Pope Paul IV Orders Deposition of Any Sovereign Who Supports Heresy

Pope Paul IV Orders Deposition of Any Sovereign Who Supports Heresy

Pope Paul IV
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Pope Paul IV calls for the deposition of any sovereign who supports heresy and thus opposes papal authority. Responsible for reorganizing the Inquisition in Italy while archbishop of Naples, many are surprised that such a rigid and uncompromising person had been selected to become pope.

Pope Paul IV uses his position both to promote Italian nationalism and to further strengthen the powers of the Inquisition. For example, German Catholics and Protestants finally worked out an agreement to end their fighting by agreeing that cuius regio, eius religio (the ruler of the state shall determine the religion), but Paul condemns the agreement because he thinks it undermines church authority.

As was typical of Renaissance popes, Paul IV also uses his office to enrich his family. He makes his nephew Carlo Caraffa a cardinal and gives other relatives benefices and estates taken from his political opponents. In the end, Pope Paul IV becomes so unpopular that, after he died, a mob stormed the Inquisition and tore down his statue.

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