bourbon Courts would not settle down to serious voting until all the cardinals in their faction had arrived.  That did not happen until the last week in April.  Scrutinies, therefore, were purely pro forma.

On February 25, three cardinals arrived in Rome: Cavalchini, Caracciolo, and Conti.   However, they were all ill, and did not immediately enter Conclave.

On Sunday, March 5, Cardinal Bufalini, Bishop of Ancona, arrived. Around the same time it became known that neither Cardinal de Rodt nor Cardinal Migazzi would be attending the Conclave [Aneddote Relazione storiche VII, p. 5].  On the night of Wednesday, March 8, a special courier from Madrid brought news that Cardinal de Solis and Cardinal de la Cerda would be coming to the Conclave [Aneddote Relazione storiche VII, p. 12-13],  though it was made known that they would travel by land.

In the first half of March, instructions finally arrived from Spain for Cardinal Orsini as to the ranking of cardinals according to their desirability. Among the 'good' cardinals, the Spanish listed Sersale, Cavalchini, Neri Corsini, Conti, Durini, Ganganelli, Pirelli, Negroni, Branciforte, Caraccioli, and Andrea Corsini [Ravignan, 552].   At the same time, in a letter of March 14 [Carayon, VII, p. 145], the Duc de Choiseul commented frankly on the manipulations of the Conclave in which Cardinal Orsini and others were engaged:

"La cour de Madrid a entièrement approuvé la résolution que vous et MM. le Cardinal Orsini et Azpuru avez prise de sortir de Rome dans le cas qui, selon les apparences, n'existera pas, où l'on procéderait à l'élection avant l'arrivée des cardinaux étrangers, et d'attendre dans le lieu où vous vous retirez les ordres ultérieurs de vos souverains respectifs.

Je ne dois pas vous laisser ignorer, Monsieur, qu' à la première nouvelle que le roi d'Espagne a reçu de la mort du pape, Sa Majesté Catholique a écrit à Naples pour faire suspendre tous les préparatifs militaires qui s'y faisient pour l' invasion de Castro et de Ronciglione. Ce Prince espère que cette démarche généreuse, qui indique si évidemment combien il est éloigné de paraître vouloir gêner la liberté des suffrages dans le conclave, disposera les cardinaux à se conduire avec la prudence et la modération convenables et à fixer leur choix sur un sujet capable par ses lumières, par sa sagesse et par son courage de rendre la paix à l'Eglise en adhérant aux conditions dont la Maison de Bourbon a fait dépendre son accordement avec la cour de Rome.

The great event of the Lenten season in Rome were the visit of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Pietro Leopoldo, accompanied by his Minister of State, Count Rosenberg; and the Captain of his Noble Guard, Count Thurn. They had arrived on Monday, March 6, and immediately taken up residence in the Palazzo of the Villa Medici.  One of the Grand Duke's first acts was to inform the Sacred College of his arrival.  On Wednesday, March 15 his brother, the Emperor Joseph II arrived.  When informed, the Sacred College immediately sent the Noble Guard, the Swiss Guard, and the Soldati Pontificii to be at the Emperor's service, but he dismissed them immediately.  On Thursday, March 16,  the two Sovereigns paid a formal visit to St. Peter's Basilica, accompanied by Monsignor Giovanni Battista Rezzonico, the Maggiordomo dei Sagri Palazzi Apostolici and Governor of the Conclave, and eight Roman nobles: the Constable Colonna Prince of Palestrina, the Orsini Duke of Bracciano,  Principe Borghese, Principe Aldobrandini, Principe Altieri, Principe Doria Pamphilj, and the Duke of Poli.  They were received by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Msgr. Giorgio Lascaris, Vicar of the Basilica, and by the Canons of the Vatican Basilica.  Many of the sacred images in the Basilica were already covered for Passion Week, which began on Palm Sunday, March 19.  The imperial party climbed to the cupola of the Dome, where they spent a full three hours.  They were then conducted on a tour of the Piazza Navona and the works erected by Bernini and his pupils. They then returned to the Villa Medici, but late in the afternoon set out for the Vatican again.  They immediately made for the staircase presided over by Marshal Prince Chigi.  It happened that the Door to the Conclave was being opened to admit Cardinal Girolamo Spinola, and the two sovereigns took advantage of the moment to enter as well. They were received kindly by the Cardinals, and allowed to see the Sala Regia and the Sistine Chapel [Note of the Maggiordomo, Msgr. Giovanni Battista Rezzonico, March 16, 1769].  The Emperor asked to see—and was shown—the ballots for the scrutiny and for the accession, the chalice into which they were deposited, and where they burned the ballots to make the sfumato.  They then returned to the Basilica and resumed their tour.  In the evening there was a party hosted by Gaetano Duca Cesarini  [Ragguaglio,  VII-IX; Azara to Roda, March 23, 1769, Espiritu de D. José Nicolas de Azara, p. 243].  This ‘visit’ to the Conclave violated the clearest constitutional prohibitions against such an intrusion; nonetheless, the Sovereigns had their way, like nosy tourists oblivious to the significance of their surroundings.  Nonetheless, the College of Cardinals honored the visitors by ordered the illumination of the Dome and facade of the Vatican Basilica in the evening of Easter Sunday, March 26.

