Clement VIII, 1536–1605, pope (1592–1605), a Florentine named Ippolito Aldobrandini; successor of Innocent IX. He reversed the policy of his predecessors by allying the Holy See with France rather than with Spain, which had assumed a dictatorial attitude over the papacy. Clement absolved Henry IV of France after his abjuration of Protestantism, and the two rulers were thereafter on most friendly terms. Clement was distinguished for his piety, and he labored for the improvement of the clergy and of the charitable institutions of Rome. His confessors were St. Philip Neri and Baronius, whom he created cardinal. He was succeeded by Leo XI.