The Glory of Rome

The election of Pope Paul III in 1534 signaled the beginning of the counter-Reformation; that is Rome’s response to Luther, Calvin and their followers. One way Paul III hoped to counter the teachings of the reformation was to complete the construction of St. Peter’s. “He [Paul III] was also pressing ahead,” writes Eamon Duffy, “with the reconstruction of Rome, to reflect both the spiritual and the temporal glory of the Church and papacy.” (Eamon Duffy, Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes, 213) At the center of this reconstruction was the completion of St. Peter’s, it was to be a symbol of the power and glory of the Papacy. While the current St. Peter’s, with it’s internal decorations, was not completed until c. 1680, the Basilica stands as one of Rome’s responses to the Reformation. Read more»

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