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Dutch pope Adrianus victim of a hostile opposition campaign

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

AMSTERDAM - The only Dutch pope, Adrianus VI, who was elected in January 1522 as a compromise candidate, has been characterized as an unmannered barbarian, a hater of the arts and an egoist, who disliked Rome. Not true, writes Birgit Emich, who teaches New History at the University of Erlangen-Neurenburg. As a comprise choice, Adrianus VI had many detractors who had supported others for the papacy. The Dutch cardinal had been Inquisitor General in Spain and had never been to Rome before when he was informed of his elevation to the papacy. Emich argues in her new book De paus en de wereld (The Pope and the World) that Adrianus VI, the last non-Italian pope until Pope John Paul II, was reform minded with good intentions, amidst major religious and political conflicts. She also notes that Adrianus was preceded and succeeded by a member of the powerful Medici-clan, the source of much opposition.