SEDE VACANTE 1565-1566

December 9, 1565—January 7, 1566




Coins were issued: Berman, p. 106 #1087-1089.



Cardinal Vitelozzo Vitelli (1531-1568) was the son of Alessandro, lord of Amatrice, and Angela Rossi, Marchioness of Santo Secondo. He was educated both in Greek and Latin, and studied law at the University of Padua. He began his career as a priest in his home town of Citta del Castello, and in 1554 he was appointed its bishop (having served as Chamberlain and then as Clerk of the Apostolic Chamber to Julius III in Rome) He was too young canonically to hold the office of bishop, and so acted as 'Administrator', until he could be consecrated bishop in 1554.   In 1560 and 1561, he acted as Administrator of the Diocese of Imola, for a total of eighteen months. He filled the same function for the Diocese of Carcassonne in 1567-1568, having been named Protector of France before the Holy See shortly before. Created a cardinal by Pope Paul IV on March 15, 1557, at the age of twenty-six, he was assigned the Deaconry of SS. Sergio e Bacco, which he exchanged for S. Maria in Portico in 1559, and the for S. Maria in Via Lata in 1564. He was Cardinal Camerlengo from 1564 until his death at the age of thirty-seven in 1568.

the coat of arms of Cardinal Francesco Pisani

Cardinal Francesco Pisani (1494-1570), a Cardinal since the Consistory of July 1, 1517 (Panvinio, 381), was the most senior of all the cardinals in the Conclave of 1565-1566 and the sole survivor of the creature of Leo X. He was born in Venice, the son of Alvise Pisani, Oratore of Venice before the Holy See, and of Cecilia Giustinian. Already a Protonotary Apostolic, on the nomination of Doge Leonardo Loredan he was created Cardinal Deacon of S. Teodoro at the age of 23. In 1524, Clement VII named him Bishop of Padua. He was one of the cardinals who experienced the Sack of Rome from the Castel S. Angelo in 1527, and was one of the cardinals taken as hostage for the good behavior of Pope Clement VII. He was a prisoner in Naples for eighteen months. In 1529 he opted for the Deaconry of Sta. Agatha in Suburra. As Cardinal Protodeacon, he crowned Pope Marcellus II and Pope Paul IV. He opted for the Suburbicarian Bishopric of Albano in 1555, then Frascati in 1557; he participated in the Conclave of 1559 with that title. The See of Porto and Santa Rufina was bestowed on him in 1562. In May 1564, following the death of Cardinal Ridolfo Pio di Carpi, he became Bishop of Ostia and Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals. He died on June 28, 1570 at the age of 76. (Cardella, 68-70)

 

The Papal Master of Ceremonies was Msgr. Cornelio Firmano (nephew of Giovanni Francesco Firmano of Macerata, his predecessor), who began his career on August 22, 1565 and who served until he became Bishop of Osimo in 1574. His Diario provides many details, especially chronological ones, for the Conclave of 1565-1566. Regrettably, the whole work has never been published.

The Marshal of the Conclave was Don Flaminio Savelli (according to Francesco Mucanzio, ceremoniere in the Conclave: Catalano I, p. 18 column 2)

 


The Death of Pius IV

Pius IV (Giovanni Angelo de' Medici) had long suffered from various illnesses. One such was the gout, which limited his mobility. The Venetian Orator, Giacomo Soranzo, remarks in his relazione of 1565 to the Venetian Senate, at some point between May and August (Alberi, 129, cf. 137):

Dimostra aver avuto gran vigor naturale, ma per le lunghe indisposizioni è caduto assai, non potendo se non rare volte camminare per il continuo impedimento che gli danno le gotte, le quali non solo lo molestano nelle gambe, ma nelle spalle, nelle braccia, nelle mani, e quasi per tutta la vita. Patisce oltra di ciò un gran catarro; ma però non si guarda mai dall' aere; e sia buono o tristo, vuol uscir fuori, dicendo che altrimenti non potrebbe vivere; e se non puo camminare, si fa portare in sedia.

He had had a life-threatening attack in 1564. His last illness, in 1565, lasted eight days, a constant fever accompanying his decline. The wags attributed his sufferings to his notorious sybaritism and gluttony—a complete fabrication by his enemies. The testimony of the Venetian ambassador as regards his eating habits is exactly the opposite. Pius relied heavily on his two nephews, Carlo Borromeo and Marco Altemps. Again Soranzo observed (Alberi, 130):

non ha altri consiglieri che il cardinal Borromeo e il cardinal Altemps sui nepoti, ambidue giovani, e di poca esperienza; nè si serva d' altri secretari che del Cardinal di Como (Tolomeo Galli), giovane anco lui di trent' anni e di non molto grande spirito, ma allevato da lui da molta bassi principi.

His beloved nephew, Carlo Borromeo, Archbishop of Milan, arrived in Rome on the evening of December 8. The Pope died, attended by St. Philip Neri and Carlo Borromeo, on the night of December 9/10, 1565, at the age of sixty-six (Moroni, 53, 77; Hilliger, 47). "Hora tandem secunda noctis decessit satis devote," reports the Diario of Cornelius Firmanus (Brognòli 632, n.)

