Giovanni Ciocchi del Monte (Julius III) elected Pope
Pope Julius III (10 September 1487 – 23 March 1555), born Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte, was Pope from 7 February 1550 to 1555.
In his early career in the Church Julius established a reputation as an effective and trustworthy diplomat, and was elected to the Papacy as a compromise candidate when the Papal Conclave found itself deadlocked between the rival French and German factions. As Pope he lost, or failed to show, any of the qualities which had distinguished his previous career, devoting himself instead to a life a personal pleasure and indolence, and the achievements of his incumbency were very few. His lasting fame, or notoriety, rests rather on his relationship with the 17 year old boy whom he raised to the position of Cardinal-Nephew, and, it was said at the time, with whom he shared his bed: the resulting scandal did great harm to the reputation of the Church.
Main article: Papal conclave, 1549–1550
Paul III died on 10 November 1549, and in the ensuing conclave the forty-eight cardinals were divided into three factions: the Imperials, the French, and the adherents of Paul III's grandson, Cardinal Ottavio Farnese. The primary division was between the French and the Imperials (the followers of the Holy Roman Emperor), the Imperials wishing to see the Council of Trent reconvened, the French wishing to see it dropped; a further bone of contention was the Duchy of Parma, for which both the Emperor and the Farnese had claimants.
Neither the French nor the Germans favoured del Monte, and the Emperor had expressly excluded him from the list of acceptable candidates, but the French were able to block the other two factions, allowing del Monte to promote himself as a compromise. He won election on 7 February 1550, after ten weeks, the longest ever to that date. Ottavio Farnese, whose support had been crucial to the election, was immediately confirmed as Duke of Parma.
At the start of his reign Julius had desired seriously to bring about a reform of the Catholic Church and to reconvene the Council of Trent, but very little was actually achieved during his five years in office; apologists ascribe the inactivity of his last three years to severe gout.
In 1551, at the request of the Emperor Charles V, he consented to the reopening of the council of Trent and entered into a league against the duke of Parma and Henry II of France (1547–59), but soon afterwards made terms with his enemies and suspended the meetings of the council (1553). (For the history of papal conflicts with councils, see conciliar movement).
Discouraged by his dealings with the emperor, Julius increasingly contented himself with interfering in Italian politics alone. He retired to his luxurious palace at the Villa Giulia which he had built for himself close to the Porta del Popolo. From there he passed the time in comfort, emerging from time to time to make timid efforts to reform the Church through the restablishment of the reform commissions. He was a friend of the Jesuits, to whom he granted a fresh confirmation in 1550; and through a Papal Bull of August 1552 he founded the Collegium Germanicum, and granted an annual income.
During his pontificate, Catholicism was provisionally restored in England under Queen Mary in 1553. Julius sent Cardinal Reginald Pole as legate with powers that he could use at his discretion to help the restoration succeed. In February 1555 an envoy was dispatched from the English parliament to Julius to inform him of the country's formal submission, but the pope died before the envoy reached Rome.
Shortly before his death, Julius dispatched Cardinal Giovanni Morone to represent the interests of the Church at the Peace of Augsburg.
Julius's particular failures were around his nepotism and favouritism. One notable scandal surrounded his adoptive nephew, Innocenzo Ciocchi Del Monte, a 13 or 14-year old beggar-boy whom the future Pope had picked up on the streets of Parma some years earlier and with whom he had allegedly fallen in love.
On being elected to the Papacy Julius raised the now 17-year old but still uncouth and quasi-illiterate Innocenzo to the cardinalate, appointed him cardinal-nephew, and showering the boy with benefices - Abbot commendatario of the abbeys of Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, S. Zeno in Verona, June 1552, later of the abbeys of S. Saba, Miramondo, and of Grottaferrata, Frascati, and other appointments - to the point where his income was one of the highest in Europe. Gossip called the boy Julius's "Ganymede," and the Venetian ambassador reported that Innocenzo shared the pope's bedroom and bed. The relationship became a staple of anti-papal polemics for over a century: it was said that Julius, awaiting Innocenzo's arrival in Rome to receive his cardinal's hat, showed the impatience of a lover awaiting a mistress, and that he boasted of the boy's prowess. The poet Joachim du Bellay, who lived in Rome through this period in the retinue of his relative Cardinal Jean du Bellay, expressed his scandalized opinion of Julius in two sonnets in his series Les regrets (1558).
Despite the damage which the affair was inflicting on the church, it was not until after Julius' death in 1555 that anything could be done to curb Innocenzo's visibility. One outcome of the Innocenzo affair, however, was the upgrading of the position of Papal Secretary of State, as the incumbent had to take over the duties Innocenzo was unfit to perform: the Secretary of State eventually replaced the cardinal-nephew as the most important official of the Holy See.
Born at Rome, 10 September, 1487; died there, 23 March, 1555. He was the son of a famous Roman jurist, studied jurisprudence at Perugia and Siena, and theology under the Dominican, Ambrosius Catharinus. In 1512 he succeeded his uncle Antonio del Monte as Archbishop of Siponto (Manfredonia), and in 1520 as Bishop of Pavia, retaining, however, the administration of Siponto. Later he became vice-legate of Perugia, and under Clement VII was twice appointed prefect of Rome. After the Sack of Rome (1527) he was one of the hostages given by Clement VII to the Imperialists, and would have been killed by the imperial Landsknechte in the Campo di Fiori, had he not been secretly liberated by Cardinal Pompio Colonna. In 1534 he became legate of Bologna, the Romagna, Parma, and Piacenza. Pope Paul III created him Cardinal-Priest of SS. Vitalis, Gervasius, and Protasius on 22 December, 1536, and raised him to the dignity of cardinal-bishop with the Diocese of Palestrina on 5 October, 1543. As early as 1542 he had been entrusted with work preparatory to the convocation of the Council of Trent, and in a consistory held on 6 February, 1545, he was appointed first president of the council. In this capacity he opened the council at Trent on 13 December with a short oration (cf. Ehses, "Concilium Tridentinum", IV, Freiburg im Br., 1904, p. 516). At the council he represented the papal interests against Emperor Charles V, with whom he came in conflict on various occasions, especially when on 26 March, 1547, he transferred the Council to Bologna.
