- Lorenzo Corsini
Born to the Italian nobility. Studied at the University of Pisa. Lawyer. Treasurer-general and governor of Castel Sant’Angelo in 1696. Member of the Curia of Pope Clement XI. Created cardinal on 17 May 1706 by Clement XI. Vatican treasurer. Cardinal-priest of San Pietro in Vincoli. Cardinal-bishop of Frascati. Elected 246th pope in 1730.
Nearly blind when he ascended the throne, he eventually became bedridden, conducting all his audiences from there. Worked to restore Vatican finances, forcing corrupt ministers to return all they had stolen under his predecessors. He brought in so much money that he embarked on many building and beautification plans around the city, paving streets, supporting art galleries; he built a port at Ancona, Italy. Disavowed claims of the Papal States over San Marino, Parma and Piacenza. In 1738 he issued the first papal decree against the Freemasons. Opposed the French Jansenists. Worked for the reunion of the Roman and Orthodox churches, meeting the patriarch of the Coptic Church. Persuaded the Armenian patriarch to remove the anathema against the Council of Chalcedon and Pope Leo I.