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Pius VI

(1717—1799)


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(1717–99),

Pope from 1775. In his reign Papal prestige was at a low ebb. Febronian ideas were put into effect by Joseph II (see Josephinism), and a visit of the Pope to Vienna in 1782 was fruitless. In 1786 similar doctrines were adopted at the Synod of Pistoia; 85 of the Pistoian articles were condemned by Pius in 1794. In 1791 he condemned the Civil Constitution of the Clergy as schismatical and heretical and suspended all priests and prelates who had taken the civil oath; France then annexed the Papal territories of Avignon and the Venaissin. Napoleon subsequently occupied the States of the Church; the occupation was ended only in 1797 by the surrender of territory and valuables. Pius died a prisoner at Valence.

Subjects: Christianity.


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