Pope Paul IV


Pope Paul IV
Pope Paul IV
    Pope Paul IV
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Pope Paul IV
    (GIOVANNI PIETRO CARAFFA ).
    Born near Benevento, 28 June, 1476; elected 23 May, 1555; died 18 Aug., 1559. The Caraffa were one of the most illustrious of the noble families of Naples, and had given distinguished scions to Church and State. The name of Cardinal Oliviero Caraffa recurs frequently in the history of the papacy during the days of the Renaissance. One of the great cardinal's merits was that of superintending the training of his young relative, Giovanni Pietro, whom he introduced to the papal Court in 1494, and in whose favour he resigned the See of Chieti (in Latin, Theate), from which word he was thenceforward known as Theatinus. Leo X sent him on an embassy to England and retained him for some years as nuncio in Spain. His residence in Spain served to accentuate that detestation of Spanish rule in his native land which characterized his public policy during his pontificate. From early childhood he led a blameless life; and that longing for asceticism which had prompted him to seek admission into the Dominican and the Camaldolese Orders asserted itself in 1524 when he persuaded Clement VII, though with difficulty, to accept the resignation of his benefices and permit him to enter the congregation of clerics regular founded by St. Cajetan, but popularly nameed "Theatines", after Caraffa, their first general. The young congregation suffered more than its share during the sack of Rome in 1527, and its few members retired to Venice. But the sharp intellect of Paul III had perceived the importance of the institute in his projected reform of the clergy, and he summoned the Theatines back to Rome. Caraffa was placed by the pontiff on the committee named to outline the project of reform of the papal Court; and on 22 Dec., 1536 he was created Cardinal with the title of San Pancrazio. Later he was made Archbishop of Naples; but, owing to the emperor's distrust and fear of him, it was only with difficulty he could maintain his episcopal rights. Although Caraffa was highly educated and surpassed most of his contemporaries in the knowledge of Greek and Hebrew, still he remained throughout medieval in life and thought. His favourite author was St. Thomas Aquinas. The few opuscula which he found time to write were Scholastic in character. For the party of Pole, Contarini, and Morone he had the most heartfelt detestation; and his elevation boded them no happiness. Caraffa was the head and front of every effort made by Paul III in the interest of reform. He reorganized the Inquisition in Italy on papal lines and for a generation was the terror of misbelievers. How so austere a person could be chosen pope was a mystery to everyone, especially to himself. "I have never conferred a favour on a human being", he said. It is most likely that the octagenarian would have refused the dignity, were it not that the emperor's agent, Cardinal Mendoza, had pronounced decidedly that Charles would not permit Caraffa to be pope. This was to challenge every principle for which the aged Cardinal had stood during his long career. He was elected in spite of the emperor, and for four years held aloft the banner of the independence of Italy. Historians seem to be unjust towards Paul IV. That unbending Italian patriot, born whilst Italy was "a lyre with four strings", Naples, Rome, Florence, and Venice, was certainly justified in using the prestige of the papacy to preserve some relics of liberty for his native country. The Austrian and Spanish Habsburgers treated Paul IV with studied contempt, and thus forced him to enter an alliance with France. Neither in the matter of the succession to the empire nor in the conclusion of the religious peace were the interests of the Holy See consulted in the slightest degree.
    Paul IV elevated to the Cardinalate his nephew Carlo Caraffa, a man utterly unworthy and without any ecclesiastical training, and enriched other relatives with benefices and estates taken from those who favoured the Spaniards. At the end of the unfortunate war with Philip II the aged pope lost faith in his nephews and banished them from the Court. Still more disastrous were his relations with England, which had been reconciled to Rome by Mary, and Cardinal Pole. Paul IV refused to sanction Pole's settlement in regard to the confiscated goods of the Church, and demanded restitution. Pole himself was relieved by the pontiff of his legatine office and ordered to come to Rome to stand before the Inquisition. Upon the death of Mary and Pole, he rejected Elizabeth's claim to the crown, on the ground that she was of illegitimate birth. His activity was more fruitful in the spiritual concerns of the Church. He could boast that no day passed without seeing a new decree of reform. He made the Inquisition a powerful engine of government, and was no respector of persons. The great Cardinal Morone was brought before the tribunal on suspicion of heresy and committed to prison. Paul established the hierarchy in the Netherlands and in the Orient.
    The pontificate of Paul IV was a great disappointment. He who at the beginning was honoured by a public statue, lived to see it thrown down and mutilated by the hostile populace. He was buried in St. Peter's 19 Aug., 1559, and was later transferred to S. Maria sopra Minerva.
    Lives by CAROCCIOLI and BROMATO; VON RANKE, Hist. of the Popes in the XVI- XVIII Centuries; REUMONT, Gesch. der Stadt Rom; ARTAUD DE MONTOR, History of the Popes (New York, 1867).
    JAMES F. LOUGHLIN
    Transcribed by WGKofron With thanks to St. Mary's Church, Akron, Ohio

