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A cardinal-nephew ( la, cardinalis nepos; it, cardinale nipote; es, valido de su tío; pt, cardeal-sobrinho; french: prince de fortune)Signorotto and Visceglia, 2002, p. 114. Modern French scholarly literature uses the term "
cardinal-neveu
'".
was a
cardinal Cardinal or The Cardinal may refer to: Christianity * Cardinal (Catholic Church), a senior official of the Catholic Church * Cardinal (Church of England), two members of the College of Minor Canons of St. Paul's Cathedral Navigation * Cardin ...
elevated by a
pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, Rome, chief pastor of the worldwide Catholic Church, and head of state o ...

pope
who was that cardinal's relative. The practice of creating cardinal-nephews originated in the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
, and reached its apex during the 16th and 17th centuries. The last cardinal-nephew was named in 1689 and the practice was abolished in 1692.Bunson, Matthew. 1995.
Cardinal Nephew
. ''The Pope Encyclopedia''. Crown Trade Paperbacks. .
The word ''
nepotism Nepotism is a form of favoritism which is granted to relatives and friends in various fields, including business, politics, entertainment, sports, fitness, religion, and other activities. The term originated with the assignment of nephews to im ...
'' originally referred specifically to this practice, when it appeared in the
English language English is a West Germanic language of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), g ...

English language
about 1669. From the middle of the
Avignon Papacy The Avignon Papacy, also known as the Babylonian Captivity, was the period from 1309 to 1376 during which seven successive pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () ...
(1309–1377) until
Pope Innocent XII Pope Innocent XII ( la, Innocentius XII; 13 March 1615 – 27 September 1700), born Antonio Pignatelli, was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church ...

Pope Innocent XII
's anti-nepotism
bull A bull is an intact (i.e., not castrated Castration (also known as orchiectomy or orchidectomy) is any action, surgical Surgery ''cheirourgikē'' (composed of χείρ, "hand", and ἔργον, "work"), via la, chirurgiae, meaning ...
(a papal charter), '' Romanum decet pontificem'' (1692), a pope without a cardinal-nephew was the exception to the rule. Every Renaissance pope who created cardinals appointed a relative to the
College of Cardinals The College of Cardinals, or more formally the Sacred College of Cardinals, is the body of all Cardinal (Catholicism), cardinals of the Catholic Church. List of current cardinals, its current membership is 215. Cardinals are appointed by the ...
, and the nephew was the most common choice,Vidmar, John. 2005. ''The Catholic Church Through The Ages: A History''. Paulist Press. . p. 170. Vidmar gives the exception of
Nicholas V Pope Nicholas V ( la, Nicholaus V; 13 November 1397 – 24 March 1455), born Tommaso Parentucelli, was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 ...

Nicholas V
, who elevated his half-brother Filippo Calandrini on December 20, 1448 (see: Salvator, 1998,
15th Century (1404–1503)
).
although one of
Alexander VI Pope Alexander VI (born Rodrigo de Borja; ca-valencia, Roderic Llançol i de Borja ; es, Rodrigo Lanzol y de Borja, lang ; 1 January 1431 – 18 August 1503) was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as th ...

Alexander VI
's creations was his own son. The institution of the cardinal-nephew evolved over seven centuries, tracking developments in the
history of the papacy The history of the papacy, the office held by the pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, Rome, chief ...
and the styles of individual popes. From 1566 until 1692, a cardinal-nephew held the curial office of the Superintendent of the Ecclesiastical State, known as the Cardinal Nephew, and thus the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. The curial office of the Cardinal Nephew as well as the institution of the cardinal-nephew declined as the power of the
Cardinal Secretary of State The Secretary of State of His Holiness ( it, Segretario di Stato di Sua Santità), commonly known as the Cardinal Secretary of State, presides over the Holy See The Holy See ( lat, Sancta Sedes, ; it, Santa Sede ), also called the See ...
increased and the temporal power of popes decreased in the 17th and 18th centuries. The
list of cardinal-nephews A cardinal-nephew is a cardinal (Catholicism), cardinal elevated by a pope who was his uncle, or more generally, his relative. The practice of creating cardinal-nephews originated in the Middle Ages, and reached its apex during the 16th and 17t ...
includes at least fifteen, and possibly as many as nineteen popes (
Gregory IX Pope Gregory IX ( la, Gregorius IX; born Ugolino di Conti; c. 1145 or before 1170 – 22 August 1241) was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the , with 1.3 billion Cathol ...

