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Clement IV
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Pope Clement IV
Born: Guy Foulques
Preceded by: Urban IV (1261 - 1264)
Succeeded by: Blessed Gregory X (1271 - 1276)
Roman Catholic Pope #184

Born: c. 1195 (France)
Died: October 9, 1047
Pope: February 5, 1265 - November 19, 1268 (3 years)
Issued Licet ecclesiasrum: August 27, 1265

Before, became a priest in 1256 (when his wife died), Gui Folques was a respected jurist under King Louis IX. After his ordination, he quickly climbed the Church hierarchy and was appointed bishop in 1257. A position as archbishop came two years later and cardinal another two years after that.

As pope, Clement IV had the opportunity to end the Great Schism between Eastern and Western Christianity. Emperor Michael Palaeologus had declared a willingness to bring about a reunification of the Western and Eastern churches and to accept papal supremacy, but Clement demanded grovelling submission, a price too high to pay. Clement may have also been influenced by the desire of Charles of Anjou to take Constantinople by force and make it a Latin Christian city.

Closer to home Clement reinforced papal authority by issuing the papal bull Licet ecclesiasrum which declared that all benefices were papal appointments. A benefice is an ecclesiastical office which comes with the power to collect money in order to support the goals of that office. In this way the power and influence of local secular rulers over Church leaders was to be curtailed.

After Clement died, the cardinals required nearly three years to elect a successor. The people were so outraged over the repeated and inexcusable delays that they finally had to lock the cardinals in the papal palace, remove the roof (thus exposing them to the elements) and threaten to withhold food until they finally produced a new pontiff.

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