Robert Bellarmine was one of the most influential theologians and political theorists in post-Reformation Europe, especially well-known for his doctrine of the indirect power of the Pope in temporal affairs, or potestas indirecta. Bellarmine was also a powerful member of the Curia. Appointed to the Cardinalate in 1599, he served as a member of the Congregations of the Inquisition and Index of Prohibited Books (Godman 2000), and directly participated to several important political and theological conflicts, such as the controversy over the Oath of Allegiance in England, the controversy over the Interdetto in Venice, and the first phase of the trial against Galileo Galilei. He died in 1621, and was canonized in 1931.
Born in 1542, Bellarmine entered the Society of Jesus in 1560 and studied at the Roman College, which was the center of Jesuit learning and one of the most prestigious institutions in early modern Catholic Europe. In 1569, he was sent to Louvain,...
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