Pope Leo X
Leo X was not only the head of the Christian church but also the temporal ruler of the Papal States and head of the Medici family that ruled the Florentine republic. To exert his influence in Italy, he resorted to the common practice of nepotism (granting offices or benefits to relatives, regardless of merit). Feb 07, · Pope Leo X Leo X was the last of the Renaissance popes before the dawn of the Reformation, but his role in the indulgence controversy left the indelible impression of his pontificate.
Leo X was the last of the Renaissance popes before the dawn of the Reformation, but his role in the indulgence controversy left the indelible impression of his pontificate. He was named apostolic protonotary in and cardinal deacon of Santa Maria in Dominica in After studying theology and canon law at Pisa between andhe took up residence as cardinal in Rome.
He would return to Florence later that year after the death of his father and live with his older brother, Pietro, until the family was exiled in as a result of the uprising spearheaded by Girolomo Savanarola. The tumultuous exile of the Medicis from Florence led the young cardinal to travel across the Europe of his day, visiting France, Pole, and Germany between andwhich exposed whst to the flourishing Renaissance humanism outside of Italy.
When his brother Pietro died inLeo became the head of the Medici what a ride quote about death and soon took a central role in Italian politics.
He was named legate of Bologna and Romagna in Octoberwhich left him in charge of dud papal forces there. He was imprisoned in Ravenna in by the French, but escaped and would help reestablish the Medicis in Florence with a peaceful revolution that ended their exile on September 14, The course of events established Leo as an adroit political mind and made him a candidate for the papal tiara vacated when the reigning pontiff, Julius II, died on February 21, A conclave opened on March 4 to choose a replacement.
Composed of 25 cardinals—excluding the nine associated at the time lei the council in Pisa—the conclave selected Leo in part because the cid cardinals believed his recurrent ill health would lead to a short tenure dif in part because his political wherewithal might help Rome drive the Spanish and the French out of papal lands in Naples and Milan.
Leo was elected on March 11 at the age of His reign proved far from peaceful, rid evidenced by the fact that several cardinals hatched a plot to poison him infor which one how to use wooden dowel rods killed, numerous others imprisoned, and the Roman curia filled with new cardinals supportive of his rule.
The primary electoral capitulation Leo made was to bring to completion the Fifth Lateran Council, which his predecessor had convened in Lateran V began in opposition to a rival council in Pisa, which was convoked under the leadership of nine dissident cardinals and supported by French royalty and clergy.
There were numerous goals for the Lateran council, including the healing of the Pisan schism, eradication of heresy, pacification of Christian princes at odds with Rome, preparation of a crusade, and the general reform of Christendom, specifically that how to install drain pipe the papacy, cardinals, and curia. In MarchLeo published a bull, Supernae dispositionis arbitrioaddressing the reform of the curia, but never sought to enforce its measures.
He carried the council through to its end on March 16, A measure taken in at the height of the conciliar controversy to insure administrative and co independence for the French church in exchange for its support of then-pope Eugenius IV what did pope leo x do the Council of Basel, the Pragmatic Sanction had caused continual tensions between Rome and France. During the course of the council, Leo negotiated a plan that would give the French king the right to nominate all French bishops, abbots, and priors, while granting the pope the prerogative of naming all vacant French benefices in the curia as well as other Ehat benefices.
The new agreement was reached in the Concordat of Bologna, ratified by the council six months later with the bull Primitivaand would remain in effect until the French Revolution.
As pontiff, Leo became known for his patronage of the arts in Renaissance Rome and the luxurious lifestyle associated with it. Raphael was also charged with decorating the pontifical palaces and painting the tapestries in the Sistine Chapel. In addition to his role as purveyor of art, Leo spared no expense in collecting rare books, manuscripts, and gems. He enjoyed hunting and would take an extensive papal entourage with him to join in the activities.
The papal household itself was quite large and cost upwards ofducats a year. His expenditures exhausted the what is the old name of assam treasury and put itducats in debt by the end of his pontificate.
When the archbishopric of Mainz became available and Albrecht of Brandenburg sought the see, Leo saw an opportunity to resume the St. InLeo renewed the decree authorizing the sale of indulgences first published by his predecessor. As a result, Albrecht commissioned the noted preacher of indulgences, Leipzig Dominican John Tetzel, to proclaim the sale and it was Tetzel whom Luther chiefly targeted in the 95 Theses.
Upon receiving an opinion of the theses from the faculty at Mainz, Albrecht filed charges against Luther with Rome. Later that year at Leipzig, Luther came to denounce papal authority in the church and the papal decretals supporting it, leading to an escalation of the controversy.
