Paul V, Pope
PAUL V, POPE
Pontificate: May 16, 1605, to Jan. 23, 1621; b. Camillo Borghese, Rome, Italy, Sept. 17, 1552. Camillo's family was Sienese and traced a distant relationship to St. Catherine of Siena. His ecclesiastical career began with studies in jurisprudence at Padua and Perugia. He was appointed extraordinary envoy to Philip II of Spain in 1593 and created cardinal in 1596 and vicar of Rome in 1603. In the conclave of 1605, although the youngest cardinal, he became a compromise choice. His esteem for law made him an unbending adversary in controversy, but did not prevent him from the indulgence of nepotism. To his nephew, Scipione Cafarrelli Borghese, he gave the cardinalate (1605), a large number of benefices and the Secretariate of State.
As pope, Paul took great interest in the city of Rome. His name is perpetuated there through the chapel in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, where his body was
buried after temporary interment in St. Peter's, and through the Villa Borghese built outside the ancient walls by his nephew, Cardinal Scipione Cafarelli Borghese. His plans for the renewal of Rome resulted in the lengthening of the nave of St. Peter's, the erection of the façcade (designed by Maderno), additions to the Vatican Palace, the restoration of two aqueducts and the erection of many fountains, including those at the Ponte Sisto, the Castel Sant' Angelo, and St. Peter's Square. He established a grain storehouse for the poor (1606) and to aid the farmers of the Papal States, he established a credit agency on October 19, 1611.
Paul, during his pontificate, was confronted by three grave international religious problems. First, a resurgence of religious hostility between Catholics and Protestants in Germany led, in 1618, to the start of the thirty years' war. He helped to subsidize the Catholic League. Then James I of England demanded from his subjects a new oath that denounced the papal claim to depose a ruler. Paul condemned this oath on September 22, 1606, and again in the following year. Finally, when the Republic of Venice climaxed a policy of increased usurpation of the rights of the Church by subjecting a bishop and an abbot to trial in the secular courts, Cardinal Alessandro Ludovisi, the future gregory xv, was sent to Venice to negotiate a settlement. An interdict was laid on the city and excommunication inflicted on the Doge and his senators from April 17, 1606, until April 21, 1607. The Theatines, Capuchins, and Jesuits were expelled, but the rest of the clergy disregarded the papal sanctions and supported the government. The schism was ended through the mediation of Henry IV of France.
During the pontificate of Paul V, the Copernican system was proposed again by Galileo galilei of Pisa. Chiefly because of the precipitate fashion in which the scientist questioned Biblical exegesis, the heliocentric theories received negative judgment by the Congregation of the Index, March 5, 1616.
Among the achievements of Paul's reign were the publication of the Rituale Romanum on June 20, 1614; the permission for the use of literary Chinese in the liturgy of the Chinese missions (later suspended after the creation of the Sacred Congregation de Propaganda Fide); and the ban of September 5, 1607, upon further discussion of disputed topics related to grace. He followed with interest the growth of the Church in Latin America, particularly the Jesuit reductions of paraguay. He gave many volumes to the Vatican Library and, being a scholar, he directed the religious orders to teach their members Latin, Greek, Hebrew, and Arabic in the universities. He also provided an archive to preserve the documents of the Holy See. Paul promoted the cult of saints, canonizing Charles Borromeo and Frances of Rome in a double ceremony on November 1, 1610. He beatified Ignatius of Loyola and Francis Xavier in company with the genial Philip Neri and the mystic Teresa of Avila. On February 24, 1612, he approved the Congregation of the Oratory founded by Philip Neri, and on May 10, 1613, the similar French Oratory of Pierre de Berulle. With his encouragement the Benedictine Congregation of St. Maurus was formed in 1618, and the first Visitation convent was organized by St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane Frances de Chantal. Paul also commissioned St. vincent de paul in 1610 to represent the Pope at the court of King Henry IV of France.
Bibliography: p. paschini and v. monachino, I Papi nella storia, 2 v. (Rome 1961) 2:682–687. l. pastor, The History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages, (London–St. Louis 1938–61) v. 25 and 26. l. marschal, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., 15 v. (Paris 1903–50; Tables générales 1951–) 12.1:23–27, full bibliog. f. x. seppelt, Geschichte der Päpste von den Anfängen bis zur Mitte des 20 Jh., (Leipzig 1931–41) 5:248–268. i. begazzi, Memoriale di Pierto di Vincenzo Strozzi (Florence 1986). r. wolfgang, Papstfinanz und Nepotismus unter Paul V (Stuttgart 1974). p. sarpi, Considerazioni sopra le censure di Paolo V (Turin 1977). r. feldhay, Galileo and the Church (New York 1995). s. f. ostrow, Art and Spirituality in Counter-Reformation Rome (New York 1996).
[t. f. casey]