The body was removed to another room in the Apostolic Palace by the Penitentiaries of the Vatican Basilica, where the body was opened by the surgeons and the praecordia removed. It was then enbalmed (Brognòli, 636), and properly vested. During the night the Penitentiaries kept vigil and recited the Office for the Dead. Next it was carried to the Capella Paolina, where twenty-nine cardinals were assembled to see the late pope given absolution. Afterwards, there was a Congregation, in which the Cardinals named Francesco Guarini, the Bishop of Imola as Governor of the Borgo, confirmed Francesco Pallantieri as Governor of Rome, and named Annibale di Altemps (the late Pope's nephew) as Custodian of the City. When that business was concluded, the body of the late pope was transferred to the Vatican Basilica by the Canons of St. Peter's, followed by twelve cardinals who were creature of Pius IV, by the Ambassador of Portugal, and by many persons who were members of the Curia and the Antecamera (Brognòli, 637-638)

The next day, after Mass, the Cardinals met in the Sacristy of the Basilica to receive the Ambassadors accredited to the Holy See. Cardinal Pisano was indisposed, and therefore Cardinal Morone presided over the ceremony.

Interests of the Crowns

The anonymous "Conclavist", on whom Trollope largely relies for his perspective, reports that this conclave was "remarkable as having been wholly uninterfered with by any power or influence foreign to it, the Emperor and the King of France being quite uninterested" (Trollope, 246). This is, as Trollope himself sees, quite wrong. Conclavists are regularly and myopically Roman and clerical in their viewpoints. The Venetian ambassador, Soranzo, does remark (Alberi, 137-138) that the Government of France, under Charles IX (1550-1574, who was fifteen and under the control of his mother, Catherine de' Medicis), was preoccupied with internal religious problems ("The Wars of Religion") and did not have time to devote himself to Italian affairs. Catherine, however, on the same day that she received the news of the Pope's death, wrote that the King and She favored "mon cousin le Cardinal de Ferrare" (Lettres, p. 336).

The unusual player in this Conclave was Cosimo, Duke of Tuscany, who made it his business to be aware of what the Spanish and the Imperialists were contemplating. In Rome he had three agents, Averardo Serristori, Bobbi, and Bartolommeo Concini. Duke Cosimo's agent at the Imperial Court, Giulio de Ricasoli, was engaging in conversations with the Emperor Maximilian II in December 1565. Cosimo wrote to the Emperor on the 14th, providing some news about the current positions of the cardinals (Petruccelli, 178; cf. Wahrmund, 266). The Cardinal of Ferrara (D' Este), he reports, had turned over the protection of French interests to Cardinal Vitelli, who had managed to draw Cardinal Orsini over to the French side. D' Este had ambitions of his own, and he wanted the freedom to pursue them. Ricasoli remarked that Altemps was changing attitude repeatedly. Nosti Camiani also wrote to the Emperor (December 5: Petruccelli, 179), listing the sogetti papabili: Alessandrino, Boncompagni (good but hardly prudent), Reims, Sirleto, Simonetta, Trani and Aracoeli. The other creature of Pius IV were young and untried. When the Emperor wrote directly to Cosimo, the Duke professed to be out of the business of influencing papal elections, but agreed to carry out the Emperor's wishes. (Petruccelli, 174). The Emperor's own credentials as a loyal Catholic, however, were suspect; he had earlier shown excessive sympathy with Lutheranism, and had to be talked back into the True Faith.

Portrait of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (1520-1589)

It is known that Philip II was already giving consideration to a possible conclave in 1564, but had no intention of discussing soggetti papabili, in his correspondence with Cardinal Pacheco, the Spanish Protector in Rome (Letter of Philip II to Don Luis Requesens de Zuniga, September 20, 1564, in Pio IV y Felipe Segundo, 449). There was, however, a list of soggetti: Aracoeli (D' Olera), Alessandrino (Ghislieri), Montepulciano (Ricci), Morone, and Pacecho (Wahrmund, 91 and 267: a letter from Cardinal Delfino to Maximilian II, reporting statements of Pacheco). Requesens, Commendador Mayor de Castilla and Spanish Ambassador before the Holy See, wrote a long dispatch to Philip from Genoa (he had been withdrawn from the Papal Court by Philip over a ceremonial point in which Pius IV had ruled against Spain) on January 5, 1565, with comments on more than fifty cardinals; he was suspicious of Morone's orthodoxy, though he held him in very high regard. He feared Alessandro Farnese [ portrait at right] , who might, as pope, pursue a vendetta against the Spanish for the murder of his father. When Requesens arrived in Rome on December 21, 1565, however, it became known that Spain's recommendation was for Alessandrino, and favorably inclined toward Morone (Petruccelli, 175, quoting Bobbi's report to Duke Cosimo). A letter from Arco to Maximilian II of December 22 (Wahrnund, 267) says that Requesens had instructions to state openly in his speech to the Cardinals that they should choose the best person, "sed secreto curabit et omni studio operam dabit, ut Cardinalem Alexandrinum aut Cardinalem de Aracoeli eligant in pontificem".

France, for its part, was on friendly terms with Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy as well as with Ferrara, though the Duke of Ferrara, Alfonso II. The Duke of Ferrara, however, had married a daughter of the Emperor and might not be a person to be counted on. The Duke (or, rather, the Duchess) was recommending Cardinal Francesco Gonzaga,. aged 27, and was soliciting support from the Emperor, the King of France, and the Duke of Savoy (Petruccelli, 175).

