Ignatius and Pope Paul III
- Pope Paul III with his grandson (R) Ottavio Farnese, Duke of Parma
I'm still slowly reading the journal article by John Padberg SJ ..... "Ignatius, the Popes, and Realistic Reverence", Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits , 25 (May 1993). The more I read about Ignatius, the more I like him :) This part of the article recounts how he and his companions were being accused of heresy. Ignatius asked for a thorough investigation of himself and his companions to prove once and for all that they weren't heterodox, but he was unable to get the ball rolling until he met with Pope Paul III in person. What I found kind of shocking in this excerpt below was that Pope Paul III had children and grandchildren.
Here's a bit from the article (pp. 15-17) ......
[...] Up to this point, then, Ignatius had been unable to get a written declaration of any kind. So he took the last step. Paul III had gone to Frascati in mid-August of 1538. Ignatius followed him to the papal residence and asked for an audience. (This may have been the first actual face-to-face meeting of Paul III and Ignatius.) He himself in a letter told what happened:
I talked alone with His Holiness in his apartment a whole hour. Then, while speaking at length to him about our designs and intentions, I related clearly how many times judicial proceedings had been taken against me. ... I begged His Holiness, in the name of all my companions, to have a remedy devised, in order that our doctrine and manner of life should be investigated and examined by whatsoever ordinary judge His Holiness would appoint.
He then asked again for a formal judgement. The Pope took the request well, gave firm orders to the governor's office to get on with the investigation immediately, and then for the next several weeks spoke in public quite favorably of these matters ......
By now it was early November 1538, and work came to a halt at the papal court for the spectacular festivities attending the triumphal arrival in Rome on November 3 of Madama, Margaret of Austria, the sixteen-year-old natural daughter of Emperor Charles V. (She was later to be a penitent and a firm friend of Ignatius, who was also called in to help keep peace in the family.) Now she was to be married the next day, November 4, to Ottavio Farnese, the thirteen-year-old grandson of the Pope. To celebrate the occasion of the marriage with proper splendor, dancing, fireworks, banquets, races (horse, bull, and buffalo), much of it paid for by the Holy See, went on day after day for the next week or more, ending with the main festival, including a magnificent parade with twelve floats, city officials, hundreds of mounted citizens, and uncounted merrymakers on foot.
After this extravaganza, work resumed, and finally on November 18, 1538, the official judgement came down. In it the governor .... declared Ignatius and his companions not guilty. Indeed, not only were they not guilty, said he, but their lives and their teachings were shining examples; and so he urged all to look upon them as Catholics and completely free from every suspicion ....