- (1454-1523, pope 1522-1523)Born Adriaan Floriszoon at Utrecht, he became the outstanding member of the theological faculty at Louvain and served as tutor to the future Emperor Charles V. This connection drew him into political service to the Habsburg dynasty. When Charles inherited the Spanish throne in 1516, Adriaan accompanied him to Spain, where he served as regent during Charles' many absences. He became bishop of Tortosa and a cardinal. In 1522 a deadlocked college of cardinals unanimously elected him pope, the last non-Italian chosen until John Paul II in 1978. Although a conservative scholastic theologian, he showed some sympathy for scholarly editions of biblical and patristic texts by humanists like Erasmus, whom he invited to enter papal service. Adrian was admired for his personal piety and moral integrity and showed awareness of the need for significant reform of the church. Entrenched members of the papal bureaucracy resented him as a foreign intruder and a threat to their lifestyle. His early death prevented him from carrying out his plan for a genuine but conservative reform. He firmly opposed what he regarded as the theological errors and insubordination of Martin Luther and other leaders of the Reformation.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.
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