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Pius IV

Pope from 1559; brought Council of Trent* to a successful conclusion. Gian Angelo de’ Medici, son of a Milanese notary, studied law and medicine at Pavia, and entered papal service in 1527. He was made archbishop of Ragusa in 1545 and cardinal in 1549. He succeeded Paul IV as pope in 1559 and quickly ended nepotism in papal circles. No profound theologian, he was yet a skillful and amiable politician. He reassembled the Council of Trent in 1561. Negotiating privately with the emperor Ferdinand and the French and Spanish kings, he used the majority of Italian bishops in the council to maintain the power of the Curia. He conciliated Ferdinand by conceding Communion in both kinds to the laity in the Empire. The council was dissolved in 1563, thus completing the legal enactment of the Counter-Reformation.* Pius published a new Index* in 1564, and prepared an edition of the Roman Catechism.

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