Gregory IX
,
Alexander IV Alexander is a male given name. The most prominent bearer of the name is Alexander the Great, the king of the Ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia (ancient kingdom), Macedonia who created one of the largest empires in ancient history. Etymology T ...

Alexander IV
,
Adrian V Pope Adrian V (Latin language, Latin: ''Adrianus V''; c. 1210/1220 – 18 August 1276), born Ottobuono de' Fieschi, was the head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 11 July 1276 to his death on 18 August 1276. He was an env ...
,
Gregory XI Pope Gregory XI ( la, Gregorius, born Pierre Roger de Beaufort; c. 1329 – 27 March 1378) was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the , with 1.3 billion Catholics . As th ...

Gregory XI
,
Boniface IX Pope Boniface IX ( la, Bonifatius IX; c. 1350 – 1 October 1404, born Pietro Tomacelli) was the Roman claimant to the headship of the Catholic Church from 2 November 1389 to his death. He was the second Roman pope of the Western Schism.Richard P. ...

Boniface IX
,
Innocent VII
Innocent VII
,
Eugene IV Pope Eugene IV ( la, Eugenius IV; 1383 – 23 February 1447), born Gabriele Condulmer, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 3 March 1431 to his death. Condulmer was a Venetian, and a nephew of Pope Gregory XII. In 1 ...
,
Paul II
Paul II
,
Alexander VI Pope Alexander VI (born Rodrigo de Borja; ca-valencia, Roderic Llançol i de Borja ; es, Rodrigo Lanzol y de Borja, lang ; 1 January 1431 – 18 August 1503) was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as th ...

Alexander VI
,
Pius III Pope Pius III (9 May 1439 – 18 October 1503), born Francesco Todeschini, was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of mem ...

Pius III
,
Julius II Pope Julius II ( it, Papa Giulio II; la, Iulius II; born Giuliano della Rovere; 5 December 144321 February 1513) was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 1503 to his death in 1513. Nicknamed the ''Warrior Pope'' or the ...

Julius II
,
Leo X Pope Leo X (born Giovanni di Lorenzo de' Medici, 11 December 14751 December 1521) was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the , with 1.3 billion Catholics . As the world' ...

Leo X
,
Clement VII Pope Clement VII (; ; born Giulio de' Medici; 26 May 1478 – 25 September 1534) was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 19 November 1523 to his death on 25 September 1534. Deemed "the most unfortunate of the popes", C ...
,
Benedict XIII
Benedict XIII
, and
Pius VII Pope Pius VII (14 August 1742 – 20 August 1823), born Barnaba Niccolò Maria Luigi Chiaramonti, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 14 March 1800 to his death in 1823. Chiaramonti was also a monk of the Order of S ...

Pius VII
; perhaps also
John XIX Pope John XIX ( la, Ioannes XIX; died October 1032), born Romanus, was bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States from 1024 to his death. He belonged to the family of the powerful counts of Tusculum, succeeding his brother, Benedict VIII. Pap ...
and
Benedict IX Pope Benedict IX ( la, Benedictus IX; c. 1012 – c. 1056), born Theophylactus of Tusculum in Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune ...
, if they were really promoted cardinals; as well as
Innocent III Pope Innocent III ( la, Innocentius III; 1160 or 1161 - 16 July 1216, born Lotario dei Conti di Segni (anglicized as Lothar of Segni Segni (, ) is an Italy, Italian town and ''comune'' located in Lazio. The city is situated on a hilltop in the ...

Innocent III
and
Benedict XII Pope Benedict XII ( la, Benedictus XII; 1285 – 25 April 1342), born Jacques Fournier, was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billio ...
, if in fact they were related to their elevators); one antipope (
John XXIII Pope John XXIII ( la, Ioannes; it, Giovanni; born Giuseppe Angelo Roncalli, ; 25 November 18813 June 1963) was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian c ...

John XXIII
); and two or three saints (
Charles Borromeo Charles Borromeo ( it, Carlo Borromeo; la, Carolus Borromeus; 2 October 1538 – 3 November 1584) was the Archbishop of Milan The Archdiocese of Milan ( it, Arcidiocesi di Milano; la, Archidioecesis Mediolanensis) is a Latin Church ecclesia ...

Charles Borromeo
,
Guarinus of Palestrina Guarino Foscari (c. 1080 - 6 February 1158) was an Italian Catholic Augustinians, Augustinian canon regular and also the Cardinal-Bishop of Palestrina from December 1144 after his relative Pope Lucius II elevated him into the cardinalate. He is b ...
, and perhaps
Anselm of Lucca Saint Anselm of Lucca ( la, Anselmus; it, Anselmo; 1036 – March 18, 1086), born Anselm of Baggio ('), was a medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, ...
, if he was really a cardinal).