Borromeo and Altemps, the nephews of Pius IV, had sent a courier on a fast frigate to Spain, to try to get the Nuncio Cardinal Boncompagni to come to the Conclave, where he had good prospects of being elected. The creature of Paul IV were in favor of him (so reports Serristori to Duke Cosimo: Petruccelli, 180). And, for what it is worth, the Venetian Ambassador to Rome between 1571 and 1576, Paolo Tiepolo stated in his relazione of 1576 before the Venetian Senate, "nella sede vacante di Pio IV, fu creduto che se egli fosse stato presente facilmente sario riuscito pontefice." (Alberi, 212)

The College of Cardinals

There were seventy cardinals when the Conclave of 1566 began. Fifty-two cardinals participated in the conclave, according to Panvinio, though one, Francesco Gonzaga, died during the Conclave, and eighteen were absent altogether. A complete list (but in need of correction) is provided by Eugenio Alberi (Alberi, 165-168) Alberi lists Cardinal (Guido) Ascanio Sforza di Santa Fiore as participating, though he died in 1564 (Cardella, 143). He lists as present Alessandro Crivelli (d. 1574), who arrived in Conclave on the day of, but after, the election. Another list (also in need of correction) is provided by V. de Brognòli, derived from Alfonso Ciacconi (Tomus III, 990-991; Brognòli, 639-642); that list omits Ricci, Francesco Ferrero, Sirleto, Ippolito d'Este, and Francesco Gonzaga, but includes Crivelli. As far as the status of individual cardinals is concerned, it must also noted that, in the second half of the XVI century, there were a considerable number of promotions from Cardinal Deacon to Cardinal Priest, in which the cardinal was allowed to keep his old title, which was 'promoted' along with him. Several cardinals were created by Pius IV in 1565, who had not yet received titles at the time of his death. And there was a good deal of shuffling of titlular churches as well during Pius' last year, as cardinals struggled to advance their prestige and income thanks to the kindly attitudes of the sickly pope.

Cardinals attending:

  1. Francesco Pisano (aged 71), Dean of the Sacred College of Cardinals, Cardinal Bishop of Ostia and Velletri (d. 1570)
  2. Giovanni Morone (aged 55), Cardinal Bishop of Porto and Santa Rufina (1565; d. 1580) Protector of England, Hungary, Arch-Duchy of Austria
  3. Cristoforo Madruzzo (aged 53), Tridentinus,Cardinal Bishop of Palestrina (d. 1578)
  4. Alessandro Farnese (aged 45), Cardinal Priest of S. Lorenzo in Damaso in commendam, Cardinal Bishop of Frascati, VIce -Chancellor of the Holy Roman Church 1535-1589 (d. 1589)
  5. Tiberio Crispo (aged 67), Cardinal Bishop of Sabina (since 1565) (d. October 6, 1566)

  6. Niccolò Caetani de Sermonetta (39), Cardinal Priest of S. Eustachio, 1552-1585 (d. 1585)
  7. Giacomo (Jacopo) Savelli (aged 42), Cardinal Priest of S. Maria in Cosmedin, 1560-1573 (d. 1587)
  8. Fulvio della Corgna (aged 48), Perusinus, nephew of Pope Julius III, Cardinal Priest of S. Angelo in Pescheria, Knight of Malta (d. 1585)
  9. Giovanni Michele Saraceni (aged 67), Cardinal Priest of Sta. Maria in Trastevere (d. 1568)
  10. Giovanni Ricci (aged 67), Montepulciano, Cardinal Priest of SS. Vitale, Gervasio e Protasio (d. 1574) a client of Alessandro Farnese
  11. Giovanni Battista Cicada (Cicala) (aged 55), Cardinal Priest of Sta. Agata in Suburra (d. 1570)
  12. Luigi Cornaro (aged 48), nephew of Cardinal Pisano (Conclavi I, 280), Cardinal Priest of S. Marco (d. 1584)
  13. Scipione Rebiba (aged 61), Cardinal Priest of S. Angelo in Pescheria (d. 1577) (throughout his life a protege of Paul IV) Bishop of Pisa, doctorate in utroque iure
  14. Giovanni Reuman Suau (aged 62), Cardinal Priest of S. Giovanni a Porta Latina, then Santa Prisca (d. 1566) A canon lawyer. Bishop of Mirepoix
  15. Giovanni Antonio Capizucchi (aged 50), Cardinal Priest of San Clemente (d. 1569) A canon lawyer
  16. Michele Ghislieri, OP (aged 61) Alessandrino, Cardinal Priest of Sta. Maria sopra Minerva, Inquisitore Generale (Pius V, d. 1572) Former professor of Theology
  17. Clemente Delera (D'Olera) (aged 64), Cardinal Priest of Sta. Maria in Aracoeli (d. 1568). Professor of Theology and Philosophy Vice-Protector of the Empire (Alberi, 142)
  18. Giovanni Antonio Serbelloni (aged 46), nephew of Pius IV, Cardinal Priest of S. Maria degli Angeli (1591)
  19. Carlo Borromeo (aged 27), nephew of Pius IV, Cardinal Priest of S. Prassede, Major Penitentiary (1584)
  20. Lodovico Simonetta (aged ca. 65) [Mediolanensis], son of Alessandro, Count Palatine, and Antonia, of the family of the Gonzaga of Castiglione; nephew of Cardinal Giacomo Simonetta, the celebrated canonist (died 1539).  Cardinal Priest of S. Ciriaco alle Terme [ which became S. Quirico e Giulitta] (d. 1568). Bishop of Pesaro (1537-1561).  Datary of Pius IV, and legate to the Council of Trent [E. Sol, Archivio della R. Società Romana di storia patria 26 (1903), 185-247].  Prefect of the Signature of Justice.
  21. Bernardo Salviati, nephew of Leo X (aged 57), Cardinal Priest of S. Simeone Profeta (d. 1568) ex-almoner to Catherine de' Medicis
  22. Pier Francesco Ferrer(i)o (aged 55) , Cardinal Priest of S. Anastasia [10/7/65-11/14/66] (d. 1566).
  23. Marco d' Altemps [Markus Sittich von Hohenems] (aged 32), nephew of Pius IV, Cardinal Priest of S. Giorgio in Velabro (d. 1595)
  24. Alfonso Gesualdo (aged 25), Cardinal Priest of Sta. Cecilia (d. 1603)
  25. Francisco Pacheco (ca. 57), Protector of Spain before the Holy See, Cardinal Priest of Sta. Croce in Gerusalemme (d. 1579)
  26. Francesco Gambara (aged 32), Cardinal Priest of Sta. Pudenziana (d. 1587)
  27. Iñigo d' Avalos d' Aragona (aged 29), Cardinal Priest of S. Adriano al Foro (d. 1600)
  28. Girolamo Austriaco da Coreggio (aged 54), Cardinal Priest of S. Stefano in Monte Celio (S. Stefano Rotundo) (d. 1572)
  29. Marc' Antonio Colonna (aged 42), Cardinal Priest of SS. XII Apostoli (d. 1597)
  30. Angelo Niccolini (aged 50), Cardinal Priest of San Callisto (Novaes, 7, 173) (d. 1567)
  31. Luigi Pisani (aged 43), Patavinus, nephew of the Cardinal Dean, [Cardinal Priest of S. Vitale, after the conclave] (d. 1570)
  32. Zaccaria Delfino (aged 38), Cardinal Priest of Sta. Maria in Aquiro (d. 1584)
  33. Marc' Antonio Boba (aged ?), [Cardinal Priest of San Silvestro in capite, granted after the conclave] (d. 1575)
  34. Alessandro Sforza (aged 31), nephew of Paul III, Cardinal Priest of Sta. Maria in Via (Platina 113) (d. 1581)
  35. Francesco Alciati (aged 43), Cardinal Priest of Sta Susanna (d. 1580)
  36. Benedetto Lontellini (Lomellini) (aged 48), Cardinal Priest of Sta. Sabina (d. 1579)
  37. Flavio Orsini (aged 33), Cardinal Priest of S. Marcellino e Pietro (d. 1581)
  38. Guglielmo Sirleto (aged 51), educator of Carlo Borromeo, Cardinal Priest of San Lorenzo in Panisperna (d. 1585)
  39. Gabriele Paleotti (aged 43), Cardinal Priest of S. Giovanni e Paolo (d. 1597)
  40. Francesco Crassi (Crasso) (Aged 65), Cardinal Priest, without titulus (d. 1566)

