Julius III, Pope

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Pontificate: Feb. 7, 1550, to March 23, 1555; b. Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte, Rome, Sept. 10, 1487. Born into a family of lawyers, he studied jurisprudence in Perugia and Bologna, after completing his humanistic instruction under the tutelage of Raffaelo Lippo Brandolino in Rome. He undertook theological training at the direction of the Dominican Ambrosius Catharinus and became a chamberlain of Julius II. In 1511 he succeeded his uncle, Antonio del Monte, in the archiepiscopal See of Siponto, and on Feb. 16, 1513, preached the sermon at the fifth session of the Fifth Lateran Council (151217). He became bishop of Pavia in 1520 and served two terms as governor of Rome during the pontificate of Clement VII. In 1534 paul iii appointed him vice-legate of Bologna, Romagna, Parma, and Piacenza, and auditor of the Apostolic Camera. He was created a cardinal priest with the title of SS. Vitalis, Gervase, and Protase on Dec. 22, 1536, and, on Oct. 5, 1543, he was raised to cardinal bishop of Palestrina. Having been chosen as copresident of the Council of Trent with Cardinals Marcello Cervini (later marcellus ii) and Reginald pole, he opened the council on Dec. 13, 1545. His opposition to the anti-Roman policies of Emperor Charles V, and especially his influence in moving the council to Bologna, made him unpopular in Germany. As a result his chances of election to succeed Paul III in the conclave of Nov. 29, 1549, were blocked by imperial veto, until a compromise of French and Farnese cardinals secured his majority. To achieve this accord he made an election capitulation in which he promised to cede Parma into the control of Ottavio Farnese. Parma later became a central issue that involved Julius in the Hapsburg-Valois power struggle. Ottavio allied himself with French interests in Northern Italy and signed a treaty with Henry II on May 27, 1551. This drove the Pope to support Charles V at the risk of a French schism. He declared the fief of Parma vacant and sent an army, commanded by his nephew, Giambattista del Monte, to join the forces of Ferrante Gonzaga, Governor of Milan. The combined armies were to overthrow the French who invaded the Romagna from Mirandola, reduced Crevalcore, occupied Castro, and threatened Ravenna. At the failure of these armies, Julius was forced into a truce on April 29, 1552, that restored Castro to the papacy but placed Farnese in possession of Parma for a two-year period.

The Parma war and the Lutheran wars in Southern Germany hindered the continuance of the Council of Trent, which Julius ordered resumed on May 1, 1551, with Cardinal Marcello Crescenzi as president. The opposition of Henry II and his loyal bishops led to its suspension on April 15, 1552. Although the council was stalled, Julius continued efforts at Church reform. As early as 1550 he appointed a commission of Cardinals Domenico de Cupis, Gian Pietro Caraffa (later Paul IV), Francesco Sfrondato, Marcello Crescenzi, Innocenzo Cibo, and Reginald Pole to prepare a schema of reform. He wrote more than 50 briefs on reform, and on Sept. 16, 1552, he initiated a program to control the conferring of benefices, the relationships between regular and secular clergy, monastic discipline, clerical dress, and changes in curial administration. He planned a bull to implement these measures, but his death prevented its publication. He encouraged the newly formed Society of Jesus, whose constitution he confirmed on July 21, 1550, and at the suggestion of St. Ignatius of Loyola he founded the Collegium Germanicum to train German priests in Rome on Aug. 31, 1552, giving it an annual endowment. He was interested in the expansion of the faith in the Indies, Far East, and the Americas, and worked toward the reunion of the Chaldean Nestorians in Mesopotamia, and the Copts of Abyssinia. He named the Jesuit João nunes barreto, first Patriarch of Abyssinia with Melchior Carneiro and Andrew Oviedo as his coadjutors, to win the favor of Negus (emperor) Claudius of Abyssinia. Upon the accession of Catholic Mary Tudor to the throne of England in 1553, he appointed Cardinal Reginald Pole as legate and adviser to the Queen, and by 1555 complete restoration of papal supremacy was achieved by a proclamation of Parliament.

A Renaissance Pope, Julius was a generous patron of humanism, and during his pontificate he placed Galeazzo Florimonte, Romolo Amaseo, and Paolo Sadoleto in his chancery; received the homage of Paolo Giovio, Pietro Aretino, and Lorenzo Davidico; appointed Marcello Cervini as Vatican Librarian and reformed the Roman University; appointed Michaelangelo chief architect of St. Peter's and named Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina its choir master. Besides building the Church of St. Andrew to commemorate his escape from death during the Sack of Rome in 1527, he erected the luxurious Villa Giulia at the Porta del Popolo, where he resided during his later years. A policy of vacillation and excessive nepotism cloud his pontificate. He was extravagant with gifts to his relatives and created a scandal by bestowing a cardinal's hat on a youth of 17, who was adopted by his brother, Baldovino del Monte.

Bibliography: l. pastor, The History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages (LondonSt. Louis 193861) 13:1335 with full bibliography. a. fliche and v. martin, eds., Histoire de l'église depuis les origines jusqu'à nos jours (Paris 1935) 17:105145. h. jedin, History of the Council of Trent, tr. e. graf, (St. Louis 195760) v.1. g. schwaiger, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 2 5:120506. a. nova, The Artistic Patronage of Julius III (15501555) (New York 1968). p. partner, Renaissance Rome, 15001555 (Berkeley 1976). Epistolae ad Principes. Leo XPius IV (15131565) ed, l. nanni (Vatican City 1993). c. gutierrez, Trento, un problema (15521562) (Madrid 1995). p. prodi and w. reinhard, eds. Il Concilio di Trento e il moderno (Bologna 1996).

[e. d. mcshane]