digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















Paul IV
Paul IV.jpg
Papacy began 23 May 1555
Papacy ended 18 August 1559
Predecessor Marcellus II
Successor Pius IV
Consecration 18 September 1505
Created Cardinal 22 December 1536
Personal details
Birth name Gian Pietro Carafa
Born (1476-06-28)28 June 1476
Capriglia Irpina, Kingdom of Naples
Died 18 August 1559(1559-08-18) (aged 83)
Rome, Papal States
Other popes named Paul
Papal styles of
Pope Paul IV
C o a Paulo IV.svg
Reference style His Holiness
Spoken style Your Holiness
Religious style Holy Father
Posthumous style None

Pope Paul IV, C.R. (Latin: Paulus IV; 28 June 1476 – 18 August 1559), né Gian Pietro Carafa, was Pope from 23 May 1555 to his death in 1559.[1][2] While serving as papal nuncio in Spain, he developed an anti-Spanish outlook that later coloured his papacy, and resulted in the Papal States suffering a serious military defeat.

He was appointed bishop of Chieti, but resigned in 1524 in order to found with St. Cajetan the Congregation of Clerics Regular (Theatines). Recalled to Rome, and made Archbishop of Naples, he was instrumental in setting up the Roman Inquisition, and was opposed to any dialogue with the emerging Protestant party in Europe. Carafa was elected pope in 1555 through the influence of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese in the face of opposition from Emperor Charles V. His papacy was characterized by strong nationalism in reaction to the influence of Philip II of Spain and the Hapsburgs. The appointment of Carlo Carafa as Cardinal Nephew damaged the papacy further when Paul was forced to remove him from office following a scandal. He curbed many clerical abuses in Rome but his methods were seen as harsh.

Early life[edit]

Gian Pietro Carafa was born in Capriglia Irpina, near Avellino, into a prominent noble family of Naples.[2] His father Giovanni Antonio Carafa died in West Flanders in 1516 and his mother Vittoria Camponeschi was the daughter of Pietro Lalle Camponeschi, 5th Conte di Montorio, a Neapolitan nobleman, and wife Dona Maria de Noronha, a Portuguese noblewoman of the House of Pereira Senhores dos Lagares de El-Rei and Senhores de Paiva, Baltar e Cabeceiras de Basto.[1]

Church career[edit]


He was mentored by Cardinal Oliviero Carafa, his relative, who resigned the see of Chieti (Latin Theate) in his favour. Under the direction of Pope Leo X, he was ambassador to England and then papal nuncio in Spain, where he conceived a violent detestation of Spanish rule that affected the policies of his later papacy.[1]

However, in 1524, Pope Clement VII allowed Carafa to resign his benefices and join the ascetic and newly founded Congregation of Clerks Regular, popularly called the Theatines, after Carafa's see of Theate. Following the sack of Rome in 1527, the order moved to Venice. But Carafa was recalled to Rome by the reform-minded Pope Paul III (1534–49), to sit on a committee of reform of the papal court, an appointment that forecast an end to a humanist papacy and a revival of scholasticism, for Carafa was a thorough disciple of Thomas Aquinas.[1]


In January 1536 he was made Cardinal-Priest of S. Pancrazio and then Archbishop of Naples.

The Regensburg Colloquy in 1541 failed to achieve any measure of reconciliation between Catholics and Protestants in Europe, but instead saw a number of prominent Italians defect to the Protestant camp. In response, Carafa was able to persuade Pope Paul III to set up a Roman Inquisition, modelled on the Spanish Inquisition with himself as one of the Inquisitors-General. The Papal Bull was promulgated in 1542 and Carafa vowed, "Even if my own father were a heretic, I would gather the wood to burn him".[3]

Election as pope[edit]

He was a surprise choice as pope to succeed Pope Marcellus II (1555); his rigid, severe and unbending character combined with his age and patriotism meant he would have declined the honor. He accepted apparently because Emperor Charles V was opposed to his accession.[1]