  41. Giulio della Rovere (aged 32), Cardinal Deacon of S. Pietro in vinculis (d. 1578)
  42. Ippolito d' Este (aged 55), Grandson of Pope Alexander VI, Cardinal Deacon of S. Maria Nova (d. 1572)
  43. Innocenzo Ciocchi del Monte (aged 33), Cardinal Deacon of Sta. Maria in Portico, 1564-1577 (1577)
  44. Girolamo Simoncelli (aged 43), grand-nephew of Julius III, Cardinal Deacon of S. Cosma e Damiano, 1554-1588 (d. 1605)
  45. Vitellozzo Vitelli (aged 34), Cardinal Deacon of Sta. Maria in Via Lata, Chamberlain of the Sacred College of Cardinals (1564-1568) Doctorate in utroque iure, Padua. (died 1568)
  46. Francesco Gonzaga (aged 27), Cardinal Deacon of S. Niccolo in Carcere Tulliano (died during the Conclave, on June 6, 1566: Laemmer, Meletematum p. 218)
  47. Luigi d'Este (aged 27), nephew of Cardinal Ippolito II d'Este, Cardinal Deacon of Sta. Lucia in silice, 1563-1577 (d. 1586)
  48. Tolomeo Gallio (aged 38), Cardinal Deacon of S. Pancrazio (d. 1607)
  49. Luigi Madruzzi (aged 33), nephew of Cardinal Cristoforo Madruzzi, Cardinal Deacon of S. Onofrio (d. 1600) Bishop of Trent
  50. Ferdinando de' Medici (aged 16), Cardinal Deacon of Sta. Maria in Dominica (d. 1609) (Duke of Tuscany, 1588)
  51. Francesco Abbondio Castiglioni (aged 42), Cardinal Deacon of S. Nicola inter imagines (d. 1568)
  52. Guido Ferrero (aged 28), grand-nephew of Pope Pius IV, Cardinal Deacon, without title [S. Eufemia granted after election, then S. Vito e Modesto] (d. 1585)

Cardinals not attending:



Portrait of Cardinal Giovanni Morone (1509-1580)

