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Gasparo Contarini, 1483-1542

A Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. One of the key figures in the Catholic Reformation and a Spiritualist. A member of the Oratory of Divine Love.

Life
Born in Venice in 1483 he was educated there until 1501 when he moved to the University of Padua where he studied Greek, Mathematics, Aristolean philosophy and theology.
Upon his return to Venice in 1509 he was named a member of the Great Council, as did all sons of Patrician families. Between 1520 and 1525 he toured Europe on diplomatic duties for Venice. Back in Italy after 1525 he worked with other Italian states in maintaining the alliance with Francis I of France against Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Having failed in these attemts he was part of the surrender made to Charles V in 1530.
After maintaining a high position in the Senate in Venice after this he was appointed Cardinal in 1535 by Pope Paul III. Contarini used his influence with the Pope to suppress abuses in the Papal government. He was appointed head of the commission to submit plans for reform of evils in the Roman Curia and in other parts of the Church in 1536. Was very influential in producing the Consilium de emendanda ecclesia in 1537, the results of the commissions studies.
Contarini was key in getting the Pope to officialy recognise Ignatius of Loyola's Jesuit order. At the request of Charles V Contarini was sent as the Papal representative to the Diet of Regensburg, 1541 in attempts to reach and agreement with the Protestants. However this failed and he died shortly after his return to Rome in 1542.

Writings

  • "Libri duo de immortalitate animæ'
  • "De officio episcopi libri duo"
  • "De magistratibus et republicâ Venetorum libri V"
  • "Compendii primæ philosophiæ libri VIII"
  • "De potestate Pontificis"
  • "De elementis libri V"
  • "Confutatio articulorum seu quæstionum Lutheri"
  • "De libero arbitrio"
  • "Conciliorum magis illustrium summa"
  • "De Sacramentis christianæ legis et catholicæ ecclesiæ libri IV"
  • "De justificatione"
  • "Cathechismus"
  • "De Prædestinatione"
  • "Scholia in epistolas divi Pauli"

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