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Alexander VI (1431—1503)

Reginald Pole (1500—1558) cardinal and archbishop of Canterbury



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Paul III

(1468—1549) Italian pope 1534–49

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Pope from 1534. In his personal life Alessandro Farnese was a typical Renaissance Pope, but he promoted the inner reform of the Church. He created as cardinals men of virtue and scholarship, established commissions to draw up plans for reform, and favoured the new religious orders, especially the Jesuits, whom he approved in 1540. In 1542 he restored the Inquisition and he fought hard against the opposition to the General Council which finally opened at Trent in 1545. He was less successful in his political efforts to check the spread of Protestantism; the bull he published against Henry VIII in 1538 alienated England still further from Rome.

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