Joseph II was not in Rome just as a tourist, of course.  He had conversations with the French Ambassador, d' Aubeterre, about the soggetti, the details of which were conveyed into the Conclave immediately by letters to Cardinal Bernis and to Cardinal de Luynes [Carayon, VIII and IX, p. 147]. It was clear that Joseph expected the dissolution of the Society of Jesus, whatever his mother's hesitations were.   D' Aubeville also wrote to Bernis that he could get to work on Cardinal Andrea Corsini: 

Votre Éminence peut s' en ouvrir avec le cardinal André, lui faire connaître la confidence que l' empereur m' a faite à son sujet, et la façon dont je me suis expliqué, d' où il tirera une conclusion toute naturelle que si je lui ai fait du bien, je puis aussi lui faire du mal.

The Emperor also had had a conversation with Cardinal Pozzobonelli, and spoke of Cardinal de Bernis with esteem; he also confirmed his order and received Pozzobonelli's assurance that he would vote with the French and Spanish [Bernis to Aubeterre, April 17, 1769: Carayon, no. xxii, p. 159; cf. Azara to Roda, April 6, 1769, Espiritu de D. José Nicolas de Azara, 251-252].  The Grand Duke of Tuscany left Rome on April 5, and travelled to Florence.

Late in the afternoon of March 18, Cardinal Antonino Sersale arrived in Rome from Naples, and took up residence at the Palazzo Altemps.  He was the cardinal most favored by the Spanish Court.  On Tuesday afternoon, March 21 he entered Conclave, bringing the number of Cardinals present to 38.  Nineteen cardinals were still absent, an exact one-third.

On Palm Sunday, March 19, the palms were blessed and distributed in the Sistine Chapel by Msgr. Niccol' Angelo Landini, titular Bishop of Porfirio, the Sacristan of the Conclave.

On Tuesday, April 4, the Archbishop of Palermo, Cardinal Antonio Branciforte, arrived in Rome.

On Thursday, April 6, Cardinal Cavalchini, the Dean of the Sacred College, entered Conclave, and on the 7th Cardinal Giovanni Molino, Bishop of Brescia.  Cardinal Branciforte also entered, bring the total number of Cardinals present to 43.   

On April 6, the French Ambassador wrote to Cardinal Bernis, proposing the idea that someone who was electable should be found, and, before his election was carried through, he should be asked to sign a document voluntarily (or, if he refused, to make a promise in the presence of witnesses) to suppress the Jesuits—a proposal which was desired by Spain.  Everything else that the Courts wanted should be left aside for another time.  Bernis evidently rejected the proposal, as a letter of April 11 from the Ambassador makes clear, dropping the name of Ganganelli into the discussion, un des plus célèbres théologiens de ce pays-ci, et qui n'a jamais passé pour avoir une morale relachée, who might give Bernis an expert opinion on the licitness of the Ambassador's idea. J 'espère que peut-être il se rapprocherait de mon sentiment.  On April 12, he wrote to Choiseul, stating the belief of many that the plan constituted a violation of canon law:

Demander au pape futur la promesse, par écrit ou devant témoins, de la destruction des Jésuites, serait exposer visiblement l'honneur des couronnes par la violation de toutes les règles canoniques.  Si un cardinal était capable de faire un tel marché, on devrait le croire encore plus capable d'y manquer.  Un prêtre, un évêque instruit ne peuvent accepter ni proposer de pareilles conditions.

In a letter of April 14, Bernis admitted that it was not the political neccessity of the plan that disturbed him, but the methods to be used to carry it out.  He was in a very difficult position indeed.  He also remarked that the Spanish were coming overland, which would take a month—which meant that an election was suspended until their arrival [Crétineau-Joly, Clément XIV et les Jésuites, p. 195].  The required scrutinies would continue, but no effort would be made to elect a pope.  On April 12, an anonymous conclavist, writing to the Secretary of the Venetian Ambassador, provided an accounting of the voting pattern at that juncture:  Stoppani regularly had 6 votes; Fantuzzi 7 or 8;  delle Lanze and Colonna about the same; Castelli had four or five; Pozzobonelli 2 or 3; Cavalchini 2 or 3; and Ganganelli 4 or sometimes 5.

