Giovanni Carafa (Paul IV) elected Pope
Pope Paul IV (28 June 1476 – 18 August 1559), né Giovanni Pietro Carafa, was Pope from 23 May 1555 until his death.
Giovanni Pietro Carafa was born in Capriglia Irpina, near Avellino, into a prominent noble family of Naples. His father Giovanni Antonio Carafa died in West Flanders in 1516 and his mother Vittoria Camponeschi was the daughter of Pietro Lalle Camponeschi, 5th Conte di Montorio, a Neapolitan nobleman, and wife Dona Maria de Noronha, a Portuguese noblewoman of the House of Pereira Senhores dos Lagares de El-Rei and Senhores de Paiva, Baltar e Cabeceiras de Basto. His title in the Prophecy of St. Malachy is "Of the Faith of Peter." He was mentored by Cardinal Oliviero Carafa, his relative, who resigned the see of Chieti (Latin Theate) in his favor. Under the direction of Pope Leo X, he was ambassador to England and then papal nuncio in Spain, where he conceived a violent detestation of Spanish rule that affected the policies of his later papacy.
However, in 1524, Pope Clement VII allowed Carafa to resign his benefices and join the ascetic and newly founded Congregation of Clerks Regular, popularly called the Theatines, after Carafa's see of Theate. Following the sack of Rome in 1527, the order moved to Venice. But Carafa was recalled to Rome by the reform-minded Pope Paul III (1534–49), to sit on a committee of reform of the papal court, an appointment that forecast an end to a humanist papacy, and a revival of scholasticism, for Carafa was a thorough disciple of Thomas Aquinas. In December 1536 he was made a cardinal and then Archbishop of Naples. He reorganized the Inquisition in Italy.
He was a surprise choice as pope to succeed Pope Marcellus II (1555); his rigid, severe and unbending character combined with his age and patriotism meant he would have declined the honor. He accepted apparently because Emperor Charles V was opposed to his accession. As pope his nationalism was a driving force; he used the office to preserve some liberties in the face of four-fold foreign occupation. The Habsburgs disliked Paul IV and he allied with France, possibly against the true interests of the Papacy. He used the instruments of the Inquisition to suppress the Spirituali, a group of reform-minded Catholics. Among his first acts as Pope was to cut off Michelangelo's pension, and he had fig leaves painted over the nudes of the Sistine Chapel. He also alienated Protestants in England and rejected the claim of Elizabeth I of England to the Crown.
Paul IV believed in extra ecclesiam nulla salus ("Outside the Church there is no salvation"). The strengthening of the Inquisition continued under Paul IV, and few could consider themselves safe by virtue of position in his drive to reform the Church; even cardinals he disliked could be imprisoned.
In 1555 he issued a canon (papal law), Cum nimis absurdum, by which the Roman Ghetto was created. Jews were then forced to live in seclusion in a specified area of the rione Sant'Angelo, locked in at night, and he decreed that Jews should wear a distinctive sign, yellow hats for men and veils or shawls for women. Jewish ghettos existed in Europe for the next 315 years.
As it is completely absurd and improper in the utmost that the Jews, who through their own fault were condemned by God to eternal servitude, can under the pretext that pious Christians must accept them and sustain their habitation, are so ungrateful to Christians, as, instead of thanks for gracious treatment, they return contumely, and among themselves, instead of the slavery, which they deserve...
– Paul IV, Cum nimis absurdum, 1555
Paul IV was violently opposed to the liberal Giovanni Cardinal Morone whom he strongly suspected of being a hidden Protestant, so much that he had him imprisoned. In order to prevent Morone from succeeding him and imposing what he believed to be his Protestant beliefs on the Church, Pope Paul IV codified the Catholic Law excluding heretics and non-Catholics from receiving or legitimately becoming Pope, in the bull Cum ex apostolatus officio.
Paul IV introduced the Index Librorum Prohibitorum or "Index of Prohibited Books" to Venice, then an independent and prosperous trading state, in order to crack down on the growing threat of Protestanism and the newly introduced printing press. Under his authority, all books written by Protestants were banned, together with Italian and German translations of the Latin Bible.
As was usual with Renaissance popes, Paul IV sought to advance the fortunes of his family as well as that of the papacy. As Cardinal-nephew, Carlo Carafa became his uncle's chief adviser and the prime mover in their plans to ally with the French to expel the Spanish from Italy. Carlo's older brother Giovanni was made commander of the papal forces and Duke of Paliano after the pro-Spanish Colonna were deprived of that town in 1556. Another nephew, Antonio, was given command of the Papal guard and made Marquis of Montebello. Their conduct became notorious in Rome. However at the conclusion of the disastrous war with Philip II of Spain and after many scandals, in 1559 the Pope publicly disgraced his nephews and banished them from Rome.
He was buried in St. Peter's Basilica but was later transferred to Santa Maria sopra Minerva. His tomb at the Minerva, by Pirro Ligorio, is dated 1559. It stands in the chapel created by his kinsman Cardinal Oliviero Carafa.
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 named "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 octogenarian 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.
Paul IV, given name Giovanni Pietro Caraffa, Roman Catholic Pope from 1555 to 1559, was born on the 28th of June 1476, of a noble Neapolitan family. His ecclesiastical preferment he owed to the influence of an uncle, Cardinal Oliviero Caraffa. Having filled the post of nuncio in England and Spain, he served successive popes as adviser in matters pertaining to heresy and reform. But he resigned his benefices, and, in conjunction with Cajetan, founded the order of the Theatines (1524) with the object of promoting personal piety and of combating heresy by preaching. In 1536 Pope Paul III made him cardinal-archbishop of Naples and a member of the reform commission. After the failure of Contarini's attempt at reconciliation with the Protestants (1541) the papacy committed itself to the reaction advocated by Caraffa; the Inquisition and censorship were set up (1542, 1543), and the extermination of heresy in Italy undertaken with vigor. Elected pope on the 23rd of May 1555, in the face of the veto of the emperor, Paul regarded his elevation as the work of God. With his defects of temper, his violent antipathies, his extravagant notion of papal prerogative, his pontificate was filled with strife. Blinded by ungovernable hatred he joined with France (1555) in order to drive the "accursed Spaniards" from Italy. But the victory of Philip II at St. Quentin (1557) and the threatening advance of Alva upon Rome forced him to come to terms and to abandon his French alliance. He denounced the peace of Augsburg as a pact with heresy; nor would he recognize the abdication of Charles V and the election of Ferdinand. By insisting upon the restitution of the confiscated church lands, assuming to regard England as a papal fief, requiring Queen Elizabeth I, whose legitimacy he aspersed, to submit her claims to him, he raised insuperable obstacles to the return of England to the Church of Rome.
Paul's attitude towards nepotism was at variance with his character as a reformer. An unworthy nephew, Carlo Caraffa, was made cardinal, and other relatives were invested with the duchies of Paliano and Montebello. It was Paul's hope in this way to acquire a support in his war with the Spaniards. But the defeat of his plans disillusioned him, and he turned to reform. A stricter life was introduced into the papal court; the regular observance of the services of the Church was enjoined; many of the grosser abuses were prohibited. These measures only increased Paul's unpopularity, so that when he died, on the 18th of August 1559, the Romans vented their hatred by demolishing his statue, liberating the prisoners of the Inquisition, and scattering its papers. Paul's want of political wisdom, and his ignorance of human nature aroused antagonisms fatal to the success of his cause.