01.06.

The last pope who was not a bishop before the election – 1846.

The last pope who was not a bishop before the election – 1846.

Pope Gregory XVI was a Camaldolese monk on the eve of his election as pope. It was only after his election as pope that he was ordained a bishop (of course, a bishop of Rome).

Gregory XVI, the last pope who was not a bishop before the election, died on June 1, 1846. After him, for the last 160 years or so, only persons who had already been ordained bishops were elected popes. Pope Gregory XVI was a Camaldolese monk on the eve of his election as pope. It is a Catholic church order derived from the Benedictines. The Camaldolians are named after the Italian city of Camaldoli in Tuscany. They originally had very strict rules.

Pope Gregory XVI was born Bartolomeo Alberto Cappellari in the city of Belluno in the hinterland of Venice. After joining the Camaldolese monks, he lived in the monastery of St. Mihaela on the island of Murano. This island is located in the Venetian lagoon, and it is interesting that the famous monk-cartographer Fr. Mauro once lived in the same monastery. The future Pope Gregory XVI also took the name Mauro as a monk.

In time, Cappellari became Vicar General of the Order of Camaldolese. He later came to the position of prefect of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith. In 1825 he became a cardinal, although he was not a bishop (originally these two honors were not in a necessary relationship, but the cardinals could become priests and even lay people).

In 1831, Cardinal Capellari was elected pope, taking the name Gregory XVI (he was the last pope named Gregory to this day). It was only after the election that he was ordained a bishop. Of course, he was ordained a bishop of Rome, because popes are always bishops of Rome.

During his pontificate, Pope Gregory XVI condemned the slave trade as well as treating black people as animals. Pope Gregory XVI died in Rome on this day after more than 15 years of pontificate, at the age of 81.

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