As pope his nationalism was a driving force; he used the office to preserve some liberties in the face of fourfold foreign occupation. Initially, he supported the marriage of Mary I of England and Prince Philip of Spain by recognizing Henry VIIIs' creation of the kingdom of Ireland and the couple's claim to France in his bull "Ilius".[4] However, the Habsburgs disliked Paul IV and he allied with France, possibly against the true interests of the Papacy. He used the Holy Office to suppress the Spirituali, a Catholic group that was deemed heretical. Among his first acts as Pope was to cut off Michelangelo's pension, and he ordered the nudes of The Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel be painted more modestly (a request that Michelangelo ignored). He angered people in England by insisting on the restitution of property confiscated during the dissolution, and rejected the claim of Elizabeth I of England to the Crown.[1]

Paul IV strongly affirmed the Catholic dogma of extra ecclesiam nulla salus ("Outside the Church there is no salvation"). The strengthening of the Inquisition continued under Paul IV, and few could consider themselves safe by virtue of position in his drive to reform the Church; even cardinals he disliked could be imprisoned.[5]

In 1555 he issued a canon (papal law), Cum Nimis Absurdum, by which the Roman Ghetto was created. Jews were then forced to live in seclusion in a specified area of the rione Sant'Angelo, locked in at night, and he decreed that Jews should wear a distinctive sign, yellow hats for men, and veils or shawls for women.[6] Jewish ghettos existed in Europe for the next 315 years.

As it is completely absurd and improper in the utmost that the Jews, who through their own fault were condemned by God to eternal servitude, can under the pretext that pious Christians must accept them and sustain their habitation, are so ungrateful to Christians, as, instead of thanks for gracious treatment, they return contumely, and among themselves, instead of the slavery, which they deserve...

— Paul IV, Cum nimis absurdum, 1555

Paul IV was violently opposed to the liberal Giovanni Cardinal Morone whom he strongly suspected of being a hidden Protestant, so much that he had him imprisoned. In order to prevent Morone from succeeding him and imposing what he believed to be his Protestant beliefs on the Church, Pope Paul IV codified the Catholic Law excluding heretics and non-Catholics from receiving or legitimately becoming Pope, in the bull Cum ex apostolatus officio.

Paul IV introduced the Index Librorum Prohibitorum or "Index of Prohibited Books" to Venice, then an independent and prosperous trading state, in order to crack down on the growing threat of Protestantism. Under his authority, all books written by Protestants were banned, together with Italian and German translations of the Latin Bible.

Like Pope Paul III, he was an enemy of the Colonna family. His treatment of Giovanna d'Aragona, who had married into that family, drew further negative comment from Venice. This because she had long been a patron of artists and writers.[7]

As was usual with Renaissance Popes, Paul IV sought to advance the fortunes of his family as well as that of the papacy. As Cardinal-nephew, Carlo Carafa became his uncle's chief adviser and the prime mover in their plans to ally with the French to expel the Spanish from Italy. Carlo's older brother Giovanni was made commander of the papal forces and Duke of Paliano after the pro-Spanish Colonna were deprived of that town in 1556. Another nephew, Antonio, was given command of the Papal guard and made Marquis of Montebello. Their conduct became notorious in Rome. However at the conclusion of the disastrous war with Philip II of Spain and after many scandals, in 1559 the Pope publicly disgraced his nephews and banished them from Rome.


He was buried in St. Peter's Basilica but was later transferred to Santa Maria sopra Minerva. His tomb at the Minerva, by Pirro Ligorio, is dated 1559. It stands in the chapel created by his kinsman Cardinal Oliviero Carafa. Having developed the Inquisition brought him the rancor of Roman people who, after his death, decapitated his statue in Campidoglio and dedicated to him the following pasquinata:[8]

Carafa hated by the devil and the sky
is buried here with his rotting corpse,
Erebus has taken the spirit;
he hated peace on earth, our faith he contested.
he ruined the church and the people, men and sky offended;
treacherous friend, suppliant with the army which was fatal to him.
You want to know more? Pope was him and that is enough.

