My Photo
Location: United States

Monday, September 06, 2010

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 ....



Anonymous Victor said...

>>What I found kind of shocking in this excerpt below was that though priests took vows of celibacy, as the new Jesuits did, Paul III had children and grandchildren - naive me :)<<

That only goes to show the power that sins had back then and between you and me they are just as strong today if not stronger but Christ managed to show them that they were way too busy to have any of their own children by giving them a share of His Children Cells.

I hear ya! Do you think they've learned Victor? :

6:07 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Victor,

It's interesting to see how different (or not) the church was back then :)

9:42 PM  
Blogger Mike L said...

Remember that celibacy was still relatively new for the priesthood and also that it was/is only diseplenary, this might not have been as shocking at the time. He certainly had the right to excuse himself from celibacy.

I am not up in history, but it is also possible that he had children before he was ordained. We have several priests in our area that have children and grandchildren, and, of course were married before they entered the priesthood. ut there is no doubt that there was a fair amount of corruption during some of the papacies.

Victor, I am not completely convinced that breaking a rule that involves only discipline (obedience) is a mortal sin. And of course, course we have to remember that celibacy was not an issue for about half of the Church's life.


Mike L

8:10 AM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Mike,

From what I've read, I think he conceived his children when he was a cardinal but before he was pope. It's kind of interesting - the wikipedia article for his son, Pier Luigi Farnese, Duke of Parma, says this ....

His illegitimacy tormented Pier Luigi all his life, and doubtless contributed to the formation of his character. The nobility of Piacenza was frequently known to insult him as "the bastard son of the Pope".

I guess what shocks me is that the church hierarchy seems then so much like wealthy and powerful (and sometimes corrupt) secular noblemen. There seems like such a discepancy between those ruling the church then and some of the members, like Ignatius.

12:15 PM  
Blogger victor said...

Mike thanks for acknowledging my comment and between you and me, I now honestly believe that you don't need to be completely convinced about anything so long as you just keep an open mind while searching with a sincere heart and you'll eventually get what you're seeking during Eternity.

As crystal knows, I, me, myself and sinner vic could go on and on, on fire for a long time but I'll simply close by saying, As "IT" was in the beginning, is now and will always be ONE World forever and ever, Amen!

Hey Men and women but do we believe "IT" or not is the question? :)

God Bless,


2:29 PM  
Anonymous Paul Maurice Martin said...

I remember coming across a lot of things along those lines - flagrant corruption in the church hierarchy, including the papacy - when reading church history in divinity school. Guess that was the preamble to the Protestant reformation followed by the Catholic counter-reformation...

9:10 PM  
Blogger crystal said...

Hi Paul,

Yeah, I wonder what it is that makes some people want to reform and others just accept the way things are.

9:42 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home