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


Catholic encyclopedia.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pope Paul I —     Pope Paul I     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Pope Paul I     (757 67)     Date of birth unknown; died at Rome, 28 June, 767. He was a brother of Stephen II. They had been educated for the priesthood at the Lateran palace. Stephen entrusted his… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Pope Paul — has been the name of six Roman Catholic Popes: *Pope Paul I (757–767) *Pope Paul II (1464–1471) *Pope Paul III (1534 1549) *Pope Paul IV (1555 1559) *Pope Paul V (1605 1621) *Pope Paul VI (1963 1978) See also: Pope John Paul I and Pope John Paul… …   Wikipedia

  • Pope Paul V —     Pope Paul V     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Pope Paul V     (CAMILLO BORGHESE).     Born at Rome, 17 Sept., 1550; elected 16 May, 1605; died 28 Jan., 1621. Although proud to call himself, as we read on the façade of St. Peter s and on his… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Pope Paul II —     Pope Paul II     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Pope Paul II     (PIETRO BARBO)     Born at Venice, 1417; elected 30 August, 1464; died 26 July, 1471; son of Niccolo Barbo and Polixena Condulmer, sister of Eugene IV. Although he studied for a… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Pope Paul VI — Infobox pope English name=Paul VI birth name=Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini term start=June 21, 1963 term end=August 6, 1978 predecessor=John XXIII successor=John Paul I birth date=birth date|1897|9|26|mf=y birthplace=Concesio,… …   Wikipedia

  • Pope Paul II — Infobox Pope English name=Paul II birth name=Pietro Barbo term start=August 30, 1464 term end=July 26, 1471 predecessor=Pius II successor=Sixtus IV birth date=birth date|1417|2|23|mf=y birthplace=Venice, Italy dead=dead|death date=death date and… …   Wikipedia

  • Pope Paul V — Infobox Pope|English name=Paul V|Latin name=Paolo PP. V birth name=Camillo Borghese term start=May 16, 1605|term end=January 28, 1621 predecessor=Leo XI|successor=Gregory XV birth date=birth date|1552|9|17|mf=y|birthplace=Rome, Italy… …   Wikipedia

  • Pope Paul IV — Infobox pope|English name=Paul IV|Latin name=Paul PP. IV birth name=Giovanni Pietro Carafa term start=May 23, 1555|term end=August 18, 1559 predecessor=Marcellus II|successor=Pius IV birth date=birth date|1476|6|28|mf=y|birthplace=Capriglia… …   Wikipedia

  • Pope Paul I — Infobox Pope English name=Paul I May 29, 757 term end=June 28, 767 predecessor=Stephen II successor=Stephen III birth date=??? birthplace=Rome, Italy dead=dead|death date=death date|767|6|28|mf=y deathplace=? other=Paul infobox popestyles papal… …   Wikipedia

  • Pope Paul — See Paul VI …   Ballentine's law dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.