Heretics and Holy Confessors: the Conclave of 1549, Battles Among the Cardinals

Roberto di Mattei: Rorate Caeli: The Conclave that opened on November 30th 1549, after the death of Paul III, was certainly one of the most dramatic in the history of the Church. The English Cardinal, Reginald Pole (1500 – 1558) was indicated by everyone as the great favourite.  The Pontifical robes were prepared for him and he had already shown someone his thanksgiving speech.  On December 5th, Pole was short of  only one vote to attain the Pontifical Tiara, when Cardinal Gian Pietro Carafa, rose to his feet, and, in front of the astonished assembly, accused him publically of heresy, rebuking him, among other things, of having supported the crypto-Lutheran double justification, rejected by the Council of Trent in 1547.  Carafa was known for his doctrinal integrity and pious life. The support for Pole collapsed, and, after lengthy disputes, on February 7th 1550 Cardinal Giovanni del Monte was elected, taking the name of Julius III (1487-1555).  Read the full article here.