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Clement Xi I

A Pope, who assumed the pontificate on the 12th of August, 1730, and died on the 6th of February, 1740. On the 24th of April, 1738, he published his celebrated Bull of Excommunication, entitled In Eminenti A postolatus Specula, in which we find these words: "For which reason the temporal and spiritual communities are enjoined, in the name of holy obedience, neither to enter the society of Freemasons, to disseminate its principles, to defend it, nor to admit nor conceal it within their houses or palaces, or elsewhere, under pain of excommunication ipso facto, for all acting in contradiction to this, and from which the pope only can absolve the dying." Clement was a bitter persecutor of the Masonic Order, and hence he caused his Secretary of State, the Cardinal Firrao, to issue on the 14th of January, 1739, a still more stringent edict for the Papal States, in which death and confiscation of property, without hope of mercy, was the penalty or, as the original has it, "sotto Pena della morte, e confiscazione de beni da incorressi, irremissibilmente senz a speranzs di grazia.''

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