| Papal conclave|
The Papal conclave of 3055 AD, also referred to as Conclave or the papal election, was convened as a result of the death of Pope Gregorio XXX on February 3055 AD. After his death, the members of the College of Cardinals gathered in Rome to elect a new Pope. The conclave officially began on March 3055 AD and concluded with the election of Alessandro XVIII as the 399th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church.
Prior to the papal conclave of 3055 AD, Gregorio XXX was the reigning Pope of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican Papal State. He was evidently more suitable for the latter position instead of the former; given his penchant for lechery, Gregorio broke his vow of chastity by seducing women into sexual relationships. As a result, he was the father of several illegitimate children, three of whom followed in his footsteps by joining the ranks of the clergy. However, in spite of his failures as a clergyman, Gregorio was acknowledged as an efficient head of state for the Vatican due to his extremely high political acumen.
The Papacy of Gregorio XXX was a prosperous period for his family, enabling them to amass a considerable amount of power and influence throughout the Vatican and most of the international community. His most prominent ally in the Vatican was his own brother—Alfonso d'Este, Archbishop of Cologne and head of the College of Cardinals. D'Este was also well known for his own skills as a politician, which he used to support his brother's reign for many years. In addition to the archbishop, Gregorio's papacy also benefited two of his children; a son and a daughter, both of whom were born out of wedlock. Francesco di Medici and Caterina Sforza were both high-ranking members of the Church and the Italian aristocracy by the time of their father's death.
- "You're only uncle, eh? You betrayed your only uncle!"
- ―Alfonso d'Este, enraged by the "betrayal" of his late brother's children[src]
The sudden death of Pope Gregorio XXX resulted in a papal conclave on March 3055 AD. Though the Papacy technically remained an elected office, Gregorio's clan had all but established itself as the de facto dynasty of the Church. As the late Pope's brother and strongest supporter, Alfonso d'Este was regarded as the most papabile candidate to the Throne of Saint Peter. He was the obvious choice to many observers at the time; his lineage was exceptional—superseded only by his political skill, which was held in high regard at home and abroad. The odds of victory further tipped in his favor with the additional support of his nephew and niece, both of whom were promoted to the rank of cardinal prior to the death of their father.
With the help of Francesco di Medici and Caterina Sforza, d'Este defeated all of his rivals to the Papacy—except one. Unknown to d'Este, neither Medici or Sforza truly supported their uncle's bid for the papal throne. They had eliminated d'Este's rivals to the office of Pope, but only for the purpose of gathering enough support to defeat the archbishop of Cologne in turn. In a surprise move, the half-siblings revealed their own secret candidate: the young Alessandro, still a child at the time, was another illegitimate offspring of the late Gregorio XXX. As a result of the machinations of his half-siblings, the votes that would have gone to d'Este's opponents were ultimately cast in Alessandro's name.
Without the necessary votes to overcome his younger nephew's support base, d'Este's bid for the Papacy was defeated and his brother's children secured the throne with Alessandro's ascension as "Pope Alessandro XVIII." Enraged by this unexpected setback to his ambitions, d'Este retired from the College of Cardinals and returned to Cologne, preferring to live in a self-imposed exile in the Germanicus countryside instead of remaining in the capital with the family he had come to despise. Over the next five years, Medici and Sforza consolidated the new Papacy in their brother's name. Though gentle and well-meaning, Alessandro's ability as a chief of state was severely hindered by his uncertainty and timid nature, making him an extremely malleable figurehead who left most of the governance of the Vatican to his elder half-siblings.
By 3060 AD, the Vatican government was essentially controlled by a duumvirate—an alliance of two leaders; the Pope's half-siblings and the most powerful members of the Vatican. Medici governed the Vatican's internal administration matters as the Minister of the Inquisition, and Sforza handled matters of diplomacy as the Foreign Affairs Minister. Despite their previous alliance against d'Este, there was no love lost between the two illegitimate offspring of Gregorio XXX. They were rivals who bickered over almost everything, from the Vatican's diplomatic policy to the Pope himself.
- Trinity Blood: Rage Against the Moons - Volume 2: Silent Noise (First identified as the Conclave and papal election)
- Chapter 3: Overcount (Mentioned only)
- Trinity Blood Episode 9: Overcount I. The Belfry of Downfall (Mentioned only)
Notes and referencesEdit