Luther sought to distract attention from the question of papal authority, even dedicating his explanation of the elo on indulgences, the Resolutionesto the pope himself. In response to the diplomatic efforts of Karl von Miltitz, a papal chamberlain, Luther agreed to write a letter to the sitting pope expressing remorse for the indulgence affair, which he drafted in but never sent.
A year later, Miltitz prevailed upon Luther to try one last time to mend the whwt with Leo by sending him a conciliatory letter, attached to the treatise The Freedom of a Christian. On December 10, in accordance with the deadline stipulated, Luther and the Wittenberg students burned the bull along with the books of canon law in a symbolic gesture of defiance.
Leo would die of how to build serotonin levels naturally later that year on December 1 and was buried in Santa Maria Sopra Minerva. The legacy he left behind would remain permanently connected with his failures to stint the Reformation.
His pontificate did not bring about the what did pope leo x do anticipated by Lateran V, but instead deepened the fiscal and political problems in Rome. This precipitated the decision to authorize the sale of indulgences that stimulated the onset of the Reformation. Search for:. Pope Leo X Leo X was the last of the Renaissance popes before the dawn of the Reformation, but his role in the indulgence controversy left the indelible impression of his pontificate.
Early life and ecclesiastical career
Sculpture showed a marked decline under Leo X. Michelangelo offered his services and worked from to on a marble facade for the church of San Lorenzo in Florence, but did not finish it. On the other hand the pope gave especial attention and encouragement to the minor arts, e.g. decorative carving, and furthered the industrial arts. Pope Leo X was a reflection of the politicized nature of the Church. He came from one of the most influential families in Europe, the Medici, and is famous for selling the forgiveness of sins. Click to read further detail. Similarly one may ask, what was Pope Leo X beliefs? Pope Leo X was the th leader of the Catholic Church and the 10th among that lot to take the name “Leo.” This article seeks to distinguish him from his many papal forebears and successors by focusing on specifics and details of his life and papacy.
Born into the prominent political and banking Medici family of Florence , Giovanni was the second son of Lorenzo de' Medici , ruler of the Florentine Republic , and was elevated to the cardinalate in Following the death of Pope Julius II , Giovanni was elected pope after securing the backing of the younger members of the Sacred College.
Early on in his rule he oversaw the closing sessions of the Fifth Council of the Lateran , but struggled to implement the reforms agreed. In he led a costly war that succeeded in securing his nephew as Duke of Urbino , but which reduced papal finances.
In Protestant circles, Leo is associated with granting indulgences for those who donated to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica , a practice that was soon challenged by Martin Luther 's 95 Theses. He refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the demands of what would become the Protestant Reformation , and his Papal Bull of , Exsurge Domine , condemned Martin Luther's condemnatory stance, rendering ongoing communication difficult.
He borrowed and spent money without circumspection and was a significant patron of the arts. Under his reign, progress was made on the rebuilding of St. Peter's Basilica and artists such as Raphael decorated the Vatican rooms.
Leo also reorganised the Roman University , and promoted the study of literature, poetry and antiquities. He died in and is buried in Santa Maria sopra Minerva , Rome. He was the last pope not to have been in priestly orders at the time of his election to the papacy.
He received the tonsure at the age of seven and was soon granted rich benefices and preferments. His father, Lorenzo de' Medici , was worried about his character early on and wrote a letter to Giovanni to warn him to avoid vice and luxury upon the beginning of his ecclesiastical career. Here is a notable excerpt: "There is one rule which I would recommend to your attention in preference to all others. Rise early in the morning. This will not only contribute to your health, but will enable you to arrange and expedite the business of the day; and as there are various duties incident to".
His father prevailed on his relative Innocent VIII to name him cardinal-deacon of Santa Maria in Domnica on 8 March when he was age 13,  although he was not allowed to wear the insignia or share in the deliberations of the college until three years later.
From to he studied theology and canon law at Pisa. On 23 March , he was formally admitted into the Sacred College of Cardinals and took up his residence at Rome , receiving a letter of advice from his father.
The death of Lorenzo on the following 8 April temporarily recalled the year-old Giovanni to Florence. He subsequently made his home with his elder brother Piero in Florence throughout the agitation of Savonarola and the invasion of Charles VIII of France , until the uprising of the Florentines and the expulsion of the Medici in November In May , he returned to Rome, where he was received with outward cordiality by Pope Alexander VI , and where he lived for several years immersed in art and literature.
