Morone, Giovanni

Morone, Giovanni an Italian prelate of considerable note for the illustrious part he took in the Reformatory movement of the 16th century, and for the noble efforts he made to uphold the lustre of the Roman Catholic Church, was born at Milan, January 25, 1509, and descended from a noble family. His father, count Girolamo Morone, is of historic celebrity from the efforts he made to free his country (Milan) from the yoke of Charles V, and for his subsequent devotion to imperial interests. During his younger years Giovanni Morone was carefully instructed at home, and afterwards sent to the University of Padua to pursue his more serious studies. There his talents and assiduous application procured him honors which enrolled his name among the chief philosophers and jurists. In 1529 Morone finally took orders, and, though yet a youth, his unusual attainments rapidly secured him friends and position, and in the year following he was elevated to the bishopric of Modena. He was also in the same year selected by Paul III as papal nuncio to the emperor Ferdinand, and in that capacity did most excellent service to the Romish cause. He was instrumental in preparing the way for a council of the German princes for a final settlement of all religious differences, and did everything in his power to prevent a rupture in the Church. Yet it must not be inferred that he was so conciliatory as to ignore his own personal convictions. Determined to sustain the papal cause, he was yet in favor of reformatory measures, and succeeded in persuading both parties to give him their confidence because he acted conscientiously. He never feared to do or say what he thought right. Thus in 1540, when, on account of the plague, the Diet was to be removed from Spires to Hagenau, Morone hesitated not to make a most energetic protest, and in consequence was finally recalled to give an account of himself at Rome. His explanations must have been satisfactory to Paul III, for in 1541 Morone was again on his way to Germany to attend the Spires Diet, and in 1542 he attended the Diet at Ratisbon, where all hope of union between Protestants and Romanlists was entirely extinguished. Yet, notwithstanding the failure of reconciliation, Morone's services found acknowledgment at Rome, and he was this same year presented with the red hat. He was also sent, together with Parisio and Pole, as papal representative to the nominal opening of the Council of Trent (November 1542). His consummate knowledge of affairs pointed to him as the proper person for papal envoy when, the Tridentine Council having failed to secure the support of the German princes and theologians, another Diet was called at Spires by the emperor in 1544. This was a most difficult task. Charles V, just returned from the Low Countries, seeing clearly that the successful issue of his war against Francis I of France was possible only if he had the German princes unitedly in his favor, graciously yielded everything in ecclesiastical matters, and this conciliatory position made of course no light work for the papal representative. Cardinal Morone was too sagacious not to perceive how the Protestant princes would take courage now, and move forward to a platform from which it would hereafter be difficult to dislodge them. He failed to influence the emperor as he desired, yet his faithfulness to the papal cause was universally acknowledged, and when he returned to Rome the legation of Bologna, then become vacant by the death of Contarini (q.v.), was conferred on Morone. In 1550 he gave up the bishopric of Modena, that diocese having during his absence become greatly distracted by the spread of Reformatory opinions. Whatever secret modifications his own views had undergone, he was not prepared, nor had he ever intended, to contaminate himself with the odious name of heretic; and therefore, rather than suffer his diocese to be spoken of as one alien to the faith, he promptly gave it up altogether. He had earnestly tried, immediately on his return from Germany, to rally his clergy around a common confession of faith, so liberal in its inception and construction that all might endorse it; but he had failed to unite them by this measure. Several of the most learned theologians deserted the territory rather than perjure themselves in any manner. The academicians were specially remiss in submission, and Morone finally wrote to Rome for permission to withdraw the paper, "as they had assured him of the sincerity of their devotion to the Roman Catholic Church, and had entreated that suspicion might not be cast on their faith by obliging them to subscribe" (Life of Paleario, 2:28). The papal answer proved unfavorable in more than one respect. The pope, thinking Morone too indulgent, which no doubt was true, for he himself believed the doctrine of justification as held by the Lutherans, had appointed six cardinals to examine the condition of this Italian diocese. Morone, naturally enough offended at such a want of confidence in his integrity and competency, had almost then resolved to withdraw altogether from the diocese, had not the governor's entreaties prevailed, and he been induced to continue its spiritual head at least for a while longer. But the continued spread of Reformatory opinions, and his own indisposition to punish men for conscience' sake, so long as they avowed obedience to the pope of Rome as their spiritual head, finally led him to forsake the diocese. altogether, and Foscarari, a Dominican friar, and a man of great talent and virtue, became his successor. The latter did not live to quit the diocese under such favorable auspices, but was taken from the episcopal mansion to the heretic's prison (Life of Paleario, 2:45). Morone, however, lost nothing by forsaking the diocese of Modena, for he was by the duke of Milan presented with the bishopric of Novara. In 1549 Morone's friend at Rome, pope Paul III, died. and the next incumbent of the papal chair became Julius III. He was not warmly attached to our cardinal, yet at least esteemed him, and in 1555, when the Diet of Augsburg was to convene