Why did Pope Alexander VIII support William of Orange?

From what I’ve read, Pope Alexander VIII ordered a special Te Deum to celebrate William’s victory at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland. Why did Pope Alexander VIII support the Protestant William III of Orange over the Catholic King James II?

Mind telling where you got that information from? I’m in utter disbelief.

Where is your source for this? I hadn’t heard it before and can’t find any mention of it in things like the old Catholic Encyclopedia or Wikipedia. If Alexander VIII really had taken this position I would have thought it would be the most interesting thing about him and would have merited more attention.

The Pope, the Habsburgs (the Holy Roman Empire lot) and William of Orange were, for their various reasons, all allied against Louis XIV of France.

Later popes supported the Stuarts anyway. :wink: Up to a point.

Perhaps the apposite word would be ‘pointless’.

I suspected if the claim were true the answer would lie in this sort of thing. Still, I’d be interested in more details.

It was the ‘War of the League of Augsburg’ if you want to google it.

As Kaninchen mentioned, Pope Alexander was allied against Louis XIV who was at the height of his power and seen as a threat to surrounding countries. By allying himself with Louis, James II basically put himself at odds with the pope.

William of Orange helped to bring England into the League of Augsburg, against Louis IV. If James II had won, it may not have worked out like that… to the detriment of the Papal States.

…Though not of the Catholic Church necessarily. :wink: As annoying as the Bourbons were (and Stuarts too, in their own right), it saddens me even to consider the possibility of a pope celebrating the victory of a Protestant usurper (if not necessarily a bad person per se) over a Catholic rightful king, along with plunging England back into anti-Catholic laws (exclusion from public office, problems with inheritance, prohibition against mass, laws against non-attendance at public services of the Church of England) and so on (it took a strong king not controlled by parliament to halt that). Therefore I’d like to see a clear passage from a specific author that states that such a celebration happened and for what reasons.

Worth noting is the popes did not consider the Hanoverians kings of England and they treated them as still electors of Hanover as long as the Stuarts lived, even though from 1766 (death of James III, the “Old Pretender”) onward the Stuarts weren’t referred to as kings any more and at some point heads of the English, Scottish and Irish colleges were removed for publicly praying for Charles (“Bonnie Prince Charlie”, Charles III) as King, and at some point the title of King of England began to be used in correspondence to the Hanoverians.

It’s perfectly true Chevalier. An amusing story tangentially connected with this is that for a time in the govt. buildings at Stormont a picture showing King William’s victory at the Boyne also represented the Pope. This was painted by the Dutch artist Pieter Van Muelen. At one point an extremist unionist MP John Nixon led a group into Stormont who slashed the painting and threw paint on it. It was eventually removed and no-one is sure of it’s fate now.

Thanks. Well, there was a pope who considered the Russian Tzar to be the legitimate king of Poland within under 40 years from the partitions of Poland, and used the situation as a canvas to deliver his teaching on not rebelling against lawful authority. It’s good that current popes don’t enter into military alliances and don’t comment so directly on current events in such solemn forms as before. (And in 1918 another pope was very quick to congratulate Poland on its well deserved return, just as popes after Alexander VIII supported the Stuarts.)

Sigh. Looks like Innocent XI’s condemnation of the “Glorious” Revolution in 1689 didn’t stop his successor from celebrating its aftermath (Innocent XI wasn’t exactly friends with Louis XIV, to say the least).

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