Torquemada, Juan de

views updated May 17 2018


Dominican cardinal, illustrious theologian, defender of papal authority against the conciliarists at Basel; b. Valladolid, Spain, 1388; d. Rome, Sept. 26, 1468. With Louis of Valladolid, UP, he attended the Council of constance (141718). After studies at Paris he taught in Spain and was successively prior of Valladolid and of Toledo. From 1432 to 1437 he attended the Council of basel as orator for King John II of Castile, as procurator of the Dominican Order, and as theologian for Pope eugene iv. There he vindicated papal rights in a series of treatises. As a consultor, he reported favorably on the revelations of St. bridget (1433) and censured some propositions of Augustine of Rome (1435). Against the hussites, he wrote a treatise on the Eucharist. He made a collection of passages from the works of Thomas Aquinas in favor of papal authority. He was opposed to the doctrine of the immaculate conception, a fact reflected in his De veritate conceptionis B.V.M. (1437), first printed at Rome in 1547, and reissued in London (1869) by the Anglican E. B. Pusey 15 years after the definition of the doctrine. For his services to the papacy Torquemada was appointed master of the Sacred Palace in 1434.

When Eugene IV transferred the Council from Basel to Ferrara (Sept. 18, 1437) he sent Torquemada to King John of Castile to enlist the King's support for this move. At Ferrara Torquemada was active in discussions with the Greeks, especially on the question of purgatory. From there he was sent to Germany on a papal mission, for which he composed two treatises intended for delivery at the Diet of Nuremberg (OctoberNovember 1438) and the Congress of Mainz (MarchApril 1439). These works contain the first complete and systematic statement of the papal primacy of jurisdiction over the whole Church, even when the Church is assembled in a general council. [see conciliarism (history of).] In January 1439, the Council was transferred from Ferrara to florence, and Torquemada took part in the final redaction of the decree of union with the Greeks, which was signed on July 4, 1439. Some three months later, at the request of Pope Eugene IV, he undertook a public disputation in defense of the primacy of the pope against Cardinal G. cesarini, a former adherent of the conciliarists, of whom a remnant still held out in opposition at Basel. The resounding success of Torquemada's Oratio synodalis de primatu won him the title of Defender of the Faith.

He was created cardinal Dec. 18, 1439, and led a papal mission to Bourges to assist in the negotiations for peace between France and England. In 1441 he composed his magisterial Apparatus super decretum Florentinum unionis Graecorum, a historical and doctrinal commentary defending the decree of union with the Greeks. In 144849 he wrote his chief work, Summa de ecclesia (no modern edition), defending the Church against both heretics and conciliarists. He was appointed bishop of Palestrina by Callistus III in 1455, and of Sabina by Pius II in 1463. He was universally venerated for his learning and probity of life. He was buried in the Church of the Minerva, Rome.

Bibliography: Critical editions and bibliog. j. de torquemada, Apparatus super decretum Florentinum unionis Graecorum, ed. e. candal, v.2.1 of Concilium florentinum: Documenta et scriptores (Rome 1940); Oratio synodalis de primatu, ed. e. candal, v.4.2 ibid. j. quÉtif and j. Échard, Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum. (Paris 171923) 1.2:837843. j. f. stockmann, Joannis de Turrecremata, O.P., vitam ejusque doctrinam de Corpore Christi mystico (Bologna 1952). j. gill, The Council of Florence (Cambridge, Eng. 1959).

[f. courtney]

Torquemada, Juan de

views updated May 18 2018


Franciscan historian; b. Spain, 1563?; d. Mexico City, 1624. Eleven years after Gerónimo de mendieta's death, Torquemada published his own monumental history of the Franciscan missionary work in Mexico, the Monarquía indiana. Torquemada, who held the office of provincial superior (161417), was both a disciple and an admirer of Mendieta. Torquemada was ordered by his superiors to make full use of all the available historical works, especially the unpublished MS of Mendieta. Hence modern charges that Torquemada plagiarized Mendieta's text are misleading if not unhistorical. Skillfully reorganizing the Historia eclesiástica indiana, he made a radical revision of the spirit and the meaning of Mendieta's material. Torquemada looked back nostalgically to the great age of the early friars, but unlike Mendieta he was resigned that the golden age could not be restored. He implied that conditions were neither so idyllic before 1564, nor as bleak and somber after 1564, as Mendieta described. He recognized that there was a decline after 1564, but Mendieta's sharp contrast between the "golden age" of Charles V and the "Babylonian Captivity" of Philip II was completely eliminated. Despite his sincere admiration for Mendieta, Torquemada belonged not to the extremist wing whose most articulate spokesman was Mendieta himself, but to the moderate wing among the mendicants who strove to reach a modus operandi between the indigenous people, the colonists, and the Crown.

As a consequence of Joaquin García Icazbalceta's discovery that Torquemada had borrowed the greater part of it from Mendieta, the Monarquía indiana fell from a position of preeminence to one of neglect among scholars. Torquemada borrowed not only from Mendieta, but also from other contemporary chronicles. In addition to including new material of his own, he often reinterpreted what he took from others. As such, the Monarquía indiana is a vast mosaic of Franciscan missionary historiography of early Mexico.

[j. l. phelan]


views updated Jun 08 2018

Torquemada a ruthless inquisitor; from the name of the Spanish cleric and Grand Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada (c.1420–98). A Dominican monk, he became confessor to Ferdinand and Isabella, whom he persuaded to institute the Inquisition in 1478, and was also the prime mover behind the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in and after 1492.

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