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Pope Urban VIII
Historical Figure
Nationality: Italy
Religion: Catholicism
Date of Birth: 1568
Date of Death: 1644
Cause of Death: Natural Causes
Occupation: Pope
Affiliations: Catholic Church
1632 series
POD: May, 1631
Appearance(s): Ring of Fire
1634: The Galileo Affair
1634: The Bavarian Crisis
1635: The Cannon Law
1635: The Papal Stakes
1636: The Vatican Sanction
Type of Appearance: Direct
Date of Death: May 11, 1636

Pope Urban VIII (baptized 5 April 1568 – July 29, 1644), born Maffeo Barberini, was Pope from 1623 to 1644. He was the last Pope to expand the papal territory by force of arms, and was a prominent patron of the arts and reformer of Church missions. However, the massive debts incurred during his papacy greatly weakened his successors, who were unable to maintain the Pope's longstanding political or military influence in Europe. He was also involved in a controversy with Galileo Galilei and his theory on helio-centrism during his time.

Pope Urban VIII in 1632[]

Pope Urban VIII (baptized 5 April 1568 – May 11, 1636) pardoned Galileo Galilei after French Huguenot extremist Michel Ducos attempted to assassinate the pope at Galileo's trial in July of 1634. The attempt happened as Urban was about to announce his decision; he had just uttered the phrase "Eppur se muove", famously attributed to Galileo in the OTL. The attempt was foiled by the actions of Andrew Lennox and of Frank, Ron, and Gerry Stone, and Urban was not harmed[1] After the assassination had been thwarted, he proceeded to pardon Galileo. Afterward, he told Lawrence Mazzare that he had determined that outcome in advance, and the the trial of Galileo was actually a test of Mazarre and, by extension, the up-time Catholic Church. He then elevated Mazzare to cardinal, and named him Cardinal-Protector of the United States of Europe, effectively declaring a policy of neutrality in secular disputes between nations, and tacitly recognizing the USE.[2]

Later that year, he granted dispensations which released Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand from his vows to the Catholic Church, and which allowed him and his cousin, Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria, to marry. Philip IV of Spain was quite unhappy with this, and promised to "deal with" Urban for doing it.[3]

In 1635, Urban was overthrown by Spanish Cardinal Gaspar Borja y Velasco, who saw Urban's behaviors as radical and inimical to the Catholic Church, and was wary of the time-displaced Americans from Grantville. Urban took refuge in the Castel Sant'Angelo, and would have been killed had he been captured there, but he was able to flee with help from Rome's American embassy. He, his nephew Antonio Barberini, and Muzio Vitelleschi were taken to Padua, in the Republic of Venice's terrafirma.[4] He was later moved to the abandoned villa of Molini, in a remote part of Venice's hinterlands.[5]

While in Molini, he heard a series of debates between Mazzare and Luke Wadding, which led him to decide to convene a down-time equivalent of the Second Vatican Council, even if he could not hold it in the Vatican. He also came to the conclusion that he could accept help from the USE, but could not seek refuge in the USE and still be perceived as legitimate. From Molini, he was taken to the vicinity of Vicenza, where the fact of his survival mas made public. In August of 1635, he was flown to Chur in the Graubünden.[6]

He eventually settled in Besançon. While Burgundy was not, strictly speaking, Catholic, it was tolerant because one member of its ruling couple was Lutheran and the other was Catholic. Also, it was seen as the only place with a Catholic ruler or co-ruler that he could safely go to. Going to the Netherlands or to Austria was ruled out because it would have meant siding with one branch of the Habsburgs. He couldn't stay in Venetian territory, and the French cardinals had uniformly stated that it would be unwise for him to go to France. Spain, Bavaria and Poland-Lithuania were at least tacitly supporting Borja.[7]


This article is a stub because the work is part of a larger, as-of-yet incomplete series.

See Also[]

Religious titles (OTL)
Preceded by
Pope Gregory XV
Succeeded by
Pope Innocent X
Religious offices (1632)
Preceded by
Pope Gregory XV
Succeeded by
Gaspar Borja y Velasco (disputed)