Pope Clement XV has had much to contend with since his recent elevation to Bishop of Avignon and leadership of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, but foremost in his plans has been re-establishing the influence of the Papacy in Venice. There are a number of reasons for this, some mundane but most due to the city’s unique position to exploit the Rent in the Sky and the magic it brings.
The Vatican in Rome is destroyed, Italy all but wiped from the map. When the Rent opened it seemed as if God himself smote Italy from the sky. Few escaped, including Cardinal Gerdil. Gerdil went to Geneva, where most of the survivors had assembled. Preaching of the corruption of Rome and of how he had emerged from the flaming wreckage of the Vatican as God's chosen one, he gained support from many of the church and of the local population. In time, he was appointed as Pope Clement XV.