Cardinal Nephews

Cardinal Nephews

Franciscan Popes - Part 7b

Pope Julius II (highlighted in Part 7 of this series) had a number of nephews named as cardinals. “Sometimes you get good nephews and sometimes you don’t.” 

Clemente Grosso della Rovere
Galeotto Franciotti della Rovere

(1) The first Cardinal Nephew of Pope Julius was Clemente Grosso della Rovere, a Conventual who was named bishop at twenty-one. At forty-one he was named a cardinal. Not much else is known.

(2) Julius’ second Cardinal Nephew was Galeotto Franciotti della Rovere, the brother of Sisto Gar (below). When his uncle Julius ascended the Throne of Peter, at age thirty, he was named a cardinal. Galeotto maneuvered his way into a lightning-fast climb through an ecclesiastical career, which led to an impressive accumulation of titles and benefits (but good works?). He died at age thirty-seven.

Marco Vigerio della Rovere

(3)  The third Cardinal Nephew was Marco Vigerio della Rovere. A Conventual, he taught theology at the University of Padua. At age thirty he was named a bishop. He was very conscientious about caring for his diocese and welcomed his Conv. confreres to minister with him. He reorganized his chancery, its finances, and he restored numerous churches. He was named a cardinal at age fifty-nine. He supported his papal uncle’s reforms during the Fifth Lateran Council. He wrote on the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception. He was an ambassador of Pope Leo X in his negotiations with King Francis I of France. He was Raphael’s advisor for the fresco of the “The Disputation of the Eucharist.”

Leonardo Grosso della Rovere

(4) The fourth Cardinal Nephew was Leonardo Grosso della Rovere. He was named a bishop at twenty-three and at age forty-one he was named a cardinal. Leonardo accompanied his uncle Julius on his military campaigns and served as his ambassador to France.

Sisto Gara della Rovere

(5) The fifth Cardinal Nephew was Sisto Gara della Rovere. He was named a cardinal at age thirty. Favored with many appointments even though his health was poor, he simply never had any zeal to oversee his administration. He died at forty-one, appreciated only as a man who was inelegant and uneducated.

– Next up is Pope Sixtus V