Sunday, September 27, 2020

Why Bother?

Why Bother?

On this day in the year 1590, Pope Urban VII passed away. His papacy began on September 15, 1590; he had been Pope for less than 12 days. Prior to his elevation to the Holy See he had a distinguished career as a diplomat throughout Europe, and he was eminently qualified for the position.  He died of malaria.

He did, however, during his short papacy, institute a smoking ban, threatening to excommunicate anyone who “took tobacco in the porch way of or inside a church, whether it be by chewing it, smoking it with a pipe or sniffing it in powdered form through the nose.” The prohibition was ultimately repealed a century later by Pope Benedict VIII.

Urban’s successor, Gregory XIV, would see a pontificate of only ten and a half months.

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