Opening of the Conclave

The Conclave began on the morning of December 20, 1565, with the Mass of the Holy Spirit. Around midday, the Cardinals repaired to the Capella Paolina for another Congregation, at which the oaths were sworn by those who would serve or protect the Conclave. including Gabriele Sorbelloni, Captain of the Papal Guard (Brognòli, 638). In the evening the Conclave Bull In eligendis of the late Pope Pius IV was read (Petruccelli, 182; Hilliger, 110). Fifty-two cardinals participated (Novaes, 7; Moroni 32, 296). As usual the cardinals were divided into various factions. There was a group centered around Francesco Gonzaga, which included his relatives Ippolito d'Este and Federico Gonzaga (Mantovanus), Giulio della Rovere (Urbino), and perhaps Salviati and Iñigo d' Aragon. There was a tiny Venetian group, consisting of Francesco Pisano, his nephews Luigi Pisano and Luigi Cornaro. Cardinal Farnese, nephew of Pope Paul III, had in his faction Cardinals Corregio, Gambara, Savelli, Paleotti and Orsini. Farnese was personally beloved by the Roman populace as a patron of the poor and a Maecenas of the arts (Brognòli, 639 n.2). The Florentines, of course, had their group, which included Medici, Niccolini, Sforza and Pacheco, with two cardinals, Colonna and (later) Delfino, leaning in their direction. The creature of the late Pope Pius IV were led by his nephews, Borromeo and Altemps, and included Serbelloni, Galli, Crasso, Alciati, Simonetta and Castiglioni. Borromeo was joined by his friend, whom he greatly admired, Cardinal Giovanni Morone. At some remove from them came Marc'Antonio Amulio of Venice (d. 1572), Sirleto, and maybe Gesualdo and Pacheco. Separately one might place the Piedmontese, Ferrerio, Vercelli and Boba, as well as Madruzzo. These near or more distant followers of Borromeo could also eventually claim Lomellini and Delfino. The creature of Paul IV were connected with Farnese, but also constituted a recognizable group, led by Cardinal VItelli, the Camerlengo, and including Capizucchi, Reuman Suau, Rebiba, Ghislieri, and D' Olera. The creature of Julius III included Della Corgna, Ciocchi del Monte, Montepulciano (Ricci), Saraceni, and Simoncelli. (analysis of Hilliger, 111)

But there was another kind of division among the cardinals, not based on ethnic considerations or temporal loyalties or financial expectations, but instead based on the influence of the Counter-Reformation, which was drawing so much stimulus from the recently completed Council of Trent. The traditional Renaissance princes of the Church were being replaced by serious ecclesiastical reformers, who were insisting on inaugurating the new regulations of the Council, among them the prohibition on pluralism in episcopal appointments. Two popes, Paul IV and Pius IV, had chosen their cardinals with this purpose in view, bringing to the fore such figures as Carlo Borromeo and Giovanni Morone.

But there were varieties of reformers. Paul IV (Carafa) and some of his creature, for example, were in bad odor because of their methods of reform— the Holy Roman Inquisition being prominent among them (Paul IV had been Inquisitor General)— as well as the narrowness of their spirit of reform. Cardinal Morone was famous for the persecution he had endured at the hands of Paul IV personally, which included years of imprisonment in the Castel St. Angelo under suspicion of heresy (1557-1559). Pietro Carnesecchi, a former adherent of Morone, who was also under investigation for heresy, wrote (Witte, 55):

Why Morone is imprisoned, no one knows; many say that the Cardinals have brought it about, in order that he may be out of their way at the next election of a Pope, when he would get the greatest number of votes. The Pope intends summoning all the Cardinals to Rome, that they as a college may judge Morone.

There had in fact been a Commission of Cardinals which investigated the charges against him (Alessandrino, Pisa, Reuman, and Spoleto), and, even though Morone had been exonerated, Paul IV kept him in confinement anyway (Cantù, 421-442). There was great sympathy for him among his colleagues, and distaste for anyone who had shown symptoms of reform in the style of Paul IV. The same treatment had also been given by Paul IV to Cardinal Della Corgna (July 1556) and numerous others.

Then, on the other side, there was a persecution of the Carafa faction after Paul's death in 1559. His nephew Alfonso Carafa was thrown into the Castel St. Angelo on (false) charges of peculation, though he was eventually released. Carlo Carafa, the Cardinal nipote, was prosecuted as well. On June 7, 1560, he, his brother the Duke of Paliano, the Count of Aliste, and Leonardo Cardini were sent to the Castel St. Angelo, their fates consigned to a Commission of Eight Cardinals (among them Cornaro, Ghislieri and Saraceni). The defense attorney of Carlo Carafa was Marc' Antonio Borghese, the father of the future Paul V. The current Pope, Pius IV—against the advice of a Consistory of Cardinals given after having considered the report of the Commission—condemned Carlo Carafa to be deprived of his cardinalatial office and executed. The Cardinal was strangled (March 4, 1561). Another sufferer of unjust imprisonment was Cardinal Rebiba, and of less unjust imprisonment Cardinal Ciocchi del Monte, these two also on on specific orders of Pius IV. It is a matter of amazement, therefore, that Cardinal Ghislieri, a professional Inquisitor, was finally chosen to be pope.

Working toward a Decision

Portrait of Cardinal  Altemps (Markus Sittich von Hohenems

Cardinal Guido Ferrero, the Cardinal of Vercelli, wrote a letter to the Duke of Savoy just a few hours before the Conclave began, assessing the situation (Petruccelli, 181-182). In his view there were "the older cardinals" (he himself was twenty-eight, and had been a Cardinal for nine months) and "the younger". In the first group were Pisani, Gonzaga, Morone, Crispo, Della Corgna, Farnese, San Clemente (Capizucchi), Montepulciano (Ricci), and Aracoeli (D'Olera). But Pisani (Ferrero thought) was old and ignorant, and with his nephews already in the College and others to arrive if he were made Pope, a series of Venetian popes might be the result. Morone (he judged) had more enemies than friends. Gonzaga, he thought, made a lot of noise and best aided himself; But neither Spain, Florence, Farnese or Borromeo wanted him. Ferrero, who was one of the creature of Pius IV, says that he and his fellows have obliged (as he puts it) Borromeo and Altemps [ portrait at right ] to choose from among their number, Crivelli, Sirleto, Paleotto, Boncompagni, Commendone, Corregio and himself. He is well aware, however, of the criticisms made against his own candidacy by "the elders": that he is a good time person, given to pleasure, difficult in audiences. It is not entirely clear whether Ferrero's "older cardinals" refers to chronological age or to seniority, but it is clear that his judgments are superficial. In fact Ferrero is an example of one of the major, if somewhat hidden, difficulties of the Conclave. There were seventeen cardinals under the age of forty, seven of whom were under the age of thirty. That Ferrero could even mention himself as a candidate shows the difficulty that serious cardinals were going to have if they were to get this group to elect a competent pope. But Ferrero was being promoted, nonetheless, by the Duchess of Savoy, as one of Cosimo's agents reports to Florence (Petruccelli, 174: Bobbi to Cosimo, January 3, 1566).

