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Adrian VI

1459-1523. Pope from 1522. Born in Utrecht, son of a ship's carpenter, he was educated by the Brethren of the Common Life* and at Louvain, where he became a teacher (1488) and a doctor of theology (1492). He published several theological works. In 1507 he became tutor to the future Charles V. Sent to Spain to prepare the way for Charles's succession, he became bishop of Tortosa (1516), Inquisitor of Spain and cardinal (1517), and regent of Spain (1520). As pope he attempted to reform the Roman Curia, unite the powers of Europe in defense of Christendom against the Turks, and combine the crushing of Luther with the reform of the church. His attempts at reform were blocked by inertia and vested interest. Despite strenuous efforts, Rhodes (which he regarded as strategically vital) fell to the Turks in 1522. Although he at first instructed his legate at the Diet of Nuremberg to adopt a conciliatory stance, and expressed willingness to modify the theory of indulgences, his resolute opposition to the teachings of Luther-in 1521 he had demanded the suppression of Lutheran literature in Spain-made compromise impossible.

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