Contarini, Gasparo

Contarini, Gasparo Cardinal, was born in 1483 of a noble Venetian family, and carefully educated. Entering the public service, he was embassador to Charles V, 1521, and met Luther at Worms. In 1535 he was made cardinal by pope Paul III. In 1538, Contarini, together with the cardinals Caraffa (subsequently Paul IV), Sadolet, and Polus, was appointed a member of a committee on the reformation of the Church. Their report, made to the pope in the same year, and entitled Consilium de Emendanda Ecclesia, was printed against their wish and contrary to the order of the pope, and published in a German translation, with pungent notes, by Luther. It was subsequently put on the Index. In 1541 Contarini was sent as papal legate to the Diet of Ratisbon, where he showed a conciliatory spirit toward the Protestants, and urgently admonished the bishops to labor for the reformation of the Church. On his return to Italy he was by some accused of having encouraged heresy, but was appointed by the pope cardinal legate of Bologna. His, religious feelings were deep; he accepted the doctrine of justification by faith, and looked for a reform of the Roman Church, while he utterly distrusted the Lutheran reformation. He was, on the whole, one of the best men in the Roman Church at the time of the Reformation. He died in Bologna, 1542. Among his writings are, De Immortalitate Animae adversus Petrum Pomponatium: — De Libero Arbitrio et Praedestinatione: — De Septem Ecclesia e Sacramentis: — Confutatio Articulorum Lutheri: — Scholia in Epistolas Divi Pauli: — De Officio Episcopi: — De Potestate Pontificis (liberal).' His works were collected and published together at Paris (1571, fol.) and Venice (1578, fol.). See Ranke, History of Popes, vol. 1, passim; Wetzer u. Welte, Kirchen. Lex. 2:860; McCrie, Reformation in Italy (Am. ed p. 171).

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