 

Borromeo, who was one of the pope-makers of the conclave, recalled his strategy some six weeks after the Conclave, as he wrote in a letter to Cardinal Henrique of Portugal, on February 24, 1566 (Giussani, 72-73):

Although my grief at the death of my uncle the Sovereign Pontiff was great and proportioned to the paternal love he ever showed me and the veneration I bore him in return, yet no sorrow, however bitter, could ever distract me for a moment from my desire to do everything for the benefit of the Holy See. To my own private grief was added a twofold anxiety, because whilst I recognised the obligation resting upon me to act in union with the other Cardinals, I yet saw that there were some matters connected with the vacant see that were the special concern of my office. The times were fraught with evils for the Church. There were dangers to be guarded against on every side, from the attacks of heretics as well as from the avowed enemies of Christianity itself. It seemed to me that I ought to do all in my power to procure the election of a Pontiff who would worthily replace him who with so much prudence had known how to uphold the authority and dignity of the Apostolic See in the hour of peril.

According to established usage we entered into Conclave for the election of a Pontiff, and to this end I can affirm that all my thoughts, desires and faculties were exclusively directed. Doubtless, it is somewhat difficult for your Eminence and for the other prelates to form your judgment on my course of action. In proceeding to the election of a Pope, it is clear that I was bound to observe great care and diligence, and to exclude every consideration except the service of religion and of the Faith. This I did; for all my efforts and wishes were directed solely towards the good of the universal Church, and to the exclusion of any kind of personal or private interest.

Having known the Cardinal of Alessandria [Ghislieri] for a considerable time, and conceived a high esteem for him on account of his singular holiness and zeal, I judged that no more fitting Pontiff than he could be found to rule the Christian commonwealth wisely and well. I therefore took up his cause with all my might; and with little delay he was elected Pope to the great satisfaction of all. Nothing could be so great a consolation to me in my grief for my uncle, as the certainty that he is succeeded by one who possesses all the qualities that your Eminence sympathizes with me in lamenting, and who with equal courage and strength of soul will know how to maintain and uphold the authority of religion....

These were doubtless Borromeo's motives, generally speaking, but his letter addresses only the last stage of the Conclave and does not address his strategy earlier in the proceedings. Unfortunately (as the Conclavist notices) Borromeo had a subtle mind but a stubborn personality, which did not make him an easy person to negotiate with, or a person who could accept motives of expedience in choosing a course of action. Borromeo was a zealot. In his straightforward way, as soon as the Conclave had begun, he approached Alessandro Farnese with Morone's name. Farnese seemed friendly and agreeable, and so Borromeo, who believed that he had an understanding, went off to lay plans with Altemps. But in his next conversation with Farnese, Borromeo discovered that Farnese was far from certain that Morone could be elected. As one of what Cardinal Ferrero termed the "elders", Farnese had extensive contacts and some intimacy with numbers of his colleagues that Borromeo did not have, and Farnese may have learned—or already known—that there was an opposition to Morone. This opposition included Cardinal de' Medici and d' Este (a leader of the French faction). Farnese, of course, had his own hopes, and a following. The Venetian ambassador remarks, in mid-1565 (Alberi, 143)

Sono appresso questi Farnese e Ferrara (D' Este), quali ambiscono il papato con tutti quei mezzi che sono possibili. Farnese con il favore di Spagna (se bene si crede che Aracoeli gli sarà anteposto) ha infinite dipendenze di cardinali che l' aiuteranno assai, ma è assai giovane non avendo più di 45 anni. Ha grandissima practica delle cose del mondo, ma ha un cervello tanto vivo, che massimamente in questa età non pottrebe piacere ad ogugno; oltrechè l' alienazione di Parma e Piacenze, fatta da Paolo III suo zio, gli darà grandissimo impedimento.

Nonetheless, on the night of December 23, Borromeo made an attempt to advance the candidacy of Cardinal Giovanni Morone by seeking votes through personal visits with the cardinals. Morone, after all, had the support of the Emperor and Duke Cosimo of Florence. The Conclave, however, was soon abuzz with the news of what was going on, and those who had interests of their own, including Alessandro Farnese, began to work in the other direction. Ferrara and D'Este were against him, allegedly due to some decisions Morone made when he was Legate in Bologna which were contrary to their interests (Conclavi, 307). When put to a vote Cardinal Morone was able to achieve a maximum of 29 (counting the accessiones) in the scrutiny (Conclavi, 320), out of the thirty-five needed to elect. His candidacy was at an end. Borromeo, at this point, began to have negative feelings about Cardinal Aracoeli (D' Olera), one of the cardinals on Borromeo's short list of papabili, because he had not supported the candidacy of Cardinal Morone, perhaps out of self-interest. He had promised to vote for Morone by the end of the accessio (Conclavi, 310). Borromeo therefore turned to his two alternate candidates, Boncompagni and Sirleto (his old teacher), but since Boncompagni was still on his Legateship in Spain, Sirleto became his candidate.

