Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Two Hundred Thirty-third Pope: Paul V - 2 comments

Paul V was also a connected family-man; he was part of the Borghese clan. He had two distinct brushes with awesomeness: Galileo Galilei, and a group of Samurai. Seriously.

He met with Galileo in 1616 after his clash with Robert Bellarmine - a cardinal who was passed up for papal election. Bellarmine tried to stop Galileo from spreading his Copernican hypothesis, but that didn't really pan out. History doesn't tell us if Paul also put pressure on the scientist, or if their chat was friendly.

Paul also met with a group of wandering Samurai, led by Hasekura Tsunenaga. They'd traveled from Japan as emissaries of the shogunate, asking for Christian missionaries (I think we can assume that was only for politeness' sake) and a trade treaty with Mexico* (which I assume they really wanted). Paul gave them the first but not the second, which made Shogun Tokegawa Ieyasu pretty angry. Tokegawa-san banned all Christian preaching.

*Mexico? What? Yeah, I know. The Japanese knew that the Catholic Spaniards, who ran Mexico at the time, answered to the Pope. Clever, huh?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The pope was Mafia?!?!? Oh man... that's cool... He could just order a family member to make the blasphemers disappear...

Wednesday, 20 June, 2007  
Blogger matt kirkland said...

You know, I feel almost stupid say it: but I just made that connection recently, around Pope #220. Most of the popes since 1100 AD have been part of big powerful Italian families who controlled politics and business.

Is it wrong to say that the Medici and Borghese families were a lot like Mafia families?

Wednesday, 20 June, 2007  

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