On Wednesday, April 19, Aubeterre wrote to the Duc de Choiseul at Versailles, "Je juge par bien de choses que le Cardinal Ganganelli a de l' esprit, de connaissances, et même une caractère décidé. Mais il a peur de son ombre, il crainte la moindre communication apparente avec les Français. Il vit tout seul dans sa cellule... On le craint, et en général on ne l' aime pas.' [Montor 219-220].  On Sunday, April 23  (or on Wednesday, April 19, according to the Aneddote Relazione storiche XVI, p. 11],  Count Ernst von Kaunitz, the Ambassador Extraordinary of Joseph II and Maria Theresa arrived in Rome, and on the 27th he appeared before the Cardinals to make his formal oration. (Vita di Clemente XIV, 26). Likewise, on April 27, the Spanish cardinals de Solis (Seville) and de la Cerda (Toledo) entered conclave. Before he entered Conclave, however, de Solis engaged in some important discussions.  According to a report from the Cardinal de Luynes to the Duc de Choiseul of May 2, 1769 [Rousseau, p. 284 n.1]:

Le cardinal de Solis, chargé du secret de la cour de Madrid, a eu avant que d'entrer au conclave, une conférence avec MM. Azpuru et Centomani. Ce dernier a mandé a M. le Cl Orsini que ce personnage était décidé à ne laisser tomber l' élection que sur un cardinal qui s'obligera auparavant à la destruction des jésuites, par un écrit signé de lui ou qui du moins en donnera la parole précise, en présence des cardinalx nationaux, qui certifieront sur-le-champ à leurs cours que cette parole a été donnée en leur présence.

Cardinal de Solis, it was said, brought a plan, sanctioned by the Court of Spain, that would require any candidate who hoped to be elected, to enter into the most solemn promise to bring about the destruction of the Jesuits.  As Bernis put it in a note of May 1 [Carayon, no. xl, p.172] ,  Orsini nous a dit qu'on lui mandait que le cardinal de Solis n'avait aucun scruple d'exiger du pape futur une promesse par écrit de la destruction des Jésuites.   According to Father Theiner [I, 211], they began immediately to cast their votes for Cardinal Ganganelli. In addition, de Solis' conclavist, Aguirre, had begun to circulate among the cardinals with remarks hostile to Cardinal Fantucci [Montor, 231].  

By Sunday, April 30, the number of cardinals had risen to forty-six. The zelanti, in opposition to the Courts, were promoting Cardinals Pozzobonelli (who, as it happened, was the agent of the Empire inside the Conclave) and Colonna [Ravignan, 264].  D'Aubeville, however, warned Cardinal de Bernis in a note of May 2 that the representatives of the Courts would leave Rome if Pozzobonelli were elected [Carayon, p. 173].  On May 3, the Eve of the Ascension, it is reported by the Aneddote Relazione storiche [XVIII, p. 3] that the number of votes for Cardinal Fantuzzi at the accessio was twenty-five—he had obtained nine votes on the Scrutiny.  Cardinal de Bernis wrote to Choiseul on that same Wednesday, May 3, that the French interest had at least eighteen votes, and perhaps four other doubtful ones, which made it possible to exclude any candidate [Montor, 227].  But he feared that if Solis persisted in demanding a written pledge, the coalition which made the exclusion possible would fall apart.  At the same time, the pro-Jesuit faction met in the cell of Cardinal Giovanni Francesco Albani, and planned to elect cardinal Fantuzzi the next morning on the Scrutiny [Aneddote Relazione storiche XVIII, p. 3]. On the 7th Bernis admitted [Carayon, no. li, p. 169-170]:

Il faut nécessairement traiter avec Dom Sebastien, secrétaire du cardinal de Solis, sans quoi rien n'irait, car MM. les Espagnols ont pour maxime que la patience arrange toutes choses.... il faut voir actuellement ou se jetteront les Albani.  Colonna va paraître sur la scène....

As to Pozzobonelli, Cardinal Bernis wrote to Ambassador d'Aubeterre on May 6, 1769 [Crétineau-Joly, p. 231]:

Je suis averti que le parti de Pozzobonelli grossit.  Il faut se décider sur cela.  Nous ne pouvons sans un ordre exprès lui donner l'exclusion.  Ce qui le sert, c'est qu'on voit bien que nous n'en voulons pas.  Au surplus vous voyez que nous lui faisons faire tant que nous pouvons les fonctions d'un ministre de la cour de Vienne concerté avec les trois Couronnes. Il est de maxime de ne pas choisir un Pape ministre, et nous ne manquerons pas d'en ressouvenir.

Even by May 6, however, there had been no exclusiva presented against Pozzobonelli, and Bernis had no authority to present one. On the contrary, he was under general orders to cooperate with the Imperialists.  Indeed the record of the Scrutinies shows that Fantuzzi's tally on the scrutinies suddenly fell by half after May 6, and that Pozzobonelli's tally was no more than four. They were both finished.  It was Colonna's numbers that were growing in the Scrutiny. Bernis' remark that Pozzobonelli's party was growing (assuming he is telling Aubeterre the truth) may mean nothing else than that the weaker supporters of Fantuzzi had switched to Pozzobonelli, though only on the accessio.  But the pro-Jesuit party still did not have the votes they needed to make a pope.

Also on May 6, Cardinal Lante had to leave the Conclave due to illness [letter of Msgr. Giorgio d'Adda to his brother, May 10, 1769].

As of Monday, May 8, despite many intrigues, the pro-Jesuit faction had not been able to get the French to launch their formal exclusiva [Bernis to Aubeterre, May 8, 1769: Crétineau-Joly, p. 238].

