Innokentiy VI

Innokentiy VI

Country: Vatican

  1. Biography of Innocent VI
  2. Reforming the Curia
  3. Efforts for Peace

Biography of Innocent VI

Pope Etienne Aubert, a professor of civil law from Toulouse, quickly made a career in the religious field. In 1338, he became the Bishop of Noyon, in 1340, the Bishop of Clermont, in 1342, a cardinal-priest, in 1352, a cardinal-bishop of Ostia and the Grand Penitentiary. The conclave that took place after the death of Clement VI was notable because the cardinals gathered at it promised to share power and income with the other members of the Sacred College if they were elected. Etienne Aubert agreed to abide by the agreement as long as it did not contradict the laws of the Church. However, when he was elected pope, he immediately declared this agreement invalid as it infringed on the rights of the pope. Etienne Aubert ruled under the name Innocent VI.

Reforming the Curia

Innocent VI immediately began to reform the Curia, which resembled more of a royal court than the center of Christianity. Priests who were in Avignon awaiting privileges were ordered to return to their parishes under the threat of excommunication from the Church. Cardinals were instructed not to display luxury. However, these strict measures did not achieve success. In the mid-14th century, chaos reigned in Italy. Rome revolted, and the territory of the Papal States was seized by small princes. In order to restore order and reestablish papal dominion, Innocent sent an army of mercenaries to Italy under the leadership of the energetic Cardinal Egidio Albornoz. He secured the support of Cola di Rienzi, and when the senator died during the disorders in 1354, the cardinal subjugated Rome to his rule. He published the so-called Aegidian Constitution, which regulated legal relations in the territory of the Papal States. It remained in force until the Napoleonic era. On the first day of Easter in 1355, Albornoz, on behalf of the pope, crowned Emperor Charles IV, taking from him a commitment to leave Rome immediately after the ceremony. A year later, the emperor issued the "Golden Bull," in which he solemnly declared that the German king was independent of papal authority.

Efforts for Peace

In 1360, with the mediation of Innocent VI, peace was concluded between France and England in Brittany. However, his efforts to restore peace between Aragon and Castile were unsuccessful. Innocent began to build fortifications in Avignon to protect against pirates, but before the work was completed, the city was raided, and the pope had to pay a large ransom. Like his predecessor, Innocent VI supported artists and scholars. Overall, despite the continued rise of nepotism, he is considered the most successful of the Avignon popes.