Carnesecchi, Pietro

Carnesecchi, Pietro, an Italian reformer and martyr of the 16th century, was born in Florence, of a good family. His education and culture gained him the esteem of the best scholars of the time, such as Sadoletus and Bembo. He became secretary and prothonotary to Pope Clement VII, and had so much influence that it was said "the Church was governed by Carnesecchi rather than by Clement." At Naples he imnbibed the Reformed doctrine from Valdes (q.v.), and in 1546 he was accused as a heretic and cited to Rome. Through the favor of Paul IV he escaped, but sought safety in France, where he remained at the court of Henry VI until 1552, when he thought he might return to Italy, and took up his abode at Padua. In 1557 he was summoned to Rome; but, failing to appear, he was excommunicated as a heretic, April 6, 1559; Pius IV, on his accession, removed the sentence of excommunication, without any recantation on the part of Carnesecchi. When Pius V became pope, Carnesecchi apprehended danger, and took refuge with Cosmo, grand-duke of Tuscany, who basely surrendered him on a demand in the pope's own writing. He was tried by the Inquisition, adhered steadfastly to the faith, and was condemned. On Oct. 3,1567, he was beheaded, and his body afterward was consumed. M'Crie, Reformation in Italy, chap. 5 (and authorities there given).

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