History


Before 1566

The creation of cardinal-nephews predates the hierarchical preeminence of cardinals within the
Roman Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Roman Catholic Church
, which grew out of the 1059 decree of
Pope Nicholas II Pope Nicholas II ( la, Nicholaus II; c. 990/995 – 27 July 1061), otherwise known as Gerard of Burgundy, was the head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian chur ...

Pope Nicholas II
, ''
In nomine Domini ''In nomine Domini'' ( la, In the name of the Lord) is a papal bull written by Pope Nicholas II and a Canon law (Catholic Church), canon of the Council of Rome. The bull was issued on 13 April 1059 and caused major reforms in the system of papal e ...
'', which established
cardinal bishop Cardinals ( la, Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae cardinalis, literally "cardinal of the Holy Roman Church") are the most senior members of the clergy of the Catholic Church, being second in Order of precedence in the Catholic Church, precedence only ...
s as the sole electors of the Pope, with the consent of
cardinal deacon Cardinals ( la, Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae cardinalis, literally "cardinal of the Holy Roman Church") are the most senior members of the clergy Clergy are formal leaders within established religions. Their roles and functions vary in diffe ...
s and
cardinal priest Cardinals ( la, Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae cardinalis, literally "cardinal of the Holy Roman Church") are the most senior members of the clergy Clergy are formal leaders within established s. Their roles and functions vary in different r ...
s. The first known cardinal-nephew is Lottario ( la, Loctarius), seniore, cousin of
Pope Benedict VIII Pope Benedict VIII ( la, Benedictus VIII; c. 980 – 9 April 1024) was the bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States from 18 May 1012 until his death. He was born Theophylact to the noble family of the counts of Tusculum. Unusually for a medie ...

Pope Benedict VIII
(1012–1024), elected circa 1015. Benedict VIII also elevated his brother
GiovanniGiovanni may refer to: * Giovanni (name), an Italian male given name and surname * Giovanni (meteorology), a Web interface for users to analyze NASA's gridded data * ''Don Giovanni'', a 1787 opera by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, based on the legend of D ...

Giovanni
(the future Pope John XIX) and his cousin (the future Pope Benedict IX) as cardinal-deacons.Miranda, Salvator. 1998.
General list of Cardinals: 11th Century (999–1099)
.
The first known cardinal-nephew after 1059 is
Anselm of Lucca Saint Anselm of Lucca ( la, Anselmus; it, Anselmo; 1036 – March 18, 1086), born Anselm of Baggio ('), was a medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, ...
, the nephew or brother of
Pope Alexander II Pope Alexander II (1010/1015 – 21 April 1073), born Anselm of Baggio, was the head of the Roman Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billio ...

Pope Alexander II
(1061–1073), although until the end of 12th the majority of the alleged cases of such appointments are dubious, either because the relationship between the Pope and cardinal is not proven, or because the cardinalate of the papal kinsman is uncertain. However, it is beyond doubt that the promotions of papal relatives to the College of Cardinals were common in 13th century. According to historian John Bargrave, "by the Council of Bazill, Session 21, the number of cardinals was not to be above 24, and not any nephew of the Pope or of any cardinal was to be of that number. (''Session'' 23.)"
Pope Clement VI Pope Clement VI ( la, Clemens VI; 1291 – 6 December 1352), born Pierre Roger, was head of the Catholic Church from 7 May 1342 to his death in 1352. He was the fourth Avignon Papacy, Avignon pope. Clement reigned during the first visitation of ...

Pope Clement VI
(1342–1352) created more cardinal-nephews than any other pontiff, including six on September 20, 1342, the greatest number of cardinal-nephews elevated at one time. The capitulation of the
1464 papal conclave The 1464 papal conclave (August 28–30), convened after the death of Pope Pius II Pope Pius II ( la, Pius PP. II, it, Pio II), born Enea Silvio Bartolomeo Piccolomini ( la, Aeneas Silvius Bartholomeus, links=no; 18 October 1405 – 14 Augu ...
limited the Pope it elected (
Pope Paul II Pope Paul II ( la, Paulus II; 23 February 1417 – 26 July 1471), born Pietro Barbo, was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of mem ...

