Jacopo Sadoleto

1477-1547. Cardinal, humanist, and biblical scholar. Born at Modena, he joined Oliviero Cardinal Carrafa as a minor poet in 1498. As a member of Clement VIII's Curia from 1524 to 1527, Sadoleto emerged as an exegete. He left Rome after its sacking in 1527, and from the diocese of Carpentras in France published the De Laudibus philosophiae (1538) and a controversial commentary on Romans (1535). Reginald Pole* warned Sadoleto not to neglect theology and was greatly impressed by him; Sadoleto responded that Pole was his guide. “The book of the Gospels contains the entire way and knowledge of our salvation,” he held. John Calvin* replied to Sadoleto's famous letter to the Genevans (1539), deploring Sadoleto's emphasis on the safety of one's soul in contrast to God's glory. Whether for his Catholic friends like Pole or Protestant foes like Calvin, Sadoleto never ceased to work for reform. A great mass of his diocesan work at Carpentras remains unexamined, while his presence on the papal reform commission of 1536 guarantees his place as an irenic bishop in a polemical age.