Date of Birth: 17 September 1552
Royal House: Borghese
Reign: 1605 – 1621
Predecessor: Leo XI
Summary: Little is known of the life of Camillo Borghese prior to his election to the papal throne. His family were Sienan exiles who had settled in Rome. Camillo studied religion at Padua and Perugia, two prestigious Italian schools. In 1596, Camillo was made a cardinal and soon after he became the Vicar of Rome by Clement VIII, a position that set him up for the papacy. He remained out of papal politics during the reign of Leo XI and this earned him the respect from his peers he required to gain the throne. He won the election in 1605 and immediately put into place his designs for the Catholic Church.
Much of Paul V's reign was taken up in international politics. He was constantly in a feud over the status of clerics in Venice. Venice had passed numerous laws bringing clerics into the general status of civilian, while the papacy argued that clerics should be exempt from secular law. With England, Paul wrote a letter attempting to correct wrongs made by some Catholics from the Gunpowder Plot. But it came across wrong and made Catholics in England appear even worse. In an age where Japan was not yet completely isolationist, Paul received an envoy from the Japanese shogunate requesting to open trade with Spain. Though outside his jurisdiction, Paul agreed to pass along the message and also to send some missionaries to Japan. Little else can be attributed to Paul's reign. He completed some building projects in Rome, including St. Peter's Basilica, but much of his power was given to his nephew, Scipione Borghese. When Paul died in 1621, it was Scipione who encouraged the College of Cardinals to elect Alessandro Ludovisi as the new pope. He was elected and took the name Gregory XV.
Date of Death: 28 January 1621
Successor: Gregory XV
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