Pope Paul II
) to appointing one cardinal-nephew, along with other conditions designed to increase the power of the
College of Cardinals The College of Cardinals, or more formally the Sacred College of Cardinals, is the body of all Cardinal (Catholicism), cardinals of the Catholic Church. List of current cardinals, its current membership is 215. Cardinals are appointed by the ...
and reduce the Pope's ability to dilute that power. The
Fifth Council of the Lateran #REDIRECT Fifth Council of the Lateran The Fifth Council of the Lateran, held between 1512 and 1517, was the eighteenth ecumenical council of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the ...
declared in 1514 that the care of relatives was to be commended, and the creation of cardinal-nephews was often recommended or justified based on the need to care for indigent family members. A cardinal-nephew could usually expect profitable appointments; for example, Alessandro Farnese, cardinal-nephew of
Pope Paul III Pope Paul III ( la, Paulus III; 29 February 1468 – 10 November 1549), born Alessandro Farnese, was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the , with 1.3 billion Cathol ...

Pope Paul III
(1534–1549) held 64
benefice A benefice () or living is a reward received in exchange for services rendered and as a retainer for future services. The used the term as a benefit to an individual from the Empire for services rendered. Its use was adopted by the in the as a ...
s simultaneously in addition to the vice-chancellorship.
Pope Paul IV Pope Paul IV, Theatines, C.R. ( la, Paulus IV; 28 June 1476 – 18 August 1559), born Gian Pietro Carafa, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 23 May 1555 to his death in 1559. While serving as papal nuncio i ...

Pope Paul IV
(1555–1559), in his old age, was said to have "fallen almost completely under the cardinal-nephew's influence"; Paul IV's cardinal-nephew,
Carlo Carafa Carlo Carafa (29 March 1517 – 6 March 1561) of a distinguished family of Naples Naples (; it, Napoli ; nap, Napule ), from grc, Νεάπολις, Neápolis, lit=new city. is the regional capital of and the third-largest city of , aft ...

Carlo Carafa
, was accused in August 1558 by a
Theatine The Congregation of Clerics Regular ( la, Ordo Clericorum Regularium), commonly called the Theatines, is an order of clerics regular of Pontifical Right for Men of the Catholic Church. It was founded by Archbishop Gian Pietro Carafa in Sept. 14, ...
of seducing a Roman noble woman, Plautila de' Massimi, who had come into possession of an inordinate amount of money and jewelry, but the accusations were dismissed by the pontiff. Saint
Charles Borromeo Charles Borromeo ( it, Carlo Borromeo; la, Carolus Borromeus; 2 October 1538 – 3 November 1584) was the Archbishop of Milan The Archdiocese of Milan ( it, Arcidiocesi di Milano; la, Archidioecesis Mediolanensis) is a Latin Church ecclesia ...

Charles Borromeo
, cardinal-nephew of
Pope Pius IV Pope Pius IV (31 March 1499 – 9 December 1565), born Giovanni Angelo Medici, was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion bapti ...

Pope Pius IV
(1559–1565), had ensured the subordination of the '' secretarius intimus'' to the Cardinal Nephew, which came to be sometimes known as the ''secretarius maior''. Pius IV was notorious for nepotism: between 1561 and 1565 he transferred more than 350,000 ''
scudi The ''scudo'' (pl. ''scudi'') was the name for a number of coins used in various states in the Italy, Italian peninsula until the 19th century. The name, like that of the French écu and the Spanish escudo, Spanish and Portuguese escudo, was derive ...
'' to his relatives.Ekelund et al., 2004, p. 702.


1566–1692

Following the
Council of Trent The Council of Trent ( la, Concilium Tridentinum), held between 1545 and 1563 in Trent (or Trento, in northern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of ...

Council of Trent
(1563),
Pope Pius V Pope Pius V (17 January 1504 – 1 May 1572), born Antonio Ghislieri (from 1518 called Michele Ghislieri, O.P.), was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian ...

