This article deals with the evolving attitude of Mauro Cappellari (later Pope Gregory XVI) towards the extraordinary case of a capricious priest, Calogerá Biondi, caught up in an illicit marital affair in Constantinople. Given the fragile state of the Armenian Catholic Church in the Ottoman Empire in the 1820s, and the potential firestorm that could be set off if the couple's story came to light, Cappellari lobbied the Curia to release Biondi from his spiritual obligations and countenance the marriage. Once elected pope in 1831, he would overrule his predecessor's decision that denied them this union. Cappellari's pragmatic approach to this case stands in stark contrast to the overwhelming perception of him within the historiography as sternly doctrinaire.
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