Pope Gregory XVIJ

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Pope Gregory XVII

Pope Gregory XVIII was born on November 25, 1907 as Johannes Marakios. He became pope on the 9th October 1958, and died on the 16th October 1989.


Early life

Pope Gregory XVIJ was born in 1907 as an Eastern Catholic, of Middle Eastern ethnos, in Antioch. His birth name was Johannes Marakios, and he was brought up until age 10 in a poor but pious family here. When he was ten, he saved the life of the brother of the Pope, who was head of the Institute for Religious Works. He was then adopted into the family.

He then changed his name to Giovanni Battista Della Chiesa, as to take on an Italian name nephew of a previous pope, Pope Benedict XV, in Rome, of the Papal States. His parents were wealthy advisors of the Popes from 1912 onwards, and thus he had many connections in the Latin Rite Catholic Church. He went to a private school and graduated from the University of Society of the Works of the Holy Spirit in 1928 with a degree in theology, and went on to be a leading scholar and teacher of the law. His parents forced him to enter the priesthood, although at the time he did not want to.

In the Preisthood

In 1904, de Chiesa was ordained a priest in the Roman Church of Santa Maria in Rome. Ten years later, during the First Great War, he was drafted into the Royal Italian Army as a sergeant, serving in the medical corps and as a chaplain. In 1921, Pope Benedict XV appointed him as the Italian president of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. In 1925 Pope Pius XIJ appointed him as Apostolic Visitor to Bulgaria, also naming him for consecration as titular bishop of Areopolis. He chose as his episcopal motto Obedientia et Pax ("Obedience and Peace"), which became his guiding motto.

Patriarch of Jerusalem

Pope Gregory XVIJ was appointed in 1953 to the senior Italian church post of Patriarch of Jerusalem. Unusually, de Chiesa was not made a cardinal at the consistory, when vacancies in the College of Cardinals are filled, and he never received the red hat (as the appointment to the cardinalate is often called) before Pope Pius's death in 1958, and he was not a member of the College of Cardinals until then although being a cardinal.

Nomination as pope

Arms of Gregory XVIJ

Following the death of Pope Pius XIJ, the following Papal Conclave was very short as all Giovanni Battista Della Chiesa's opponents boycotted the papal election, creating a unanimous win for the pope. The media spun out many conspiracy theories following this, claiming bribery in the elections. How true these allegations were are unprovable. Because of this, the Pope chose not to be crowned with the papal tiara, as his predicessors were, but instead in a simple inauguration. He took the name Gregory XVIJ.

Liturgy revision

Pope Gregory XVII oversaw the (slight) revision of the Divine Liturgy in 1965. (nowhere near the overhaul / destruction it received *here*).

Vatican Council

Shortly before his death, in 1988, Pope Gregory XVIJ opened the Vatican Council although it was nothing like Vatican II *here*. It was closed by Pope John XIIJ in 1990.

It dealt almost entirely with matters of human rights and local interest, whilst Vatican Council *there* also addressed the matters of the Pope's temporal authority. In doing so, the Pope placed the greater part of his temporal authority over the nation into the Roman Senate. The Senate was declericised in 1923, though clerics are allowed to exercise their civil rights and stand as candidates for election. However, the powers of ultimate civil authority remained constituted in the person of the Pope. He could still veto acts of the Senate in grave circumstances and remained the court of last appeal in criminal matters.

Vatican Council was concerned with Human Rights in the modern world. It also handed down strong teachings on Atomic Weapons and Biological Weapons.

It mainly worked with human rights issues and similar. There were no official decrees on papal infallibility, supremacy of Peter, etc, and Catholic Churches in general look towards the Pope of Rome for guidance, but not so much for sovereignty.

Vatican Council also addressed matters of the Pope of Rome's temporal authority. Namely, the Pope of Rome remains the ultimate authority in the States, but that power is reserved for vetoes in grave instances (say the Senate decides that it would be a Good Thing to invade Malta and risk war with the Commonwealth of Nations - the Pope of Rome would be within his rights to veto that one) and as a sort of court of last appeal in judicial matters. The Senate, governmental ministries and the civil judiciary were also entirely laicised. Several late 19th and early 20th c. civil reforms (mostly of a human rights nature) were enshrined in law.

Latin remained the official language of the Roman Catholic Church, and all documents that pertain to the Roman Rite are written in Latin. The Isidorian Rite officially adheres to this practice, but there is an increasing move towards vernacularisation). The Divine Liturgy may NOT be sung in vernacular, though some portions of the Litrugy (certain prayers and intercessions) may be sung in either Latin or vernacular. The education of Catholic children was totally revised in 1990 to also focus more on understanding what is happening in Mass and learning the meanings behind the gestures and words. On the positive side, priests are explicitly prohbited from mumbling the Latin - they too must learn to intone clearly.


Gregory was a saintly and devout priest and a very charismatic and well loved teacher of the faith. Something like John Paul the Great *here*.

Preceded by:
Pope Pius XIJ
Papal States.flag.png
Pope/Bishop of Rome
Pope John XXIIJ
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