Pope Pius V
(1566–1572) drew up the terms for the office of the Superintendent of the Ecclesiastical State, who was to handle the temporal affairs of the
Papal States The Papal States ( ; it, Stato Pontificio), officially the State of the Church ( it, Stato della Chiesa, ; la, Status Ecclesiasticus; also '), were a series of territories in the Italian Peninsula The Italian Peninsula (Italian Ital ...
and the foreign relations of the
Holy See The Holy See ( lat, Sancta Sedes, ; it, Santa Sede ), also called the See of Rome or Apostolic See, is the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian ...
. After abortively attempting to divide the duties of the Superintendent between four non-familial cardinals, Pius V acceded to the urgings of the College of Cardinals and his Spanish ambassador, and appointed his grandnephew,
Michele Bonelli Carlo Michele Bonelli, Cardinal Alessandrino (25 November 1541– 28 March 1598) was an Italian senior papal diplomat with a distinguished career that spanned two decades from 1571. Biography Born in Bosco Marengo, he was the son of Marco ...
, as Superintendent, demarcating his duties with a
papal bull A papal bull is a type of public decree, letters patent, or charter issued by a pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the leaden Seal (emblem), seal (''bulla (seal), bulla'') that was traditionally appended to the end in order to auth ...
of March 14, 1566. However, Pius V relentlessly avoided delegating any real autonomous power to Bonelli. The Cardinal Nephew (also called ''cardinale padrone'' Laurain-Portemer, Madeleine, Levillain, ed., 2002. "Superintendent of the Ecclesiastical State", p. 1467–1469. or ''Secretarius Papae et superintendens status ecclesiasticæ'': "Superintendent of the Ecclesiastical State", it, Sopraintendente dello Stato EcclesiasticoReinhard, Wolfgang, Levillain, ed., 2002. "Nepotism", p. 1031–1033.) was an official legate of the
Roman Curia The Roman Curia ( la, Romana Curia ministerium suum implent) comprises the administrative institutions of the Holy See The Holy See ( lat, Sancta Sedes, ; it, Santa Sede ), also called the See of Rome or Apostolic See, is the jurisdi ...
, approximately equivalent to the
Cardinal Secretary of State The Secretary of State of His Holiness ( it, Segretario di Stato di Sua Santità), commonly known as the Cardinal Secretary of State, presides over the Holy See The Holy See ( lat, Sancta Sedes, ; it, Santa Sede ), also called the See ...
, which absorbed its functions after the office of Cardinal Nephew was abolished in 1692. The office has been likened by historians to a "
prime minister A prime minister or a premier is the head of the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
", "''
alter ego An alter ego (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Rom ...

alter ego
''", or "vice-pope".Hsia, 2005, p. 102. The Cardinal Nephew was generally among a Pope's first cardinal creations, and his ''creature'' was traditionally accompanied by a
salute A salute is a gesture A gesture is a form of non-verbal communication Nonverbal communication (NVC) is the transmission of messages or signals through a nonverbal platform such as eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, Posture ...

salute
from the guns of
Castel Sant'Angelo The Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as Castel Sant'Angelo (; English: ''Castle of the Holy Angel''), is a towering cylindrical building in Parco Adriano, Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , found ...

Castel Sant'Angelo
.Pirie, Valérie. 1965.
The Triple Crown: An Account of the Papal Conclaves: Preliminary Chapter
. Spring Books.
Following the
Avignon Papacy The Avignon Papacy, also known as the Babylonian Captivity, was the period from 1309 to 1376 during which seven successive pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () ...
, the Cardinal Nephew was responsible for the spiritual and temporal governance of the
Comtat Venaissin The Comtat Venaissin (; Provençal: , Mistralian normThe Mistralian norm is a linguistic norm for the Occitan language Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no , ), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is ...

Comtat Venaissin
, where the Avignon Popes had resided; in 1475,
Pope Sixtus IV Pope Sixtus IV (21 July 1414 – 12 August 1484), born Francesco della Rovere, was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of memb ...

Pope Sixtus IV
raised the
Diocese of Avignon The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Avignon (Latin: ''Archidioecesis Avenionensis''; French language, French: ''Archidiocèse d'Avignon'') is an archdiocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in France. The diocese exercises jurisdictio ...
to the rank of an archbishopric, to the benefit of his nephew
Giuliano della Rovere Pope Julius II ( it, Papa Giulio II; la, Iulius II; born Giuliano della Rovere; 5 December 144321 February 1513) was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian c ...
. The terms of the office of Cardinal Nephew were established by a
papal brief A papal brief or breve is a formal document emanating from the Pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, R ...
developed and refined by Pius V's successors to
Paul V Pope Paul V ( la, Paulus V; it, Paolo V) (17 September 1550 – 28 January 1621), born Camillo Borghese, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 16 May 1605 to his death. In 1611, he honored Galileo Galilei as ...

Paul V
(1605–1621). The Cardinal Nephew was also the correspondence liaison for all
papal nuncio An apostolic nuncio ( la, nuntius apostolicus; also known as a papal nuncio or simply as a nuncio) is an ecclesiastical {{Short pages monitor