This week in Christian history: John Wesley survives fire, pope elected, missionary born

Pope Clement IV elected – Feb. 5, 1265

Pope Clement IV (circa 1190-1268), who ruled over the Roman Catholic Church for three years and was deeply involved in Italian politics. | Wikimedia Commons/Marianne Casamance

This week marks the anniversary of when Gui Foulques was elected head of the Roman Catholic Church, taking the name of Clement IV upon becoming pope.

A native of France, Clement IV had been elected pope while he was serving on a diplomatic mission in England, and was consecrated 10 days later.

Clement IV’s reign involved the pontiff centralizing Church power on Rome, as well as often involving himself in political disputes, especially in what are now the nations of Germany and Italy.

“Pope Clement IV was one of the only popes to marry. He was the son-in-law of Simon de Malbois through that marriage. The pope also had two daughters with his wife,” noted

“The period following his death is known as the Interregnum. This period lasted for three years and left the Church without a pope as the cardinals could not reach a majority decision.”

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