Therefore, we who occupy Peter’s throne and possess power equal to his, not by our own merits but because of almighty God’s inscrutable wisdom, steadfastly desire that the Christian people embrace that faith proclaimed by Christ our Lord through his apostles in a continuous and uninterrupted tradition; the faith which he promised will endure to the end of the world.
Pope Innocent XI
Pope Innocent XI, Pope from 1676-1689, was one of the greatest men ever to stand in the shoes of the fisherman. Here are some of his accomplishments:
1. Successfully organized a crusade which ended in the decisive defeat of the Turks at Vienna on September 12, 1683.
2. Instituted the feast of the Holy Name of Mary in commemoration of the victory at Vienna.
3. Inheriting an insolvent treasury, he lowered taxes in the Papal States and produced a budget surplus through his frugality.
4. He battled Louis XIV of France, disapproved the Gallican Liberties which sought to turn the Church in France into an arm of the State and condemned Louis’ persecution of the Huegenots.
5. In his bull Sanctissimus Dominus he stated that the unborn do have souls and condemned all abortions as homicides.
6. He condemned the compulsory baptisms of Jews.
7. He attacked nepotism, ever a cancer within the Church.
8. He passed measures to reform the lives of the clergy.
9. He was a proponent of frequent reception of Communion.
When his corpse was exhumed 267 years after his death, his body was found to be incorrupt. Beatified in 1956, it is shameful that this champion of Christ has not yet been canonized.