After the death of Paul III on 10 November, 1549, the forty-eight cardinals present in Rome entered the conclave on 29 November. They were divided into three factions: the Imperials, the French, and the adherents of Farnese. The friends of Farnese united with the Imperial party and proposed Reginald Pole and Juan de Toledo as their candidates. The French party rejected both and, though in the minority, they were strong enough to prevent the election of either candidate. The adherents of Farnese and the French party finally reached a compromise and agreed upon Cardinal del Monte, who was duly elected on 7 February, 1550, after a conclave of ten weeks, although the emperor had expressly excluded him from the list of candidates. The new pope took the name of Julius III. In fulfilment of promises made in the conclave, Julius restored Parma to Ottavio Farnese a few days after his accession. But, when Farnese applied to France for aid against the emperor, Julius allied himself with the emperor, declared Farnese deprived of his fief, and sent troops under the command of his nephew Giambattista del Monte to co-operate with Duke Gonzaga of Milan in the capture of Parma. In a Bull, dated 13 November, 1550, Julius transferred the council from Bologna back to Trent, and ordered that its sessions be resumed on 1 May, 1551, but he was compelled to suspend it again on 15 April, 1552, because the French bishops would take no part in it, and, to escape his enemies, the emperor had to flee from Innsbruck. The success of the French arms in Northern Italy also compelled Julius on 29 April, 1552, to make a truce with France, in which it was stipulated that Farnese was to remain in the peaceful possession of Parma for two years.
Discouraged at his failure as an ally of Charles V, the pope henceforth abstained from interfering in the political affairs of Italy. He withdrew to his luxurious palace, the Villa Giulia, which he had erected at the Porta del Popolo. Here he spent most of his time in ease and comfort, occasionally making a weak effort at reform in the Church by instituting a few committees of cardinals for reformatory purposes. He was a liberal supporter of the rising Jesuit Order, and at the instance of St. Ignatius issued the Bull of foundation for the Collegium Germanicum on 31 August, 1552, and granted it an annual subsidy. During his pontificate the Catholic religion was temporarily restored in England by Queen Mary, who succeeded Edward VI on the English throne in 1553. Julius sent Cardinal Reginald Pole as legate to England with extensive faculties to be used at his discretion in the interests of the Catholic restoration. In February, 1555, an embassy was sent by the English Parliament to Julius III to inform him of its unreserved submission to the papal supremacy, but the embassy was still on its journey when the pope died. Shortly before his death Julius III sent Cardinal Morone to represent the Catholic interest at the Religious Peace of Augsburg. At the beginning of his pontificate Julius III had the earnest desire to bring about a reform in the Church and with this intent he reopened the Council of Trent. That the council was again suspended was due to the force of circumstances. His inactivity during the last three years of his pontificate may have been caused by the frequent and severe attacks of the gout to which he was subject. The great blemish in his pontificate was nepotism. Shortly after his accession he bestowed the purple on his unworthy favourite Innocenzo del Monte, a youth of seventeen whom he had picked up on the streets of Parma some years previously, and who had been adopted by the pope's brother, Balduino. This act gave rise to some very disagreeable rumours concerning the pope's relation to Innocenzo. Julius was also extremely lavish in bestowing ecclesiastical dignities and benefices upon his relatives.
Julius III, born Giovanni Maria del Monte, Roman Catholic Pope from 1550 to 1555, was born on the 10th of September 1487. He was created cardinal by Pope Paul III in 1536, filled several important legations, and was elected pope on the 7th of February 1550, despite the opposition of Charles V, whose enmity he had incurred as president of the council of Trent. Love of ease and desire for peace moved him, however, to adopt a conciliatory attitude, and to yield to the emperor's desire for the reassembling of the council (September 1551), suspended since 1549. But deeming Charles's further demands inconvenient, he soon found occasion in the renewal of hostilities to suspend the council once more (April 1552). As an adherent of the emperor he suffered in consequence of imperial reverses, and was forced to confirm Parma to Ottavio Farnese, the ally of France (1552). Weary of politics, and obeying a natural inclination to pleasure, Julius then virtually abdicated the management of affairs, and gave himself up to enjoyment, amusing himself with the adornment of his villa, near the Porta del Popolo, and often so far forgetting the proprieties of his office as to participate in entertainments of a questionable character. His nepotism was of a less ambitious order than that of Paul III; but he provided for his family out of the offices and revenues of the Church, and advanced unworthy favorites to the cardinalate. What progress reform made during his pontificate was due to its acquired momentum, rather than to the zeal of the pope. Yet under Julius steps were taken to abolish plurality of benefices and to restore monastic discipline; the Collegium Germanicum, for the conversion of Germans, was established in Rome, 1552; and England was absolved by the cardinal-legate Pole, and received again into the Roman communion (1554) Julius died on the 23rd of March 1555, and was succeeded by Pope Marcellus II.