Bellarmine, Robert, St

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Bellarmine, Robert, St (1542–1621). Italian Jesuit cardinal and controversialist. He was born in Montepulciano, Tuscany, and entered the Society of Jesus at Rome in 1560. He was ordained priest in 1570 in Louvain—where he was the first Jesuit to hold a chair—but shortly afterwards returned to the Roman College, now the Gregorian University, to teach controversial theology to priests destined for England and Germany. His lectures provided the basis for his famous work, De Controversiis or Controversies, published at Ingolstadt between 1586 and 1593. He was made a cardinal in 1599, and briefly (1602–5) served as archbishop of Capua. In 1616 he was obliged to censure Galileo, although he had considerable sympathy for his views. In later life Bellarmine produced a number of popular devotional works. He was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1931.