Papal States / Papa Caelestinus Quartus (Pope Celestine IV)

Papal States - Papa Caelestinus Quartus (Pope Celestine IV) (25 October 1241 - 10 November 1241)

Pope Celestine IV (Latin: Caelestinus IV), born Goffredo da Castiglione, was Pope from 25 October 1241 to his death on 10 November of the same year.

The papal election of 1241 that elevated Celestine to the papal chair was held under stringent conditions that hastened his death. The papal curia was disunited over the violent struggle to bring the Emperor and King of Sicily Frederick II to heel. One group of cardinals favoured the ambitious schemes of the Gregorian Reform and aimed to humble Frederick as a papal vassal. Frederick, however, controlled as his unwilling guests in Tivoli two cardinals whom he had captured at sea, and in Rome Cardinal Giovanni Colonna was his ally, largely because the curia was in the hands of the Colonna archenemy, the senator Matteo Rosso Orsini. The latter held the consistory immured under his guards in the ramshackle palace of the Septizodium, where rains leaked through the roof of their chamber, mingled with the urine of Orsini's guards on the rooftiles. One of the cardinals fell ill and died.

One group of cardinals, which included Sinibaldo de' Fieschi (soon to be Pope Innocent IV) backed a candidate from the inner circle of Pope Gregory IX expected to pursue the hard line with Frederick II. Another group advocated a moderated middle course, not allies of the Hohenstaufen, but keen to reach an end to the Italian war. Overtures to Frederick II, however, were met with the impossible demand that if they wished the cardinals in his hands to return to Rome, they must elect as Pope Otto of St. Nicholas, an amenable compromise figure. Matteo Orsini's candidate, Romano da Porto, who had persecuted scholars at the University of Paris, was considered unacceptable.

The cardinal bishop of Sabina was finally elected Pope Celestine IV by the required two-thirds majority, seven cardinals out of ten, only on 25 October 1241. He occupied the throne for only seventeen days, his only notable papal act being the timely excommunication of Matteo Rosso Orsini. He died of wear and age on 10 November 1241 before coronation and was buried in St Peter's.

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Papa Caelestinus Quartus (Pope Celestine IV): Details
CountryPapal States
From25 October 1241
To10 November 1241
Personal Information Pope Celestine IV
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NamePapal States
From754
To1870
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