But there was a major difficulty—Alessandro Farnese. Farnese's friends were able to put together between twenty-eight and thirty votes in his favor, a majority, but not the two-thirds majority which was needed to elect. His votes, however, were sufficient to block any other candidate (Setton, 885).

On January 4, after a courier from Spain had arrived in Rome, the rumor flew around the City and the Conclave that King Philip II had endorsed the candidacy of Cardinal Ghislieri (Alessandrino). Cardinal Pacheco, the official Spanish agent inside the Conclave, formally denounced the report as a false rumor in the next meeting of the cardinals. But the Conclave was in chaos. This gave Borromeo and his friends the opportunity to press forward the candidacy of Cardinal Sirleto, but it too failed (Conclavi, 327).

On the 7th, Borromeo had a conversation with Alessandro Farnese. He made it clear to Farnese that he was not going to support his candidacy "this time"—which meant a virtual veto of Farnese. Asked to join Borromeo in selecting a worthy pope, Farnese offered him four choices, Gianbernardino Scotti (Trani), D' Olera (Aracoeli), Ghislieri (Alessandrino) and Ricci (Montepulciano). The inclusion of the name of Scotti, who was in his mid 80s, was probably a riposte to Borromeo's remark about "this time". If Scotti were chosen, "next time" would not be long delayed. The other three cardinals were in their 60s. Borromeo chose Ghislieri, and within two hours they had sufficient votes to carry the election. Cardinal Sforza remarked in a letter of the 8th (Petruccelli, 197-198) that Medici and his friends concurred quickly and warmly.

Election of Cardinal Ghislieri

On the afternoon of January 7, between 2 and 3 p.m. (according to Cornelius Firmanus) the Cardinals went to Ghislieri's cell and escorted him to the Capella Paolina. When they were assembled in the Pauline Chapel, they decided "quod publica voce danda essent vota per quemlibet cardinalem, et ita fieri debet electio". They took a vote, but not a written scrutiny. Beginning with the Cardinal Dean, Cardinal Pisani, each Cardinal expressed his choice viva voce. By this procedure enormous pressure was put on each succeeding younger or less disciplined voter to conform to the opinion already expressed by the most senior cardinals.

Idem dixerunt omnes alii circa electionem, et Ill(ustrissimi) et R(everendissi)mi D(omi)ni Cardinales Estensis et Vercellensis elegerunt etiam nomine Rev(erendissi)morum D(ominorum) Cardinalium Ferrariae et Ferrerii aegrotantium, et licet scrutinium sine tamen praeiudicio electionis fieri debuisset, tamen eo omisso, omnes Ill. et Revmi. Cardinales iverunt ad praefatum R. D. Cardinalem, qui per socium et per me [Cornelium Firmanum] pluries interrogatus, an acceptaret electionem, vix dixit haec verba voce intelligibili, cioe Orsu' mi contento su. Postea sedit in sedia gestatoria in media capellae, et Rmus. D. Card. S. R. E. Camerarius posuit ei in digito Annulum Piscatorium et omnes Ill. et Rmi. Dni. Cardinales iverunt ad se congratulandum simpliciter, ut moris est. (Laemmer, Meletematum, p. 218)

Eventually the choice was unanimous, though two votes were cast from sickbeds (those of Ippolito D' Este and Pier Francesco Ferrerio).   (Antonio) Michele Ghislieri was declared elected. He took the name Pius V, in tribute to the previous pope (They shared a mutual dislike), but more in tribute to and out of a desire to placate Cardinal Borromeo. He was crowned on January 17, 1566, and took possession of the Lateran Basilica on January 27 (Novaes 7, 193). He ruled the Church for six years, three months, and twenty-four days.

When the Emperor Maximilian II heard that a monk, Ghislieri had been elected pope, he began to laugh and make jokes. He was not pleased. He wished that the Conclave had taken longer and produced a better result (letter of Emilio Vinta, envoy of Duke Cosimo to the Emperor, January 20, 1566: Petruccelli, 197). The election was seen by Cardinal Pacheco as a victory for the Spanish interest (Hilliger, 152), "I am the happiest man in the world, since I have, in my first conclave, got elected a Pope who is a vassal and servant of Your Majesty." Ambassador Requesens was more reserved, pointing out that Ghislieri was the best that they could find in the College.".

 


