Conclave 1644

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Sedis vacantia

The 1644 conclave was an electoral assembly of the cardinals to elect the successor to Pope Urban VIII and took place from August 9 to September 15, 1644. It chose Giovanni Battista Pamphilj the Pope , who the name of Innocent X adopted.

Pope Urban VIII


Influence of Urban VIII.

The pontificate of Urban VIII, which included the Castro Wars , had been very difficult financially for Rome. In addition, the situation was generally tense due to the conflict between France and Spain for supremacy in the church and the Thirty Years' War , which is why a compromise candidate was sought who could bring peace and stability to the church.

Due to Urban VIII nepotism , several family members - u. a. Francesco Barberini and Antonio Barberini - in the Curia who were interested in keeping the power and wealth that had come through the pontificate.

Division of the conclave

Since Urban VIII was very Francophile , the mood in the conclave was on the side of the Spaniards from the start. While Francesco joined the Spanish, Antonio sided with the French with Cardinal Mazarin .

Thus, instead of cooperating, the brothers opposed each other and shared the conclave. Antonio sent Giulio Cesare Sacchetti as a candidate, who was hardly successful. Francesco nominated Giovanni Battista Pamphili with a similar outcome.

There was a stalemate as the brothers tried to win against each other. Antonio tried with all possible means to get the Spanish cardinals to divert and vote for Sacchetti and offered them offices in addition to money and land. The French ambassador almost reached an agreement, but he tried to take further advantage of the business. So he asked for 20,000 doubloons as an agency fee , which Antonio angrily refused.

Choice pamphilis

So it came about that the candidate of the Spaniards Giovanni Battista Pamphili was elected. In return, the Barberini family was promised the protection of King Philip IV of Spain .


Absent cardinals


  • Valérie Pirie: The Triple Crown: An Account of the Papal Conclaves.
  • Lilian H. Zirpolo: Ave Papa / Ave Papabile: the Sacchetti family, their art patronage, and political aspirations. 2005.

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