Pius VI

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Related to Pope Pius VI: Giovanni Angelo Braschi, Pope Clement XIV

Pius VI,

1717–99, pope (1775–99), an Italian named G. Angelo Braschi, b. Cesena; successor of Clement XIV. He was created cardinal in 1774. Early in his reign he was faced with the attempts of Holy Roman Emperor Joseph IIJoseph II,
1741–90, Holy Roman emperor (1765–90), king of Bohemia and Hungary (1780–90), son of Maria Theresa and Holy Roman Emperor Francis I, whom he succeeded. He was the first emperor of the house of Hapsburg-Lorraine (see Hapsburg).
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 to "reform" the church by suppressing monasteries, assuming rights of appointment of clergy, and by other changes. Joseph's actions were imitated in Spain and Italy, and in 1786 a synod at Pistoia, Italy, adopted antipapal resolutions. Joseph's attempts to make the state supreme in matters of conscience were not less extreme than the efforts in the French RevolutionFrench Revolution,
political upheaval of world importance in France that began in 1789. Origins of the Revolution

Historians disagree in evaluating the factors that brought about the Revolution.
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 to set up a state church by the Civil Constitution of the Clergy (1790). Pius eventually (Apr., 1791) condemned this new Gallican church and forbade the clergy to take the oaths. The French annexed the papal property at Avignon and Venaissin. The pope protested Louis XVI's execution and sided with the anti-French coalition, and Napoleon attacked the Papal States. In 1797 a treaty at Tolentino ceded Avignon, Venaissin, Ferrara, Bologna, and the Romagna to the French, along with a huge indemnity and many treasures. The pope was taken to Siena, thence to Florence; soon, though he was ill and feeble, the French took him to Turin and to Grenoble; he died at Valence. He was succeeded by Pius VII. In 1802 his body was taken to Rome.
References in periodicals archive ?
200 YEARS AGO:This morning a solemn dirge was sung and the High Mass at half past eleven by the Bishop of Centuriae, at the Portuguese Chapel, Grosvenor Square, for his late Holiness Pope Pius VI, and the same solemn services will on different appointed days be performed in the rest of the Roman Catholic Chapels.
To end any possibility of reunification between Christian denominations, Napoleon I had the French army invade the Papal Estates and abduct Pope Pius VI in February 1798.
Baldovin, a professor of historical and liturgical theology at Boston College, said that Pope Pius VI "decried and abrogated" the recommended reforms in the 18th century, but the incident gives evidence that church leaders even then were thinking of ways to rewrite liturgy.