Papal conclave, 1829


Papal conclave, 1829

The papal conclave held after the death of Pope Leo XII on February 10, 1829 to elect his successor began on February 24, 1829.

It took a long time to make a decision because of conflict between secular governments about who should be elected. Cardinal Emmanuele De Gregorio was the proposed candidate of the pro-French faction and the "zelanti", whilst Bartolomeo Pacca was proposed by the more moderate cardinals but was not accepted by the French government of the Bourbon Restoration period. At the time France was governed by Charles X of France and Prime Minister Jean Baptiste Gay, vicomte de Martignac. Pacca was also seen as too gentle to be an effective Pope by many in the conclave.

The conclave did not move rapidly, however, the arrival of Giuseppe Cardinal Albani caused the votes to center instead on "Francesco Saverio Castiglioni". With the supporters of either De Gregorio or Pacca unable to win enough votes to become Pope, Castiglioni became seen as a suitable compromise candidate. He had been close to election in the 1823 conclave as the representative of the "politicani" (moderate cardinals) and had all the qualification to become Pope, but had the problem of being in very poor health.

By March 31, Castiglioni had been elected Pope. Given that Castiglioni had been called Pius VIII by Pope Pius VII even before his death in 1823, and that in the 1823 conclave Leo XII said he "some day was to be Pius VIII", it was a foregone conclusion that he would take that regnal name upon becoming Pope.

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