Innocent X.

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Innocent X, portrait by Diego Velázquez
Pope coat of arms Innocent 'X.
Detail of the tomb for Innocent X in the church of Sant 'Agnese in Rome

Innocent X. (actually Giovanni Battista Pamphilj ; * May 6, 1574 in Rome ; † January 7, 1655 there ) was Pope from 1644 to 1655.


Giovanni Battista Pamphilj became an auditor of the Roman Rota in 1604 . From 1625 he was papal legate in France and 1626 Spain. In the same year he also became the Latin Patriarch of Antioch . Pope Urban VIII accepted him in the consistory of August 30, 1627 as cardinal priest of San Eusebio in the college of cardinals . In 1639 he became prefect of the Council Congregation .

On September 15, 1644, Cardinal Pamphilj, who was already 70 years old, was elected Pope by the conclave and took the name Innocent X.


Innocent X brought the nephews of his predecessor Urban VIII to account, but they fled to France to see Cardinal Mazarin . On its influence the process was put down in 1646. However, with the first appointment of a cardinal secretary of state, the Pope broke with the tradition of having a nephew (nephew) as his main adviser. Perhaps the pope's name "Innocent" (= the innocent ) should herald the break with nepotism or at least on the medieval model of the Roman Innocent III. refer back.

During his pontificate in 1648 the Peace of Westphalia was concluded, which laid down the Protestants' sphere of rule and influence. It was a major defeat for the Catholic Church; therefore the papal envoy, Fabio Chigi, was the only one of the negotiators to refuse to sign the peace treaty. With the letter Zelo domus Dei dated November 26, 1648, the Pope objected to this without success .

In the war against the Duke of Parma , his troops captured the city of Castro in 1649 and razed it to the ground after the surrender . Their area was incorporated into the Papal States and a pillar with the inscription "Qui fu Castro" ("Here stood Castro") was erected in place of the city .

In a brief of December 17, 1649, Pope Innocent X ordered a broad survey among all religious in Italy, in which information about the financial and personal situation of all convents should be collected. The result of this data collection is now a treasure trove for historical studies. In 1987 Marcella Campanelli edited and evaluated the reports and statistics for this survey relating to the Theatines .

According to today's criteria " ex cathedra " he condemned five tenets of Jansenism as heresy with the papal bull Cum occasione 1653 . This was unsuccessful because the Jansenists recognized the condemnation, but claimed that the sentences did not come from Jansenius .

Innocent X was very influenced during his pontificate by his sister-in-law Olimpia Maidalchini , who was able to enrich herself through it. In the hour of his death she ransacked the papal apartments and refused to finance a proper burial. Nobody should have taken care of the dead for three days before he was finally buried without any celebration.

Innocent X is the subject of a painting by the Spanish painter Diego Velázquez, famous for his realistic portraits . The Pope is said to have commented on the unflattering picture with the words "troppo vero" ("all too true").


Web links

Commons : Innocent X.  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
predecessor Office successor
Urban VIII. Pope
Alexander VII