On Wednesday, May 10, however, Bernis reported a sudden change—that Ganganelli no longer wanted to be considered for the Papacy.  He seemed to be having a case of 'cold feet' in the face of the completely intransigent demand of the Courts for a firm committment on the destruction of the Jesuits.  Rezzonico began to press various cardinals with his campaign for a pro-Jesuit candidate.  He attempted to speak to Bernis and de La Cerda on the 13th about the candidacy of Cardinal Colonna.  The response from Bernis was noncomittal, asking for time for consultations before he answered; but in general he thought Colonna well-born and pious, but also that he was too young and inexperienced in business with the Courts. Rezzonico took offense, and said if he could find the votes he would go ahead without any regard for the feelings of the Courts; and when Bernis asked him to convey their thoughts to Rezzonico's partisans, he refused. Bernis and de la Cerda went to the Dean and Sub-Dean, and registered a complaint, for which they would demand satisfaction from the new pope for Rezzonico's lack of respect and deference towards the Crowns.  Obviously tempers were well frayed.

On May 11, there was apparently a move afoot to attempt to elect Cardinal Stoppani on the 12th.  Around the time of the Ave Maria, messages were sent to Graf Kaunitz and Conte di Rivera, the Minister of Torino, that Stoppani had enough votes to be elected on the morning of the 12th.  The same evening, however, each received a message reporting that a difficulty had arisen and that there would be no election of Stoppani in the morning.

Augustin Theiner provides a list of the votes at the Scrutinies between April 27 and May 18, based on conclave records in the Vatican Archives [Theiner, Geschichte I, 211-212]. He provides no information about the accessiones—which is critical to assess the proceedings.

The Understanding

On Tuesday, May 16, after the morning scrutiny, Cardinal Orsini wrote a note (which he did not send immediately) to Ambassador d'Aubeterre, advising him that Cardinal Rezzonico had begun to talk about Ganganelli as a possible pope.  After the afternoon scrutiny Orsini added to his note, stating that he had been approached by Cardinal Albani, again on the subject of Ganganelli, with a list of trivial reasons to convince Orsini that Ganganelli was friendly to the Spanish. Orsini told d'Aubeterre that he had been completely uncommittal to Albani.  Aubeterre immediately wrote to inform the Duc de Choiseul, expressing his surprise at this sudden development [Theiner I, 237-239].

On the afternoon of the 16th of May, Bernis also wrote to d'Aubeterre in something of a panic as well as foreboding:

On va proposer Ganganelli; je ne serais pas étonné que les Albani fussent pour lui;  il n'est pas aisé de déchiffrer ses véritables sentiments.  Je sais que Azparu et vous, M. l'ambassadeur, en avez bonne opinion;  il ne s'est pas soucié de me donner la même idée, et c'est de tous les sujets papables celui dont je me hasarderais moins de faire l'horoscope s'il est élu. J'ai appris bien des choses depuis que je suis arrivé au conclave, et j'ai vérifié bien des notions antérieures que j'avais rassemblées. On ne veut point de Sersale.... de Malvezzi.  Si on veut de Ganganelli, ce sera bien mauvaise marque, cela voudrait dire que nos ennemis s'en sont assurés; la règle est infaillible..... il est évident que Ganganelli est Jésuite et qu'il a transigé avec eux [Albani and Rezzonico]; et alors les cours seront la dupe de ce religieux. Je sais que nous avons nos ordres et de quoi nous disculper de l'événement; mais au moins faut-il prendre des précautions pour que Ganganelli nous ait obligation de sa papauté.  J'ai parlé aux cardinaux de Solis et de Lacerda; ils ne connaissent que leurs instructions et n'admettent aucun tempérament....  Malvezzi vient de me dire que Ganganelli ne voudrait pas être proposé....

It seems clear that Bernis still had no clear idea of what Cardinal de Solis was up to with Ganganelli, or what Ganganelli's exact position on the Jesuits was.  He feared that Ganganelli's disinterest in the papacy was a ruse, and that he had made a deal with Cardinal Albani and Cardinal Rezzonico, which, along with the votes of the Zelanti, might be enough to get him elected without the help of any of the Bourbon Crowns. De Solis, in fact, had been negotiating with the Albani, the representatives of the Imperial party [Cardinal Orsini to d'Aubeterre, May 16, 1679; Carayon, no. lxvii, p. 188].  He explained what he had been doing, after the fact, in a Memorial of June 28, 1769 [Danvila III, pp. 337-339; Rousseau, pp. 290-293].  The representatives of the Crowns had finally concluded that neither of their candidates, Sersale and Cavalchini, could be elected Pope, due to the virtual veto which was being applied by Fantuzzi and Colonna; and likewise that Stoppani was blocked by the opposition of Rezzonico and Giovanni Francesco Albani and their supporters.  De Solis claimed the credit for having brought up the name of Ganganelli at a meeting of the representatives of the Crowns.

