Pope Paul V

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Pope Paul V (Rome, 17 September 1552 – 28 January 1621), born Camillo Borghese, was Pope from 16 May 1605 until his death.


Early life

He was born into the noble Borghese family of Siena which had recently fled to Rome, and ROMANUS appears in most of his inscriptions. He began as a lawyer educated at Perugia and Padua.


In June 1596 he was made Cardinal-Priest of Sant'Eusebio and Cardinal Vicar of Rome by Pope Clement VIII, and had as secretary Niccolò Alamanni.



When Pope Leo XI died, 1605, Cardinal Borghese became Pope over a number of candidates including Caesar Baronius and Roberto Cardinal Bellarmine, his neutrality in the factional times made him an ideal compromise candidate. In character he was very stern and unyielding, a lawyer rather than diplomat, who defended the privileges of the Church to his utmost. His first act was to send home to their sees the bishops who were sojourning in Rome, for the Council of Trent had insisted that every bishop reside in his diocese.


Paul met with Galileo Galilei in 1616 after Cardinal Bellarmine had, on his orders, warned Galileo not to hold or defend the heliocentric ideas of Copernicus. Whether there was also an order not to teach those ideas in any way has been a matter for controversy. A letter from Bellarmine to Galileo, however, states only the injunction that the heliocentric ideas could not be defended or held; this letter was written expressly to enable Galileo to defend himself against rumors concerning what had happened in the meeting with Bellarmine.

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