Julius III - Encyclopedia

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JULIUS III. (Giovanni Maria del Monte), pope from 1550 to 1 555, was born on the 10th of September 1487. He was created cardinal by Paul III. in 1536, filled several important legations, and was elected pope on the 7th of February 1550, despite the opposition of Charles V., whose enmity he had incurred as president of the council of Trent. Love of ease and desire for peace moved him, however, to adopt a conciliatory attitude, and to yield to the emperor's desire for the reassembling of the council (September 1551), suspended since 1549. But deeming Charles's further demands inconvenient, he soon found occasion in the renewal of hostilities to suspend the council once more (April 1552). As an adherent of the emperor he suffered in consequence of imperial reverses, and was forced to confirm Parma to Ottavio Farnese, the ally of France (1552). Weary of politics, and obeying a natural inclination to pleasure, Julius then virtually abdicated the management of affairs, and gave himself up to enjoyment, amusing himself with the adornment of his villa, near the Porta del Popolo, and often so far forgetting the proprieties of his office as to participate in entertainments of a questionable character. His nepotism was of a less ambitious order than that of Paul III.; but he provided for his family out of the offices and revenues of the Church, and advanced unworthy favourites to the cardinalate. What progress reform made during his pontificate was due to its acquired momentum, rather than to the zeal of the pope. Yet under Julius steps were taken to abolish plurality of benefices and to restore monastic discipline; the Collegium Germanicum, for the conversion of Germans, was established in Rome, 1552; and England was absolved by the cardinal-legate Pole, and received again into the Roman communion (1554)Julius died on the 23rd of March 1555, and was succeeded by Marcellus II.

See Panvinio, continuator of Platina, De Vitis Pontiff. Rom.; Ciaconius, Vitae et res gestae summorum Pontiff. Rom. (Rome, 1601-1602) (both contemporaries of Julius III.); Ranke, Popes (Eng. trans., Austin), i. 276 seq.; v. Reumont, Gesch. der Stadt Rom., iii. 2, 503 seq.; Brosch, Gesch. des Kirchenstaates (1880), i. 189 seq.; and extended bibliography in Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklopcidie, s.v. " Julius III." (T. F. C.)

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