to discuss important religious topics, Morone was selected as the representative of Rome. Scarcely, however, had the cardinal reached Augsburg when the news of the sudden death of his pope was brought him, and he was obliged to turn back to Rome. He was now instrumental in elevating Marcello II, and hoped for reformation and purification in the Church. But this good man lived only a short time, and again the papal conclave was convened. The most prominent candidate was Caraffa, the inquisitor; a man of harshness of character, and not highly esteemed by Morone. The two had not been on very favorable terms for some time. Caraffa had suspected Morone of heresy, and the cardinal, in turn, had thought the inquisitor hypercritical and inhumane in the exercise of his official functions. Yet, moved by the sentiments of a generous mind, Morone, after all. cast his influence in the conclave for Caraffa (believing thereby to disarm his enmity), and thus helped to create him Paul IV. No sooner, however, was Caraffa elevated to the papal dignity than he at once conspired with Morone's enemies, and the cardinal was accused of leaning to the doctrines of the Reformers, and imprisoned in San Angelo to pass examination on his religious opinions. The only proofs of the heretical opinions of Morone are to be found in the articles of accusation drawn up against him. Vergerio, bishop of Capo d'Istria, who had left Italy, published these articles, with scholia on each article. No one was better acquainted than Vergerio with the facts treated of under the several heads. Though this little book came out anonymously, it bears marks of its origin. Printing being then comparatively in its infancy, each printer and the place of his habitation were pretty well known by the form of his types. Vergerio lived a good deal at Tubingen after he left Italy, and it is thought that these articles were sent to him, and that he printed them in despite of the Church of Rome. (A copy of these articles may be found in the Life of Paleario, 2:309-312.) Notwithstanding the ready acuteness of the inquisitors, the answers of Morone prevented their finding any proof against him of heresy, and he was declared innocent. But after the inquisitors had pronounced cardinal Morone free from all heretical taint, and Paul IV had given orders for his liberation, he refused to go out of prison unless the pope publicly declared he had been unjustly accused. This Paul could not be persuaded to do, and Morone remained in prison till the death of that pope in 1559. On this occasion, after some discussion among the cardinals, he was liberated, and allowed to sit in the conclave which elected cardinal De' Medici pope, who took the name of Pius IV, and after the elevation of this prelate to the papal chair Morone was reinstated in his former influential position. In 1562 the cardinal was sent as papal legate to the emperor Ferdinand, and in the year following Morone became the presiding officer of the Council of Trent, and continued as such during all the important sessions of this ecclesiastical council. From the very beginning of his work at Trent he played a most important part, and exerted a most salutary influence for the Romish cause. He was conciliatory in speech and action, and intimated to the council that he came by orders of the pope "to establish the articles of faith, correct abuses. and promote the peace of nations, in so far as was consistent with the dignity and authority of the Holy See." This position seems not to have been warranted, however, by the views entertained at Rome; for it is now quite clearly revealed that the pope was determined to refuse the reforms desired by the common clergy and the people of Germany, and that Pius IV was at the time enjoying the promise of Spain's support in case Ferdinand ignored the papacy, and went over to the Protestants. Yet Morone must certainly have had the appearance of truth in his own dealings with the emperor, as that sovereign, in a meeting with Morone at Innsbruck in 1563, granted nearly all the favors he asked for, and even gave his sanction to an early discontinuance of the council, which was brought about this very year, December 4. SEE TRENT, COUNCIL OF. Morone's services could not be too highly estimated at Rome. He had brought the council which threatened so much mischief to the papal cause to a close without any diminution of the pontifical authority, and had even left the Inquisition in a more enviable position than it had occupied previously. "All," says Ranke, "ended at last in a prosperous issue. That council which had been so vehemently called for and so long avoided; after being twice dissolved, shaken by so many of this world's storms, and when convened for the third time, anew beset with perils, was now closed amid the general concord of the Roman Catholic world." On his return to the Eternal City the cardinal was therefore made dean of the cardinal college, and intrusted with diplomatic missions whenever the services of an acute and trustworthy messenger were needed. Upon the death of Pius IV, in 1566, Morone came very near being elected Pope. Unfortunately for Italy, sterner counsels prevailed, and the inquisitor, cardinal Alessandrino, was raised to the papal chair. We have no means of ascertaining what were Morone's feelings when he saw the power of the Inquisition, from which he had suffered so much, again seated on the papal throne. Morone died December 1, 1580, at Rome, and was buried in the church of the Minerva. His peculiar life prevented much literary activity, and there remain from his pen only some letters to cardinals Pole and Cortese, and some of his orations. See Schelhorn, Amoenitates Literarice, 12:537 sq.; Tiraboschi, Lett. Ital. 7:260; Young, Life and Times of Paleatrio (Lond, 1860, 2 volumes, 8vo), 2:307-314; Fisher, Hist. Ref. pages 393, 406; Wessenberg, Die Grossen Kirchenversammlungen des 15 u. 16 Jahrh. 3:147 sq.; North Brit. Rev. January 1870, art. 8, page 284 sq.; Ranke, Hist. of the Papacy, 1:109 sq., 227, 247 sq. (J.H.W.)

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