Pope Urban VII

Pope Urban VII

Infobox pope
English name=Urban VII|Latin name=Urbano PP. VII

birth_name=Giovanni Battista Castagna
term_start=September 15, 1590|term_end=September 27, 1590
predecessor=Sixtus V|successor=Gregory XIV
birth_date=birth date|1521|8|4|mf=y|birthplace=Rome, Italy
dead=dead|death_date=death date and age|1590|9|27|1521|8|4|mf=y|deathplace=Rome, Italy
infobox popestyles
papal name=Pope Urban VIII
dipstyle=His Holiness
offstyle=Your Holiness
relstyle=Holy Father

Pope Urban VII (August 4, 1521 – September 27, 1590), born Giovanni Battista Castagna, was Pope for thirteen days in September 1590. He was of Genoese origin, although born in Rome. He was chosen successor of Pope Sixtus V (1585–90) on September 15, 1590, but died of malaria (September 27, 1590) before consecration, making his either the shortest or second shortest papal reign in history, depending on whether Pope-elect Stephen is considered a real Pope (he has not been so considered by the Catholic Church since 1961).

He had previously served as governor of Bologna and as archbishop of Rossano, and was for many years nuncio to Spain; his election to the papacy was largely backed by the Spanish faction.

Urban VII's short passage in office gave rise to the world's first known public smoking ban, as he threatened to excommunicate anyone who "took tobacco in the porchway 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". [Editorial in European Heart Journal - http://www.oxfordjournals.org/our_journals/eurheartj/press_releases/freepdf/ehl266.pdf]


*"The Death of the Popes" by Wendy J. Reardon, 2004.

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