“The most unfortunate of the popes”, the Sack of Rome, the Split with England, and a waffling indecisive Pope. In this episode of Habemus Papam, Fr. Conrad Murphy discusses the papacy of Pope Clement VII, born Giulio de’Medici on May 26, 1478. Pope Clement VII succeeded Adrian VI, who you can listen about here.
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Giulio de’Medici’s birth had tragic circumstances. One month after his birth, his father, Giuliano de Medici, died in the Florence Cathedral by a murderer from enemies of the Medici family. This event is known as “The Pazzi Conspiracy”. Giulio received an education from Lorenzo the Magnificent, his uncle, along side his cousin, the future Pope Leo X.
Pope Leo X
In March 1513, Giulio’s cousin became Pope Leo X and he named Giulio Archbishop of Florence. Cardinal Giulio commissioned Raphel’s Transfiguration in 1520.
Adrian VI succeeded Leo X and Adrian VI died on September 15, 1523. The papal conclave elected Cardinal Giulio and he took the name Pope Clement VII. During Pope Clement VII papacy, King Henry VIII of England sought an annulment for his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. Clement VII refused. Henry persuaded Clement to appoint Thomas Cranmer as Archbishop of Canterbury. Cranmer did not agree with the oath to papal allegiance, and so, after he was appointed, he granted the annulment. Pope Clement VII excommunicated Henry and Cranmer.
On December 10, 1533, Clement VII returned to Rome from a trip and complained of stomach problems and had a fever. Days before his death, he told Michelangelo to paint The Last Judgment above the altar in the Sistine Chapel. Clement VII died on September 25, 1534. His successor was Pope Paul III.
Thank you for listening to this episode of Habemus Papam.