Benedict XIV, 1675–1758, pope (1740–58), an Italian (b. Bologna) named Prospero Lambertini; successor of Clement XII. Long before his pontificate he was renowned for his learning and wrote a classic treatise on the subject of canonization (1734–38). In 1728 he became a cardinal. He was much interested in the Eastern churches and began (with the bull Etsi pastoralis, 1742) the modern papal legislation that favors the Eastern rites and prohibits activity that is likely to Latinize them. He beautified Rome and restored monuments, and he was munificent to Bologna. He patronized learning and welcomed scholars and artists to his court. He denounced the cruelty to the Native Americans in the disbanding of the Paraguay reductions. He was succeeded by Clement XIII.
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