The united front of the Bourbon Crowns was collapsing.  At the same time as Bernis was writing to d'Aubeterre, d'Aubeterre was having an interview with Msgr. Azpuru at his house.  Azparu told d'Aubeterre that, that very morning [the 16th],  Cardinal de Solis had written a note in which he announced that they were going to propose Ganganelli, and asked whether he could give their votes in Ganganelli's favor.  Azpuru had told de Solis that Ganganelli's name was on the list made up by the Courts as one of the "good", and so he was free to go ahead.  D'Aubeterre was sure, as he wrote to Bernis that night, that he had not been told the whole story by Azpuru.  Nonetheless he reminded Bernis that they had been instructed to work with the Spanish, and that Ganganelli had been equally on the approval list of the French Court.  They were therefore expected to go along with the movement toward Ganganelli, led by the Spanish.  It only remained to talk to Ganganelli.

In the night of the 16th, Bernis wrote again to d'Aubeterre [Carayon, no. lxvi, pp. 186-187].  He explained what Cardinal de Solis had explained to him, and what he had seen of the behavior of the two Albani: Alexandre et François ont dit si haut qu'ils étaient pour Ganganelli, nous avons remarqué des pourparlers de ce cardinal avec Castelli [Milanese Imperialist]: tout cela formait la preuve la plus complete du jésuitisme de Ganganelli.  The next day Bernis wrote to the Duc de Choiseul at Versailles [Carayon, lxviii., p. 189]:

On peut dire que jamais les Cardinaux sujets de la maison de France n'ont montré plus de pouvoir que dans ce Conclave; mais leur puissance se borne jusqu'ici à la destruction.  Nous avons le marteau qui demolit, mais nous n'avons pu saisir encore l'instrument qui édifie.

On May 17, a conversation took place between Cardinal Ganganelli and the conclavist of Cardinal Bernis, Abbé Deshaises, who posed a number of critical questions in Bernis' name, which Bernis had organized into a memorandum [Bernis to Aubeterre, May 18, 1769:  Carayon, no. LXXII, p. 192;  Masson, 107-108;  Artaud de Montor VII, p. 238]. This was the last stage in an effort to pin down Ganganelli as to his attitude toward the suppression of the Jesuits. The Spanish were insistant that no one could become pope without a specific committment.  As Bernis remarked,  France was not the most rigorous of the Crowns.   There is also the allegation that Ganganelli negotiated with Cardinal de Solis, the Archbishop of Seville, through the mediation of  Cardinals Rezzonico and the two Albani [See the critique by Theiner Histoire I, 244 ff., who argues that, because Bernis did not know what the Spanish were up to, the Spanish were not up to anything!].  Bernis, in fact, remarked on his relations with the Spanish cardinals in a despatch of May 3 [Crétineau-Joly, 227]:

Au surplus, notre concert avec les Cardinaux espagnols, quoique moins aisé et moins doux qu' avec le cardinal Orsini, est très-établi.  Le cardinal de Solis vit en solitaire et ne fait rien que par le secrétaire que la cour d' Espagne lui a donné et par la direction de M. Azpuru.  Le cardinal de la Cerda, malgré sa mince figure, plaît par ses formes nobles et surtout par ses présents.

The fact is that Solis was not very communicative with anyone, and said nothing that he was not advised by Madrid and by the Spanish Minister Abbe Tomás Azpuru (Auditor of the Sacred Roman Rota for Aragon) to say.  He was not personally acquainted with Cardinal de Bernis.

Whether a commitment was given in writing by Ganganelli, as some allege, or perhaps by word of mouth, or whether there ever was a specific commitment, is a highly controversial point.  Some authorities point in triumph to the fact that there is not a scrap of paper signed with Ganganelli's name on it agreeing to any demand.  But then we are not talking about Electoral Capitulations, negotiated by all the cardinals and signed by them.  The nature of what Ganganelli was discussing was such that it would have been foolish to put anything in writing, and unwise to be too specific as to the details of one's commitments.  Conclaves were invented in part to prevent private agreements being made with one power or another as the price of a tiara.  And, unbder the circumstances, Electoral Capitulations in which their demands were embodied would have been unacceptable to the Courts.  Electoral Capitulations had been nullified by popes immediately after their election on several occasions, and thus there was no assurance that an agreement could be sustained (This point is made by Manrique, p. 512).   Nonetheless, there was an agreement.  In a message of May 19, without knowledge of a successful election having taken place, the Marquis d'Aubeville wrote to Cardinal de Bernis:

... Que gagnerait Ganganelli par un traité secret avec les Jésuites, sinon de se déshonorer en pure perte? .... Au surplus Ganganelli est agréable aux cours, il est vivement porté par l'Espagne.  Ce sont les Espagnols qui ont engagé son traité.  Nous y avons toute la part que l' honnèteté demande, et nous ne pouvons sortir du Conclave par une plus belle porte, profitant du bien s'il y en a, et sans être changés du mal s'il en arrive.

And, three weeks later, Bernis wrote to the Duc de Choiseul,

Les cardinaux de Solis et de La Cerda, avant d'entrer au Conclave, avaient déclaré imprudemment qu'ils ne seraient pas la dupe des Français.  Ils ont voulu que nous fussions la leur: le contraire est arrivé.  L'écrit qu'ils ont fait signer au Pape n'est nullement obligatoire; le Pape lui-même m'en a dit la teneur.