In he welcomed the accession of Pope Julius II to the pontificate; the death of Piero de' Medici in the same year made Giovanni head of his family. On 1 October he was appointed papal legate of Bologna and the Romagna , and when the Florentine republic declared in favour of the schismatic Pisans, Julius II sent Giovanni as legate with the papal army venturing against the French.
The French won a major battle and captured Giovanni. Giovanni's younger brother Giuliano was placed at the head of the republic,  but Giovanni managed the government. Giovanni was elected Pope on 9 March , and this was proclaimed two days later.
On 15 March , he was ordained priest, and consecrated as bishop on 17 March. He was crowned Pope on 19 March at the age of He was the last non-priest to be elected Pope. Leo had intended his younger brother Giuliano and his nephew Lorenzo for brilliant secular careers.
He had named them Roman patricians ; the latter he had placed in charge of Florence; the former, for whom he planned to carve out a kingdom in central Italy of Parma, Piacenza, Ferrara and Urbino, he had taken with himself to Rome and married to Filiberta of Savoy. The death of Giuliano in March , however, caused the pope to transfer his ambitions to Lorenzo. At the very time December that peace between France, Spain, Venice and the Empire seemed to give some promise of a Christendom united against the Turks, Leo obtained , ducats towards the expenses of the expedition from Henry VIII of England , in return for which he entered the imperial league of Spain and England against France.
The war lasted from February to September and ended with the expulsion of the duke and the triumph of Lorenzo; but it revived the policy of Alexander VI, increased brigandage and anarchy in the Papal States , hindered the preparations for a crusade and wrecked the papal finances.
Francesco Guicciardini reckoned the cost of the war to Leo at the sum of , ducats. Ultimately, however, Lorenzo was confirmed as the new duke of Urbino. The war of Urbino was further marked by a crisis in the relations between pope and cardinals.
The sacred college had allegedly grown very worldly and troublesome since the time of Sixtus IV , and Leo took advantage of a plot by several of its members to poison him, not only to inflict exemplary punishments by executing one Alfonso Petrucci and imprisoning several others, but also to make radical changes in the college.
On 3 July he published the names of thirty-one new cardinals, a number almost unprecedented in the history of the papacy. The naming of seven members of prominent Roman families, however, reversed the policy of his predecessor which had kept the political factions of the city out of the Curia. Other promotions were for political or family considerations or to secure money for the war against Urbino.
The pope was accused of having exaggerated the conspiracy of the cardinals for purposes of financial gain, but most of such accusations appear unsubstantiated. Leo, meanwhile, felt the need of staying the advance of the Ottoman sultan , Selim I , who was threatening eastern Europe , and made elaborate plans for a crusade. A truce was to be proclaimed throughout Christendom; the pope was to be the arbiter of disputes; the emperor and the king of France were to lead the army; England, Spain and Portugal were to furnish the fleet; and the combined forces were to be directed against Constantinople.
Papal diplomacy in the interests of peace failed, however; Cardinal Wolsey made England, not the pope, the arbiter between France and the Empire; and much of the money collected for the crusade from tithes and indulgences was spent in other ways. In Hungary concluded a three years' truce with Selim I, but the succeeding sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent , renewed the war in June and on 28 August captured the citadel of Belgrade.
The pope was greatly alarmed, and although he was then involved in war with France he sent about 30, ducats to the Hungarians. Leo treated the Eastern Catholic Greeks with great loyalty, and by bull of 18 May forbade Latin clergy to celebrate mass in Greek churches and Latin bishops to ordain Greek clergy.
Leo was disturbed throughout his pontificate by schism, especially the Reformation sparked by Martin Luther. In response to concerns about misconduct from some indulgence preachers, in Martin Luther wrote his Ninety-five Theses on the topic of indulgences. The resulting pamphlet spread Luther's ideas throughout Germany and Europe. Leo failed to fully comprehend the importance of the movement, and in February he directed the vicar-general of the Augustinians to impose silence on his monks.
On 24 May, Luther sent an explanation of his theses to the pope; on 7 August he was summoned to appear at Rome. An arrangement was effected, however, whereby that summons was cancelled, and Luther went instead to Augsburg in October to meet the papal legate, Cardinal Cajetan ; but neither the arguments of the cardinal, nor Leo's dogmatic papal bull of 9 November requiring all Christians to believe in the pope's power to grant indulgences, moved Luther to retract.
A year of fruitless negotiations followed, during which the controversy took popular root across the German states. A further papal bull of 15 June , Exsurge Domine or Arise, O Lord , condemned forty-one propositions extracted from Luther's teachings, and was taken to Germany by Eck in his capacity as apostolic nuncio.
