Pope Urban VIII (1623–1644) was a Florentine named Maffeo Barberini, born on 1568 and successor of Gregory XV. Throughout his pontificate the Thirty Years War raged in Germany. For various political reasons, Urban gave little help to the Catholics. The old story that Urban rejoiced at Protestant victories because he hated the Hapsburgs is, however, false. His policy in Italy was unsuccessful, and he was humiliated by defeat at the hands of the Farnese of Parma.
Urban was very active in church affairs: he published the revised
breviary, normalized liturgical practice, canonized many saints,
instituted new orders, and continued the reformation of the church. He
built and decorated extensively in Rome. Urban sanctioned the second
condemnation of Galileo for his support of the Copernican theory that
placed the sun, rather than the earth, at the center of the universe, but
later freed him. He condemned the posthumous work of Cornelis Jansen,
Augustinus. Urban’s strict legislation against easy acceptance of
miracles is still in effect. He was succeeded by Innocent X.
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