Originally written on Thursday, April 8, 2010
Driving home from my gig (early morning of Easter Sunday) and I caught part of this Guess Who ballad on the radio (Undone). The single line from the song just seems to sum up so aptly, the present anarchy that prevails across not only Christendom but most organized religion in general. But let’s focus on the Roman Catholic Church, and explore yet another fascinating chapter in it’s storied past and the political intrigues that played themselves out within the confines of the Holy See, during the reign of Pope Julius II (1443 – 1513), aka “The Terrible Pope” or “The Warrior Pope”.
Born Giuliano della Rovere, he was Pope from 1503 to 1513, and his tenure is usually remembered for his extremely aggressive foreign policy, ambitious building projects, and commitment and sponsorship of the arts. There is some speculation around his date of birth, usually pegged around 1453. Giuliano della Rovere was the son of Rafaello della Rovere (brother of Pope Sixtus IV) and of Theodora Manerola. He was sent to France in 1480 as a Papal envoy, where he remained four years, and acquitted himself with distinction, resulting in his increasing power and influence over the College of Cardinals. In 1483, an illegitimate daughter was born, Felice della Rovere (by no means the only person to occupy a Papal seat who had fathered a child – illegitimate or otherwise)