It was also under Leo that Lutheranism spread into Scandinavia. The pope had repeatedly used the rich northern benefices to reward members of the Roman curia, and towards the close of the year he sent the impolitic Arcimboldi as papal nuncio to Denmark to collect money for St Peter's.
This led to the Reformation in Denmark. King Christian II took advantage of the growing dissatisfaction of the native clergy toward the papal government, and of Arcimboldi's interference in the Swedish revolt, to expel the nuncio and summon Lutheran theologians to Copenhagen in Christian approved a plan by which a formal state church should be established in Denmark, all appeals to Rome should be abolished, and the king and diet should have final jurisdiction in ecclesiastical causes.
Leo sent a new nuncio to Copenhagen in the person of the Minorite Francesco de Potentia, who readily absolved the king and received the bishopric of Skara. The pope or his legate, however, took no steps to correct abuses or otherwise discipline the Scandinavian churches. The pope created 42 new cardinals in eight consistories including two cousins one who would become his successor Pope Clement VII and a nephew. Leo X's consistory of 1 July saw 31 cardinals created, and this remained the largest allocation of cardinals in one consistory until Pope John Paul II named 42 cardinals in Pope Leo X canonized eleven individuals during his reign with seven of those being a group cause of martyrs.
The most notable canonization from his papacy was that of Francis of Paola on 1 May That Leo did not do more to check the anti-papal rebellion in Germany and Scandinavia is to be partially explained by the political complications of the time, and by his own preoccupation with papal and Medicean politics in Italy.
The death of the emperor Maximilian in had seriously affected the situation. Leo vacillated between the powerful candidates for the succession, allowing it to appear at first that he favoured Francis or a minor German prince. He finally accepted Charles of Spain as inevitable. An attempt late in to seize Ferrara failed, and the pope recognized the need for foreign aid.
In May a treaty of alliance was signed at Rome between him and the emperor. Milan and Genoa were to be taken from France and restored to the Empire, and Parma and Piacenza were to be given to the Church on the expulsion of the French. The expense of enlisting 10, Swiss was to be borne equally by pope and emperor. Charles V took Florence and the Medici family under his protection and promised to punish all enemies of the Catholic faith.
It was provided that England and the Swiss might also join the league. Francis I had already begun war with Charles V in Navarre , and in Italy, too, the French made the first hostile movement on 23 June Leo at once announced that he would excommunicate the king of France and release his subjects from their allegiance unless Francis I laid down his arms and surrendered Parma and Piacenza to the Church.
The pope lived to hear the joyful news of the capture of Milan from the French and of the occupation by papal troops of the long-coveted provinces November Having fallen ill with bronchopneumonia ,  Pope Leo X died on 1 December , so suddenly that the last sacraments could not be administered; but the contemporary suspicions of poison were unfounded. He was buried in Santa Maria sopra Minerva.
Leo has been criticized for his handling of the events of the papacy. He especially delighted in ex tempore Latin verse-making at which he excelled and cultivated improvisatori. The character of Leo X was formerly assailed by lurid aspersions of debauchery, murder, impiety, and atheism.
In the 17th century it was estimated that or writers, more or less, reported on the authority of a single polemical anti-Catholic source a story that when someone had quoted to Leo a passage from one of the Four Evangelists , he had replied that it was common knowledge "how profitable that fable of Christe hath ben to us and our companie.
Humane, beneficent, generous, affable; the patron of every art, and friend of every virtue". Indeed, the published opinion of so many great men and the repute of your blameless life are too widely famed and too much reverenced throughout the world to be assailed by any man, of however great name, or by any arts. I am not so foolish to attack one whom everybody praises The final report of the Venetian ambassador Marino Giorgi supports Hume's assessment of affability, and testifies to the range of Leo's talents.
The pope is a good-natured and extremely free-hearted man, who avoids every difficult situation and above all wants peace; he would not undertake a war himself unless his own personal interests were involved; he loves learning; of canon law and literature he possesses remarkable knowledge; he is, moreover, a very excellent musician. Leo is the fifth of the six popes who are unfavorably profiled by historian Barbara Tuchman in The March of Folly , and who are accused by her of precipitating the Protestant Reformation.
Tuchman describes Leo as a cultured — if religiously devout — hedonist. Leo X's love for all forms of art stemmed from the humanistic education he received in Florence , his studies in Pisa and his extensive travel throughout Europe when a youth. He loved the Latin poems of the humanists, the tragedies of the Greeks and the comedies of Cardinal Bibbiena and Ariosto , while relishing the accounts sent back by the explorers of the New World.
Yet "Such a humanistic interest was itself religious.