Wednesday, May 13, 2015

13 May 1497 A.D. Pope Alexander VI excommunicates Savanarola because he continued to disobey the Pope.



13 May 1497 A.D. Pope Alexander VI excommunicates Savanarola because he continued to disobey the Pope.
The story is told by Dr. Rusten.  Rusten, E. Michael and Rusten, Sharon. The One Year Christian History. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2003. 
Girolamo Savanariola was born 1452 in Ferraria, Italy.  He was serious and religious. He began medical studies, but ended up in theological studies. He joined the Dominican order and joined the Convent at San Marco, Florence, 1482.  He became the prior. He was distressed by the corruption of Rome, the Pope and the Vatican.

He became famous as a preacher of judgment and repentance. The worldliness of the clergy, the vices of the nobility, and a general corruption informed his thinking.  This made him popular with the democratic forces when they came to power in 1494.  Ultimately, his popularity sky-rocketed when he successfully got the French king to pull out of Florence.  The churches were crowded too.
But, he made enemies, especially amongst the clergy. The Pope, Alexander VI, hated him because Savanarola condemned his character and practices. He also repudiated his authority.

In 1495, Alexander VI ordered Savanarola to Rome.  He refused. The Pope ordered him to stop preaching.  He refused. The Pope ordered the Convent of San Marco to consolidate with other convents, but Savanarola refused.
On 13 May 1497, Pope Alexander VI excommunicated him.

The Pope ordered the city council of Florence to silence him and send him to Rome.  The fickle Council abandoned him.  The new government, favorable to Rome, arrest him in April 1498.
He was tried for sedition and heresy.  He was brutally tortured and hanged from a city tower.

Resources
Latourette, Kenneth Scott.  A History of Christianity.  2 vols. Peabody: Prince, 1975. 1: 672-74.

Schaff, Philip. History of the Christian Church. 6: 684-716.

Vos, H.F. “Savanarola, Girolamo.” WWCH, 607-608.

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