Giulio Antonio Santorio

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Bust of Giulio Santorio in the Church of San Giovanni in Laterano

Giulio Antonio Santorio , also: Santori , Santoro or Latinizing Julius Antonius Sanctorius (born June 6, 1532 in Caserta ; † May 28 or June 7, 1602 in Rome ) was a cardinal of the Roman Church . From 1586 until his death he headed the Holy Office as Grand Inquisitor .


After studying civil law in Naples and becoming a lawyer , Santorio soon gave up his profession to become a priest . After his ordination in 1557, he worked from 1560 to 1563 as vicar general of his home diocese of Caserta and then for one year as vicar general of the Archbishop of Naples , Cardinal Alfonso Carafa . Here he was already part of the Inquisition , but soon threatened to become its victim himself: he was accused of assassinating the life of Pope Pius IV , but acquitted, also through the intercession of Cardinals Carlo Borromeo and Michele Ghislieri, OP, the later Pope Pius V. After his election as Pope, Pius V made him his adviser and in 1566 gave him the Archdiocese of Santa Severina in Calabria . On March 12, 1566 Scipione Rebiba donated him the episcopal ordination ; Co- consecrators were Annibale Caracciolo , Bishop of Isola , and Giacomo de Giacomelli , former Bishop of Belcastro .

In the consistory of May 17, 1570 he received the cardinal's hat from Pius V and was elevated to cardinal priest with the titular church of San Bartolomeo all'Isola in 1570 . He moved to the Curia in Rome and, in 32 years of activity, gave effective impulses for the Counter-Reformation . In addition to that of 1572 , he participated in a total of five conclaves : 1585 , September 1590 , October 1590 , 1591 and 1592 . As papabile claims that his election to the papacy in the conclave of 1585 (elected Pope was Sixtus V ) and 1592 (elected Pope Clement VIII. ) Opposed by the more moderate cardinals who feared his energetic reforms.

As president of the Congregation for the Greeks to Santorio sat for reform in the Greek rite following Basilian one. In 1586 he succeeded Guglielmo Sirleto as cardinal protector of the Basilian Order. Before that he had already become Commendatabbot of the Greek monastery of Sant'Elia di Carbone and in 1581 had Latin translations of the Greek documents of the monastery made. The creation of a papal college for alumni from Greece and the Middle East as well as from the Greek-speaking areas of southern Italy, now called the Greek College ( Pontificio Collegio Greco ), goes back to him. In 1584 he consecrated the Jesuit church Il Gesù in Rome. In 1595 he received the titular church of Santa Maria in Trastevere from Clement VIII .

As head of the Holy Office he was the Grand Inquisitor and a. against Cardinal Giovanni Morone , against the philosopher Tommaso Campanella , against King Henry IV of France and was responsible for the death sentences of Menocchio and Giordano Bruno .

Pope Clement VIII appointed Santorio as his successor as major penitentiary when he took office in 1592 , a post he held until his death. In 1597 he was raised to cardinal bishop as bishop of the suburbicarian diocese of Palestrina . As head of the Congregation super negotiis Sancta Fidei et Religionis Catholicae , the predecessor of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith ( Propaganda Fide ), he is a big supporter whose foundation, which he did not live.

Santorio was a man of high education and culture and the adviser to seven popes. He left behind numerous liturgical, historical and canonical writings, as well as diaries, some of which have still not been published, which are an important source for the church and contemporary history of the late 16th century. In 1586 he published a handbook for priests ( Sacerdotale ), which, as a forerunner of the Rituale Romanum , published in 1614, played an important role in the implementation of the liturgical reforms of Tridentine .

Santorio was buried in a chapel he donated in the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano . His tomb is adorned with his life-size bust, created by the sculptor Giuliano Finelli around 1633/34.

Cinematic reception

In 2002 the FWU produced a docudrama entitled The Secret Inquisition: Fire of Faith , which describes the Inquisition using the example of Santorio's résumé.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Eubel: Hierarchia Catholica Medii et Recentioris Aevi , III, 44; German sources like Zedler have May 28th; its epitaph bears the inscription: OBIIT SEPT. IDUS IUNII, and accordingly died either on June 6th, or more likely on June 7th, since the Ides of June fell on June 13th. ( Adapted from Santorio, Giulio Antonio. In: Salvador Miranda : The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church. ( Florida International University website , English), accessed December 6, 2016.); Santoro, Julius Anton. In: Johann Heinrich Zedler : Large complete universal lexicon of all sciences and arts . Volume 33, Leipzig 1742, column 2089-2091.
  2. Figures in the REQUIEM database