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MORONE, GIOVANNI (1509–1580), Italian cardinal, was born on the 25th of January 1509 at Milan, where his father, Count Ieronimo Morone (d. 1529), was grand chancellor. His father, who had been imprisoned for opposing encroachments on the liberties of Milan by Charles V. (Whom he afterwards cordially supported), removed to Modena, where his youngest son had most of his early education. Proceeding to Padua he studied jurisprudence with distinction. In return for important service rendered by his father, he was in 1527 nominated by Clement VIII. to the see of Modena, and consecrated in 1533 after a contest. From 1535 he was constantly entrusted by Paul III. with diplomatic missions; he was nuncio (1536) to Ferdinand, king of the Romans, and legate to the diet of Spires (1542) having successfully resisted the transfer of the diet to Hagenau on account of the plague (1540). On the 31st of May 1542 he was created cardinal, and was further nominated protector of England, Hungary, Austria, of several religious orders, and of the santa casa at Loreto. With the cardinals Paul Parisio and Reginald Pole he was deputed to open the Council of Trent (Nov. 1, 1542), the place of meeting having been a concession to his diplomacy. The legates arrived on the 22nd of November, but no council assembled. The death of Paul III. (1549) deprived him of a good friend. The views of the Reformers had spread in his diocese, and he was suspected of temporizing with them. He resigned his see (1550) in favour of the Dominican Egidio Foscherari, reserving to himself an annual pension and the patronage of livings. Julius III., at the instance of the duke of Milan, gave him (1553) the rich see of Novara (which he resigned in 1560 for the see of Albano) and sent him as nuncio to the diet of Augsburg (1555), from which he was immediately recalled by the death of Julius (March 23). In June 1557 Paul IV. imprisoned him in the castle of St Angelo (with others, including Pole, and Foscherari), on suspicion of Lutheran heresy. The prosecution entirely failed, and Morone might have had his liberty. but refused to leave prison unless Paul IV. publicly acknowledged his innocence. He remained incarcerated till the pope’s death (Aug. 18, 1559), and took part in the election of Pius IV. Ochino, in the twenty-eighth of his Dialogi XXX., 1563 has a colloquy on the treatment of heretics, between Pius IV. and Morone, in which the latter maintains: “Errantes in viam revocandi, non occidendi.” This really hits the position of Morone, a sincere Catholic, to whom persecution was abhorrent. He presided at the Tridentine Council from the 10th of April to the 4th of December 1563, and endeavoured to exercise a conciliatory influence. At the end of 1564 Foscherari died, and Morone was reinstated in the see of Modena. On the death of Pius IV. (1565) he came near to being elected pope. His last days were easy; he died at Rome on the 1st of December 1580, and was buried at S. Maria sopra Minerva. His writings comprise a few letters and orations. His career is that of a good man, struggling for the welfare of his Church against corruptions not essential to the system to which he was devoted.

See J. G. Frick, “De Joanne Morono,” in J. G. Schelhorn’s Amoenitates literariae, vol. xii. (1730); “G. Moroni,” Dizionario di erudizione (1847); N. Bernabei, Vita del cardinale G. Moroni (1885); M. Young, Life and Times of Aonio Paleario (1860); C. Benrath, in Hauck’s Realencyklopädie (1903).  (A. Go.*)