Biography of Bartolomé de Carranza (1503-1576)

Archbishop of Toledo born in Miranda de Arga (Navarre) around 1503 and died in Rome on May 2, 1576.

Biographical synthesis

Theologian and Dominican preacher of great piety and prestige, taught at the Colegio de San Gregorio of Valladolid and participated actively in the Council of Trent. The cause of Catholicism, he/she defended with great dedication during his stays in England and Flanders. In 1558 the King Felipe II forced him to accept the election as Archbishop of Toledo. However, the following year was arrested by the Inquisition accused of Lutheran ideas in his comments about a catechism that had published some time ago. The process, first in Spain (1559-1567) and then in Rome (1567-1576), lasted for 17 years, the last of his life given that the sentence of "suspect of heresy" was enacted a month before his death. Bartolomé Carranza de Miranda is sometimes called him by his place of birth.

Bartolomé de Carranza, Dominican theologian and Archbishop of Toledo

Belonged to a noble family of the region navarra where he/she was born. He/She studied latin and arts in Alcalá, together with his uncle Sancho Carranza de Miranda. He/She entered the Dominican order towards 1518, with about 16 years old, forming in Benalaque (Guadalajara), San Gregorio de Valladolid (1525) and Salamanca. In 1528, he/she graduated as master in arts, and two years later was given a course of these materials in San Gregorio. From 1533 he/she directed another of theology at the time who was named Regent of the College instead of Diego de Astudillo. After graduating in theology in Rome (1539) and there representing his province at the general chapter of his order, studied, again at Valladolid and until 1545, the doctrines of Santo Domingo and the Holy Scriptures. Already then he/she showed interest in the erasmismo and the theology of positive, although in order to inspire the practice of worship and Christian life. He/She was also consultant to the Inquisition, preacher and spiritual director.

Not to accept the appointment of Archbishop of Cuzco (Peru), offered by Carlos V, was unable to attend as imperial theologian (together with the also Dominican Domingo de Soto) to the first session of the Council of Trent (1545-1563). He/She had an intense participation in its discussions, providing its opinion regarding the sacraments, the mass, and ecclesiastical discipline, defending as the other Spanish representatives mandatory residence of bishops in their dioceses; thereby acquiring some prestige, it was praised for his theological knowledge and by his reformism. Once returned to Spain in 1548, after moving the Council to Bologna, he/she refused to exercise as confessor of Prince Felipe in 1548 and also their choice for a new episcopal see in 1549, on this occasion the Canary Islands. This year he/she was appointed prior of Palencia and Dominican Provincial of Castile in 1550. He/She went again to Trent in 1551, reopened the Council by Pope Julius III until 1552. He/She then left his position as provincial to withdraw temporarily to the colegio de San Gregorio, before leaving with the Prince to England in 1554 to prepare your wedding with the English Queen María I Tudor.

In this country collaborated with the monarchs and the English Cardinal Reginald Pole in the restoration of Catholicism: it monitored the sale of Protestant books, preached against the heretical doctrines and inspected the University of Oxford, doing to expel the same number of professors. Shortly after abdicate the Emperor, moved in 1557 to Flanders, the residence at the time of the new King, Felipe II. He/She also worked with zeal in stopping the advance of Protestantism; It was precisely in Antwerp where, in 1558, he/she published his catechism (Catechismo Christianno). This year it had to accept at last by Regal pressures, the Archbishopric of Toledo, Toledo seat of Spain, which was vacant since the death of Cardinal Juan Martínez Silicon last year. On February 27 he/she was consecrated in Brussels by Cardinal and Bishop of Arras Antonio Perrenot de Granvelle, after which traveled to Spain. After a brief stay in Valladolid went through Yuste, where he/she witnessed the death of Carlos V. Finally, came to his headquarters on 13 October. After several months of intense pastoral and charitable work and exemplary personal life, he/she was arrested by the Inquisition of August 22, 1559 at Torrelaguna (Madrid), during the course of a pastoral visit, and locked up in Valladolid.

The process by Lutheranism Bartolomé de Carrranza (1559-1576)

The order had been issued by the Grand Inquisitor and Archbishop of Seville, Fernando Valdés, based on opinions of theologians like Melchior Cano and Domingo de Soto about comments posted by Carranza on his Catechism of 1558, and after comparing them with the statements of the Protestants of Valladolid. It had needed the Papal grant of extraordinary powers to prosecute an Archbishop (January 7) and the permission of Felipe II (June 26). The process, just started Carranza requested the change of judge, accusing Valdés of partiality. His withdrawal was accepted in February 1560, and replaced him with Gaspar Zúñiga de Avellaneda, Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela. In addition to the heretical considered gathered propositions, which became thousands, collected against the hundreds of testimonies (it was say unfounded that it had introduced in Lutheranism to Carlos V, so that it would have died out of Catholicism).

On the other hand, one of his biggest supporters was the canonist Martín de Azpilcueta, Doctor Navarro, who in turn presented several witnesses who spoke glowingly of his person and doctrine. Interestingly, this first phase of the trial coincided with the third of the Council of Trent, where the secular clergy was approved in 1562 the Catechism of Carranza, who inspired that used for some time. Some of the participants at the Council asked Pope Pius IV to intervene in the case. To investigate he/she was in 1565 sent a papal legation headed by Cardinal Hugo Buoncompagni (the future Pope Gregory XIII) and completed by Félix Peretti, Juan Bautista Castagna and Hipólito Aldobrandini (which also would be Popes with the name Urban VII , Pope Sixtus Vand Clement VIII, respectively). The Legation, which had tainted judgment in Spain at the request of Felipe II, nothing solved, as papal envoys could not act independently of inquisitorial officers.

Thus, the Pope Pius V ordered in 1567 the process moving to Rome. The toledan Archbishop, carrying prisoner, already eight years came to this city from May 28, 1567, being confined in the castle of Sant'Angelo. Papal judges showed different views, and when it seemed that he/she would be acquitted, King Felipe II and the Spanish Inquisition were opposed. In 1572 Pius V died then, Carranza accusers presented some 1,500 new propositions considered Lutheran. On April 14, 1576, seventeen years after having been locked, Gregorio XIII promulgated ruling, declaring Bartolomé de Carranza, not guilty, but "strongly suspected of heresy" ('vehementer haeresi regulariter'). He/She had therefore who recant 16 propositions considered Lutheran and, although it could preserve the Archbishopric of Toledo was sentenced, before returning to his headquarters, to spend five years in penance in a monastery next to the Church of Santa María sopra Minerva. He/She visited before entering the seven large Roman churches that usually the pilgrims heading (23 April) and celebrated mass in the basilica of Lateran (April 24). Shortly after he/she became ill from death, and before receiving the last rites again declared his adherence to the Catholic faith. He/She was buried in the choir of the Church of Santa María.

Humble, very given to pastoral work and charity, had a deep spirituality Christocentric, inspired especially by St. Paul. In the thousands of pages collected for processing there are completely contradictory judgments about their doctrine, perhaps because living language used in his writings, susceptible of different interpretations to its primary sense that in a very sensitive context against any hint of heresy did not create suspicions. On the one hand abundant accusations of Lutheranism, and by another, praise can be read by its contrary attitude to Protestantism and their way of life. The own Gregorio XIII wrote the epitaph on his tomb on favorable terms ("play through adversity"). In addition to the aforementioned catechism he/she wrote, among other works, Summa Conciliorum ('reconcile sum'), publicadaa in Venice in 1546, of necessary residentia episcoporum ('on the required residence of the Bishops'), in the same city the following year or instruction to hear mass. It also prepared a complete edition of all his other works.


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