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Henri IV - An unfinished reign


Clément VIII


Ippolito Aldobrandini served as pope from January 1592 to March 1605, taking the name Clement VIII.

As his pontificate was contemporaneous with the reign of Henri IV, his name appears on a certain number of decisions concerning Henri and the kingdom of France. As soon as he was elected, he renewed the excommunication of Henri that had been pronounced and confirmed by his predecessors Sixtus V and Gregory XIV. Later, Henry's renunciation of Protestantism in 1593 and his coronation in 1594 – in addition to the intense negotiations in Rome led by François de Joyeuse and Arnaud d’Ossat – convinced Clement to absolve Henri IV on 17 September 1595. Although he communicated to Henri his dissatisfaction with the Edict of Nantes, relations between the two men were quite harmonious, and the pope continually urged Henri to make peace with Spain, and generally promote peace between Catholic countries. In December 1599, Clement VII agreed to annul Henri's marriage with Marguerite so that he could marry Marie de Médicis. Finally, in 1601, Henri IV even proposed Clement VIII as godfather of the dauphin Louis. Clement's death in 1605 put an end to this project, and it was his successor, Paul V, who was given the honour.

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