Conclaves in the Baroque Era

  • Frederic J. Baumgartner


By the time Gregory XIII died in 1585, the papacy had largely undergone the transformation called the Counter Reformation. He and the previous popes had dealt largely with shoring up the Catholic Church’s position against the onslaught of Protestantism. While his successors hardly ignored the fact that much of Europe now professed rival versions of Christianity, they also turned their attention to internal changes in the administration of the Church in order to consolidate papal authority. Historians often refer to this era of increasing monarchial power as the Age of the Baroque, seeing in that artistic style a reflection of the interest in power that also appears in the political realm. The popes, beginning with Gregory’s successor Sixtus V, largely created both the centralized bureaucracy for European rulers and, by their patronage of artists and architects, the Baroque style.


Secret Ballot Papal Authority Paul Versus Papal Election Monarchial Power 
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  1. 1.
    T. Trollope, The Papal Conclaves (London, 1876), p. 260.Google Scholar

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© Frederic J. Baumgartner 2003

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  • Frederic J. Baumgartner

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