Clement VII (2)
Pope (Giulio, illegitimate son of Giuliano de Medicis), became pope in 1523; one of the weak and wavering men whose selfish policy in critical times makes their prominence in history a prominence of disgrace. He entered the Maltese order, and became grand prior of Capra. When his cousin Leo X ascended the papal throne he was at once appointed archbishop and cardinal. Subsequently he acted as cardinal legate of Tuscany. He was elected pope on the 19th of Nov. 1523. On May 2;1524, he issued a bull for the reformation of abuses prevailing in Italy. In the same year he sent a legate, Campeggio, to the Diet of Nuremberg, in order to bring about a suppression of the Reformation in Germany. The pope and his legate greatly offended the German princes by their arrogance, but succeeded, nevertheless, in effecting an alliance against the Protestants between Austria, Bavaria, and twelve princes of South Germany. Notwithstanding the zeal of the emperor for the defense of the Church of Rome, the pope was prevailed upon by the king of France to join the alliance of France, England, Venetia, and other Italian states against Charles. After the siege and capture of Rome by the imperial army, the pope was compelled to capitulate (Jan. 5, 1527); but, being unable to fulfill the conditions of the capitulation, he escaped, disguised as a merchant, on Dec. 9, 1527, and fled to Orvieto. Soon after he concluded a peace with Charles (1529), and crowned him emperor at Bologna (1530); while, on the other hand, Charles restored the papal possessions, and made Alessandro of Medicis (a reputed son of the pope) sovereign of Florence. The demand of Charles and the German princes for the convocation of an oecumenical council, which was to reform abuses in the Church and restore its unity, he did not fulfill, making his consent contingent upon conditions which he knew to be unacceptable to Charles. In the suit of Henry VIII of England for divorce from his wife, Catharine of Aragon, the pope, after long hesitation, decided against the king, and thereby precipitated the separation of the Anglican Church from the Church of Rome. He sanctioned the new monastic orders of the Capuchins, Theatines, Somaskians, and Recollects, enlarged the library of the Vatican, and was in general a patron of literature. He died Sept. 25,1534. The Bullarium Romanum (ed. Lugd. 1692, 1:636-694) contains 41 constitutions and decrees of this pope. The life of Clement has been written by Onufrio Panvini and Jacob Ziegler (in Schelhorn, Amoen. hist. eccl. tom. 2). See Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen-Lex. 2, 600-602; Herzog, Real-Encykl. 2, 734- 736; Hoefer, Biog. Gienrale, 10, 766; Ranke, Hist. Papacy, bk. 1, ch. 3; Hase, Ch. History, p. 376, 390, 421, 450.