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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

1522-1549 A.D.

Hardrian VI : 1522-1523 A.D.

218. Born in Utrecht (Holland). Elected August 31, 1522 unknowingly while he was Bishop in Tortona - died September 14, 1523.

He committed himself to struggle against those who opposed the Church and against the Turks, without being successful. Hadrian said that: "the Pope and the prelates must decorate churches, rather than decorate prelates with Churches".

He was the non-Italian Pope till current Pope John Paul II, the Polish Karol Wojtila.

Since people used to say that Hadrian died as a consequence of too much drinking, Pasquinus, Roman talking statue, took revenge with a cutting remark: "Qui lace Hadrian sesto, homo divino".

He was buried in the Roman church of S. Maria dell' Anima. His pontificate lasted about 1 year and 8 months.

Clement VII : 1523-1534 A.D.

219. Born in Florence. Elected November 26, 1523 - died September 25, 1534.

He did not succeed in settling disputes between the Catholics and the Lutheran reform; Charles V, who was Catholic, called a Diet in Spires, which condemned Lutheranism; however, the Lutheran princes, who wanted to take advantage of the assets of former convents, protested and were thereby defined "Protestants": the term was then used to define all the followers of Lutheranism: Given the majority of the latter, Charles V was forced to allow the new confession.

Gustav Wasa, the king of Sweden, as well as the Norwegians and Danes took immediate advantage of this situation.

Clement VII, like Hadrian VI, wanted to throw Pasquinus, a Roman talking statue, into the Tiber, but Torquato Tasso made him change his mind.

During his pontificate, sacking and pestilence reduced the Roman population to 30,000 and Henry VIII, who had been excommunicated, rejected Christianity.

He celebrated the 9th Jubilee.

He was buried in S. Maria sopra Minerva. His pontificate lasted about 10 months.

Paul III : 1534-1549 A.D.  [For the seldom mentioned activities of this Pope - Click Here]

220. Born in Rome. Elected November 3, 1534 - died November 10, 1549.

He was a great patron of arts and culture; he appointed Michelangelo architect of St. Peter for life.

In the framework of the Counter-Reformation he approved the Society of Jesus.

He called the 19th Ecumenical Council.

Through the Bull "Licet ab initio", dating back to July 21st 1542, Paul III founded the "Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office" to fight against heresy, crimes against Faith and the unity of the Church (apostasy, schisms, etc.).

This office must not be confused with the Inquisition.

These methods were renewed by Paul VI in 1965 with the "Sacred Congregation for the teaching of Faith".

He issued the Bull for the announcement of the jubilee year in 1550 but he died before its opening.

He was buried in the Basilica of St. Peter in one of the most beautiful sepulchres of the church. His pontificate lasted about 15 years and 1 month.

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