On May 18, Ganganelli had received 19 votes on the Scrutiny, Colonna 13, Pozzobonelli 11, Stoppani 6, and Fantuzzi 1.   Bernis heard that Ganganelli would be called "Sixtus VI" (who had also been a Franciscan) [Crétineau-Joly, pp. 251-252].

In the afternoon of May 18,  Bernis wrote to Ambassador d'Aubeterre that everything was arranged, and that on the next scrutiny they would go all-out for Ganganelli.  Ganganelli was making the appropriate noises of reluctance, but he had become smiling and welcoming.  Early in the evening of May 18, Cardinal de Bernis sent a dispatch to the Duc de Choiseul at Versailles, explaining what had happened between May 17 and May 19 [Ravignan, p. 267 n. 1;  Artaud de Montor VII. p. 240], recalling the moment of agreement on May 18,

M' étant rendu hier, à une heure de nuit, chez le cardinal Pozzobonelli, où je trouvai le cardinal Rezzonico, nous nous sommes accordés à donner les voix de tous nos amis au cardinal Ganganelli.  Et comme on était sûr de celle du cardinal Albani, qui s' était concerté avec le cardinal Rezzonico par la vole du cardinal Borromée, parent de Jean-François Albani et ami du cardinal Ganganelli, toutes les voix se sont trouvées réunies pour le même sujet.  J'ai été en informer les cardinaux espagnols et le cardinal Orsini.  Peu de temps après, le conclave entier a été baiser la main du pape désigné; nous allons au scrutin pour la forme.  Le cardinal Ganganelli y sera certainement reconnu souverain pontife avec toutes les voix.

Je souhaite, monsieur le Duc, que le roi soit content de la conduite que nous avons tenue, M. le cardinal de Luynes et moi, et des soins que je me suis donnés pour ramener à nous l' élection du pape à laquelle on voulait nous ôter jusqu'à l' apparence d' avoir concouru...

 

Election of Pope Clement XIV (Ganganelli)

Lorenzo Cardinal Ganganelli, a Franciscan, son of a physician, and a professional theologian (though not a notable one), educated by the Jesuits, but who had managed to offend neither side and yet had made no binding promises, was finally elected as a compromise (Clement XIV) on the morning of May 19, 1769.  The vote was unanimous, his own vote going to Cardinal Rezzonico, the only vote Rezzonico received at the entire conclave (45-1).  The Certificate of Election was drawn up by Msgr. Lucca, the Ceremoniere, who was also a Notary Apostolic. The public announcement of the Election took place shortly before noon.  Three hours later the new Pope was carried to St. Peter's Basilica for the first public Adoration. The Sede Vacante had lasted three months and sixteen days.  As it would shortly appear, the Bourbon Crowns had been outmaneuvered.

 

On Sunday, May 28, the new pope was consecrated a bishop by the Sub-Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Federico Lanté della Rovere. The coronation took place at St. Peter's Basilica on Sunday, June 4, 1769, the tiara being placed on the pope's head by Cardinal Alessandro Albani, the Cardinal Proto-deacon.  Cardinal Pallavicini became Secretary of State, as the Duc de Choiseul had predicted, but Clement XIV quickly found out that he was unfocused and discursive.  On November 26, Pope Clement XIV took possession of his cathedral church, the Lateran Basilica. During the procession to the Lateran, at the Arch of Septimius Severus in the Forum, the Pope was thrown from his horse [A. Coppi, Annali d' Italia dal 1750. (Roma: de Romanis 1824), 93].   He spent his entire reign in fear of being poisoned.  According to Cardinal de Bernis [in a letter to the Comte de Vergennes, September 28, 1774:  de Montaiglon and Guiffrey (editors), Correspondence des Directeurs de l' Academie de France à Rome  XIII (Paris 1904) no. 6548;  cf. Vita Clementis XIV p. 157, in "B. Platina", Storia delle vite de' Pontefici (Venezia 1775)], Clement XIV's death was not natural.

On July 22, 1769, a Memorial was presented to Clement XIV,  composed by Bernis, with the encouragement of Azpuru and Orsini,  demanding in the clearest terms to carry out the plan for the complete abolition of the Society of Jesus [Rousseau, pp. 306-307];  a second Memorial followed on September 18 [Rousseau, 315], and a third on November 13 [Rousseau, 320].   Msgr. Tomás Azpuru, Auditor of the Rota, Minister of Spain at the Court of Rome, was named Archbishop of Valencia by King Charles III  less than a year after the election of Cardinal Ganganelli—but he suffered a stroke, lost his ability to speak, and was replaced as Minister in 1772 because he could not obtain what the King of Spain desired.  He died on July 7, 1772 [Rousseau, 349].  He was succeeded by Don José Moñino [Rousseau, p. 341-344].  Finally, Clement XIV could no longer endure the continually mounting pressure, and he dissolved the Society of Jesus on August 16, 1773, through the Bull Dominus ac Redemptor Noster. On September 3, the Jesuit General Lorenzo Ricci and his Assistants were consigned to the Castel S. Angelo.