Bibliography

For details of the conclave of 1566, see [Gregorio Leti], Conclavi de' pontefici romani Nuova edizione, riveduta, corretta, ed ampliata Volume I (Colonia: Lorenzo Martini, 1691) 292-334.  Giuseppe de Novaes, Elementi della storia de' sommi pontefici da San Pietro sino al ... Pio Papa VII   third edition, Volume 7 (Roma 1822) 191-193. G. Moroni, Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica Vol. 53 (Venezia 1851) pp. 77-85. Alexis François Artaud de Montor, Histoire de pontifes IV (Paris 1851), pp. 184-185. F. Petruccelli della Gattina, Histoire diplomatique des conclaves   Volume II (Paris: 1864), 208-235. T(homas) Adolphus Trollope, The Papal Conclaves, as the were and as they are (London 1876) 241-258. V. de Brognòli, "Storia della città di Roma dall' anno Domini 1565 al 1572," Gli Studi in Italia Anno VII, Vol. 1 (Roma 1884), 245-261; 481-487; 629-642; 859- .Ludwig Wahrmund, Das Ausschliessungs-recht (jus exclusivae) der katholischen Staaten Österreich, Frankreich und Spanien bei den Papstwahlen (Wien: Holder 1888), 89-93. Benno Hilliger, Die Wahl Pius V. zum Papste (Leipzig: Gustav Fock, 1891). J. B. Sägmüller Die Papstwahlbullen und das staatliche Recht der Exklusive (Tübingen 1892), Chapter IV [on the Council of Trent and the Bull In Elegendis]..  Paul Herre, Papsttum und Papstwahl im Zeitalter Philipps II. (Leipzig: Teubner 1907) 103-131. Kenneth M. Setton, The Papacy and the Levant, 1204-1571 Volume IV. The Sixteenth Century (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society 1984), 883-885.

Bartolommeo Platina, Storia delle vite de' Pontifice, "Life of Pius IV" (by Onuphrio Panvinio, to p. 211; from 211, by Antonio Cicarelli) Tomo Quarto (Venezia 1765), 212-213 [list of cardinals created by Pius IV].  Giovanni Antonio Gaburtio, "Vita Pii V," Acta Sanctorum Maii Tomus I (ediderunt Godefridus Henschen et Danielis Papenbroch) (Antwerp 1680) 616-719, especially 627-629. Giovanni Antonio Petramellari, Ad librum Onuphrii Panvinii de summis Pontif. et S.R.E. Cardinalibus a Paulo Quarto ad Clementis Octavi annum pontificatus octavum Continuatio (Bononiae: Heredes Joahnnis Rosij 1599) 60-177. Lorenzo Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa Tomo Quarto (Roma 1793) [Cardinal Pisani, 68-70; Cardinal Vitelli, 365-368; Cardinal Ricci, 310-314]; Tomo Quinto (Roma 1793) [Cardinal Serbelloni, 1-2]. Giovanni Pietro [John Peter] Giussano, The Life of St. Charles Borromeo [1610] Volume I (London-New York, 1884). Eugenio Alberi (editor), Le relazioni degli ambasciatori veneti al senato Volume X (Serie ii, Tomo IV) (Firenze 1857). Ugo Pesci, "La politica Mediceo rispetto ai conclavi," Rivista europea 6 (Firenze 1878) 26-46. Pio IV y Felipe Segundo, primeros diez meses de la embajada de Don Luis de Requesens en Roma, 1563-1564 (Madrid 1891). Hugo Laemmer, Meletmetum Romanorum mantissa (Ratisbon 1875) [the election].

Joseph Catalano, Sacrarum Caeremoniarum sive rituum ecclesiasticorum Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae libri tres, ab Augustino Patricio ordinati, et a Marcello Corcyrensi Archiepiscopo primum editi, nunc vero tandem in duos tomos distributi, ac innumeris pene mendis purgati, et commentariis aucti Tomus I (Romae 1750).

On the case of Cardinal Carlo Carafa, see George Duruy, Carlo Carafa (1519-1561). Étude sur le pontificat de Paul IV (Paris 1882), 320-345. Also Platina, Vol. 4, 108 (by Panvinio), and Cardella, Vol 4, 340-341. Hilliger, 17-19.

Frédéric Sclopis, Le cardinal Jean Morone (Paris 1869) 21-33, 61, 89-91 ("Captura del Cardinal Morone in Roma all' untimo di Maggio 1557", contemporary narration of his arrest and imprisonment by Cardinal Carafa). Cardinal Ghislieri was one of the four cardinals who examined Cardinal Morone in the Castel St. Angelo on behalf of the Inquisition. G. Moroni, Dizionario di erudizione storico-ecclesiastica Vol. 46 (Venezia 18) 299-302. Leopold Witte (tr. J. Betts), A Glance at the Italian Inquisition. A Sketch of Pietro Carnesecchi (London 1885), 54-55, 67, 69 [Carnesecchi had entered Morone's service in 1527]. Cesare Cantù, "Il Cardinale Giovanni Morone," Illustri Italiani Volume II (Milano: Brigola 1873), 393-465 [containing both Morone's defense against the charges of heresy (421-439), and Paul's bull which refused to accept the findings of his own Commission, which exonerated Morone (440-442)].

Augustinus Brunus, "Vita Gabrielis Palaeoti S. R. E. Cardinalis, Episcopi Sabinensis, archiepiscopi Bononiensis," E. Martène-U. Durand, Veterorum scriptorum et monumentorum...amplissima collectio Tomus VI (Paris 1729), 1385-1438, at 1397-1398. Paolo Prodi, Il cardinale Gabriele Paleotti (1522-1597) 2 volumes (Roma: edizioni di storia e letteratura, 1959, 1967). [Uomini e dottrine, 12]. Antonio Maria Gratiani, De vita Ioannis Francisci Commendoni Cardinalis Libri Quattuor (Parisiis: Apud Sebastianum Mabre-Cramoisy, 1669).

Fulvio Cervini & Carlenrica Spantigati (editors), Il tempo di Pio V Pio V nel tempo: Atti del convegno internazionale di studi Bosco Marengo, Alessandria, 11-13 marzo 2004 (Edizioni dell' Orso 2006).

Lettres de Catherine de Médicis (edited by Hector de la Ferrière) Tome deuxième, 1563-1566 (Paris: Imprimerie nationale 1885).

© July 17, 2009 John Paul Adams 


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