His title in the Prophecy of St. Malachy is "Of the Faith of Peter".[citation needed] He also appears as a character in John Webster's Jacobean revenge drama The White Devil (1612).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Wikisource-logo.svg Loughlin, James F. (1913). "Pope Paul IV". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 
  2. ^ a b Public Domain Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Pope Paul IV". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 956. 
  3. ^ Dairmuid MacCulloch, Reformation in Europe, London, 2005
  4. ^ Pope Paul IV. "Ilius per quem Reges regnant". 7 June 1555. (Latin)
  5. ^ Will Durant (1953). The Renaissance. Chapter XXXIX: The Popes and the Council: 1517–1565. 
  6. ^ Coppa, Frank J. (2006). The Papacy, the Jews, and the Holocaust. Washington: Catholic University of America Press. p. 29. ISBN 9780813215952. 
  7. ^ Robin, Larsen and Levin. Encyclopedia of Women in the Renaissance. p. 24. 
  8. ^ Claudio Rendina, I papi, p. 646

Recent Bibliography[edit]

  • Massimo Firpo, Inquisizione romana e Controriforma. Studi sul cardinal Giovanni Morone (1509–1580) e il suo processo d'eresia, Brescia, Morcelliana, 2005
  • Alberto Aubert, Paolo IV. Politica, Inquisizione e storiografia, Firenze, Le Lettere, 1999

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Giovanni Salviati
Cardinal-bishop of Albano
Succeeded by
Ennio Filonardi
Cardinal-bishop of Sabina
Succeeded by
François de Tournon
Preceded by
Philippe de la Chambre
Cardinal-bishop of Frascati
Succeeded by
Jean du Bellay
Preceded by
Giovanni Salviati
Cardinal-bishop of Porto
Preceded by
Giovanni Domenico de Cupi
Cardinal-bishop of Ostia
Preceded by
Marcellus II
23 May 1555 – 18 August 1559
Succeeded by
Pius IV

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Paul_IV — Please support Wikipedia.
A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
58567 videos foundNext > 

Eshes Chail, Pope and Rabbis - The Battle Between Gracia Mendez and Pope Paul IV in the 1550's

Rabbi David Katz on the Third Yortzeit of his Mother Mrs Lenka Katz.

July 2, 1963 - President John F. Kennedy visits Pope Paul VI in the Vatican City

U.S. President John F. Kennedy and Archbishop Gennaro Verolino, secretary of the Vatican Ceremonial Congregation, in the courtyard of St. Damasus of the Vati...

Russian Army Choir - Tribute to Pope John Paul II.IV

live Vatican.

www.travelujah.com offer tours to the Holy Land - Pope John Paul visit to the Holy Land Part IV

http://www.travelujah.com offers tours to the Holy Land. The folloiwing the story of Pope John Paul visit to the Holy Land -- Part IV. Pope John Paul II made...

Pope John Paul II {Our Papa}

Died: April 2, 2005 Pope: October 16, 1978 - April 2, 2005 Assassination attempt: May 13, 1981 Roman Catholic Pope #265 John Paul II was only the second pope...


Article 1: http://www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com/Articles/john_salza.php Article 2: http://www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com/Articles/john_salza_has_no_idea_w...

Pope John Paul II - his favourite song "Barka"

2.IV.2006 year after his dead at 12 a.m. on St. Mary's Church's tower(Cracow), legendary buglers played "Barka" song to memories of Pope.

The Coronation of Pope Paul VI

Scene of coronation is from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcZ_12MckL8&feature=related Photo album: http://picasaweb.google.com/caeremonialeromanvm/Coronati...

President John F. Kennedy meets Pope Paul VI in the Vatican, July 2, 1963

President John F. Kennedy, sister Jean Smith and American Secretary of State Dean Rusk are received by Pope Paul in the Vatican. Only meeting of a Roman Cath...

Secret Files of the Inquisition Pt3: The War of Ideas

In episode 3 of this 4 part series: The Roman Catholic Church feels threatened by the Protestant Reformation so Pope Paul IV unleashes the Roman Inquisition especially directed at the publishing...

58567 videos foundNext > 

2 news items

Houston Press (blog)

Houston Press (blog)
Thu, 17 Apr 2014 04:05:31 -0700

A legend is that a pope instituted the practice as a way of propping up his friends in the Italian fishing industry, and in fact the price of fish plummeted worldwide in 1966 when Pope Paul IV oversaw the rule change. However, the practice of meat ...

Newstalk 106-108 fm

Newstalk 106-108 fm
Fri, 11 Apr 2014 02:05:10 -0700

In 1559 Pope Paul IV placed all of his works on the papal index of forbidden books. Similarly many Protestants maintained Luther's assertion that Erasmus was an atheist, a hypocrite, a snake, and lacked any true religious faith. Erasmus' legacy would ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Pope Paul IV

You can talk about Pope Paul IV with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!