The Duc de Choiseul was dismissed and exiled to his estate at Chanteloupe by at lettre de cachet of Louis XV, signed on December 24, 1770.  Choiseul had counselled the Spanish to make war on England over the Falkland Islands [M. de Flassan, Histoire générale et raisonnée de la diplomatie française  Tome VII (Paris 1811) 44-48].  The move to dismiss Choiseul was aided by the secret efforts of the First Commissioner of Foreign Affairs, the Abbe de la Ville, who had once been a Jesuit.


Pope Clement XIV.
Pope Clement XIV


 

Bibliography

Proseguimento delle Relazioni storico-anedotte della morte del Sommo Pontefice, del Conclave, e della Elezione (1769).  Giornale della Sede Vacante , in cui si da distinta notizio di tutte le Funzioni si sagre, che sivili, le quali far si sogliono sal giorno della morte del Sommo Pontefice, fino all' elezione del Successore (In Roma: Nella stamperia di Generoso Salomoni 1769).    Ragguaglio delle funzioni e cerimonie che si sono pratticate nella basilica di San Pietro per la coronazione seguita il giorno 4 Giugno 1769 del nuovo Sommo Pontefice Clemente XIV (Roma: Ansillioni MDCCLXIX).   Aneddote relazioni storiche della morte del Sommo Pontefice del Conclave, e della Elezione del Pontefice Successore. (1769) Num. I - XVIII [a sort of news bulletin].

Ragguaglio o sia Giornale della venuta, e permanenza in Roma della Sacra Reale Cesarea Maesta di Giuseppe II. imperatore de' Romani etc., e di Sua Altezza Reale Pietro Leopoldo I. Arciduca d' Austria, e Gran Duca di Toscana.  vvenuta nel Mese di Marzo 1769 (In Roma: Nella Stamperia dei Chracas al Corso, 1769).

Notizia esatta delle Funzioni fatte nel Conclave, e nella Basilica Vaticana per la Creazione del nuovo sommo pontefice Clemente XIV. (In Roma: Per il Puccinelli 1769).

"La società Romana dal 1766 al 1780, Lettere famigliari di Monsignor Giorgio D'Adda, Prefetto della Segnatura [di Giustizia] in Roma," in  Felice Calvi, Curiosità storiche e diplomatiche del secolo decimottavo (Milano: Antonio Vallardi 1878), pp. 307-415, esp. pp. 318-323.

Cayetano Manrique, "Un cónclave célebre,"  Revista de España  42 (1875), 317-338; 502-520. L. Berra "Il diario del conclave di Clemente XIV del card. Filippo Maria Pirelli," Archivio della Società Romana di Storia Patria serie III, 16-7 (1962-63), pp. 25-97, 98-319.  L. Szilas, "Konklave und Papstwahl Clemens XIV. (1769). Vorspiel zur Aufhebung der Gesellschaft Jesu am 21. Juli 1773," Zeitschrift für Katholische Theologie 96 (1974), pp. 287-99.

[B. Platina], Storia delle vite de' pontefice: Vita di Clemente XIV (Venezia: Presso Domenico Ferrarin 1775). Gaetano Moroni, Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica Volume 14 (Venezia 1842) 83-86.  F. Artaud de Montor, Histoire des souverains pontifes romains Volume VII (Paris 1851) 215-257   T. Förster, Eine Papstwahl vor hundert Jahren. Eine Erinnerung aus dem J. 1769 (Berlin 1869).  Frédéric Masson, Le Cardinal de Bernis, depuis son ministère (Paris 1884) 77-112. David Silvagni, La corte e la società romana nei secoli XVIII e XIX  Volume primo, seconda edizione (Firenze 1882) 147-188. Giovanni Sforza, "Il conclave di Papa Ganganelli e la soppressione de' Gesuiti: da documenti inediti del R. Archivio di Stato in Lucca," Archivio storico italiano 5a serie  20 (Firenze 1897), 286-315;   Fredrik Nielsen, The History of the Papacy in the XIX Century (tr. A. J. Mason) Volume I (London 1906) 57-64.

The instructions of the Court of Madrid are summarized in: Xavier de Ravignan, Clément XIII et Clément XIV (Paris 1854) 552-555 (from the documents provided by A. Theiner).  See also: El Espiritu de D. José Nicolas de Azara, descubierto en su correspondencia epistolar con Don Manuel de Roda  Tomo I (Madrid: Imprenta de J. Martin Alegria 1846).  Manuel Danvila y Collado, Reinado de Carlos III  Tomo III (Madrid: El Progreso Editorial 1894).  François Rousseau, Règne de Charles III d'Espagne (1759-1788)  Tome Premier (Paris: Plon 1907).

Auguste Carayon (editor), Documents inédits concernant la Compagnie de Jésus  XVII (Poitiers: Henri Oudin 1869).

Julio Firmino Judice Biker (editor),  Collecção dos Negocios de Roma no Reinado de El-Rey Dom José I.  Ministerio do Marquez de Pombal e Pontificado de Clemente XIV, 1769-1774  Parte III (Lisboa, 1874), pp. 35-57.

