Pope Pius VIII, born Francesco Saverio Castiglioni, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 31 March 1829 to his death in 1830.
Pius VIII's pontificate was the shortest of all the popes of the 19th century, and is likely the least remembered. His brief papacy witnessed the Catholic Emancipation in Great Britain in 1829, which he welcomed, and the July Revolution in France in 1830, which he reluctantly accepted. Pius VIII is often remembered for his writings on marriages between Catholics and Protestants in the 1830 encyclical Litteris altero abhinc, in which he declared that a marriage could only be properly blessed if proper provisions had been made to ensure the bringing up of children in the Catholic faith. His death less than two years after his election to the papacy has led to speculation of a possible murder.