Alexis de Saint-Priest, Histoire de la chute des Jésuites au XVIIIe siècle (1730-1782) (Paris 1846) 68-105.  J. Crétineau-Joly, Clément XIV et les Jésuites  3rd edition (Paris: Mellier 1848).

Agostino Theiner,  Geschichte der Pontifikats Clemens XIV  3 vols. (Leipzig 1853); Histoire du Pontificat de Clement XIV Volume 1 (Paris: 1852) [translated from the German]; Storia del pontificato di Clemente XIV Volume I (Milan 1853) 173-280 [translated from the French].

[Theiner aanounces (I, 178) at the beginning of his narration of the Conclave: Nous allons donc donner une rapide esquisse de l'histoire de ce conclave mémorable, et indiquer quels moyens employèrent les différents partis des cardinaux pour élever sur la chaire de saint Pierre un pape qui partageat leurs sentiments. Nous aurons à constater, dans ce récit, deux vérités injustement contestées et également précieuses et consolantes, savoir: que le parti si diffamé des cardinaux des couronnes mit en œuvre des moyens plus nobles et plus purs, pour arriver à l’élection du pape futur, que ceux des cardinaux appartenant au parti si vanté qu’on appelait rigide; et, en second lieu, que Clément XIV, quoique, méme pendant son cardinalat, ses opinions larges lui eussent acquis justement l’estime et la considération des souverains, monta néanmoins sur le siége du prince des apôtres par une admirable disposition de Dieu, contre tente l’attente de ces memes souverains, ainsi que contre les désirs et, assurément, contre la volonté préméditée elle-mème des deux partis des électeurs sacrés.  We are glad for the warning, for these are not the words of an historian, but of an apologist.  That the cardinals of the Crowns were all acting through the most noble and pure means is a statement that may well raise a smile on some faces.]

Some time after having written the warning in the previous paragraph I came upon the judgment of August Carayon in the preface (p. xv) to Volume 17 of his Documents inédits concernant la Compagnie de Jésus (1869):  En étudiant ces productions de la bonhomie transcendante du savant bibliothécaire des archives secrètes, on se demande si l’on rêve, ou si l'on a bien compris le texte qu’on a sous les yeux. Malheureusement on a bientôt la triste certitude qu’on ne rêvait pas. Comment ce gigantesque factum n’a-t—il pas écrasé les Jésuites? A première vue cela semble inexplicable; mais après avoir ouvert le ballot et pris la peine de l’examiner en détail, on y rencontre tant de contradictions, tant d’appréciations erronées, tant de faux supposés, tant de conclusions renversées d’avance par les faits allégués ou les pièces oiîicielles produites par l’auteur lui-même, qu’on se trouve désorienté, et qu’on ne sait s’il faut se fâcher de sa malice ou rire de sa simplicité. Cette dernière qualité va parfois si loin qu’elle rappelle le fait de cet avocat célèbre qui, n’ayant pas eu le temps d’étudier son dossier, plaidait sans s’en douter pour la partie adverse, au grand ébahissement des auditeurs.

Xavier de Ravignan, SJ, Clément XIII et Clément XIV   2 volumes (Paris 1854), I, 237-268; II, 364-372 [a defense of the conclusions of Theiner]. J. M. S. Daurignac, History of the Society of Jesus (tr. J. Clements) (Cincinnati 1865) 168-171.  Anatole de Montaiglon and Jules Guiffrey (editors), Correspondence des Directeurs de l' Academie de France à Rome  XIII, 1774-1779 (Paris: Jean Schemit 1904)

Ludwig Wahrmund, Das Ausschliessungs-recht (jus exclusivae) der katholischen Staaten Österreich, Frankreich und Spanien bei den Papstwahlen (Wien 1888) 229-230; 326-327.

Diese seltene Uebereinstimmung der katholischen Grossmächte, die ihre Kräfte im Conclave zu einer ausschlaggebenden Macht verschmolz, hatte nuin allerdings zur Folge, das speciell die Bevollmächtigen der Bourbon'schen Höfe im Bewusstsein ihres Anhanges ziemlich rigoros vorgingen und eine Unzahl von Candidaturen ablehnten, worüber sich die Zelanten oft beklagten, aber eben dieselben Gründe liessen natürlich eine formelle Exclusion vollkommen überflüssig erscheinen....(p. 230)

On the Cavalcade and the ceremonies attendant upon the Possession of the Lateran, see David Silvagni, La corte e la società romana nei secoli XVIII e XIX Volume Primo seconda edizione (Firenze 1882), 3-24.

Concetta Mariani, Il viaggio di Giuseppe II a Roma e a Napoli nel 1769 (Lanciano 1907) [superficial and far from complete].

On Cardinal de Solis,  B.S. Castellanos de Losada (editor),  Biografia eclesiastica completa  Tomo XXVII (Madrid 1867) 808-809.  J. Matute y Gaviria, Anales eclesiásticos y seculares de la muy nobile leal Ciudad de Sevilla  Tomo II (Sevilla 1887) pp. 83; 109-134  138-139;  225-229; 254-255; 258-260; 280.

List of transcribed documents.


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