BELLARMINE, ROBERT, one of the most celebrated Catholic theologians, was b. at Mfinte Pul•iano, in Tuscany, Oct. 4, 1542. Ile entered the order of Jesuits in 1560, and was distimmished among his confreres by the zeal with which he studied theology, the cha•ch-councils. the fathers, Hebrew, history, and the canon law In 1563, lie gave les sons in polite literature and astronomy at Florence; and in rhetoric, at Mondovi, 1564 1567. In his 2711r year, when lie went to Louvain as professor of theology, he began t11;11 long controversy with " heretics" which formed the main business of his life. In 1599, when he was made a cardinal against his own inclination. he used his influence over pope Clement VIII. to prevent the introduction of the Platonic philosophy into the university of Rome, on the ground of its "pernicious;" but though himself Jesuit, he honorably opposed the Dominicans with regard to the Pelagian writings of Molina. He seems, however, to have participated to some extent in that writer's sui cidal ethics, for in his Dispvtationes he argues that, as the pope is the supreme authority in doctrine and morals, if he should call virtue vice, and vice virtue, we are bound to believe him, and to act accordingly. In 1602, he was appointed archbishop of Capua. After the death of Clement VIII.. be contrived to escape promotion to the papal chair, hut was induced by Pius V. (1605) to hold an important place in the Vatican, where he mmained until the time of his death, which took place in the novitiate-house of the Jesuits, Sept. 17, 1621. In his work, De Potentate Pontificis in Temporalllms On the Pope's Power in Secular Matters), he introduced the doctrine that the pope must be held RS supretne over all kings. On this account the book was condemned as treasonable
in Paris, Venice, and Mentz. Ilis chief work contains the disputations held in the Jesu its' college at Rome, 1576-81, Dispututiones de C'ontrorersiis _Fidel adrenals hojus poris Ilertticos (3 vols., Rome, 1581; 4 vols., Prague, 1721; 4 vols., Mayenee, 1842). These disputations are regarded by Catholics as the best arguments for their tenets. There can be no question of their merits with regard to erudition and adroitness in contro versy; but as Gerhard, in his Bellarminus Orthodoxias Testis (Jena, 1631-33), and Dallrens have shown, many of the conclusions are far from being sound or logical. Industry, clearness, and acuteness are the chief merits of Bellarmiue's great work ; but it Is seriously lessened in value by subtilty, forced conclusions, and a very defective exegesis---faults which have long been evident to enlightened Catholic writers themselves. Among his other writings, the most able is the Doctrime Applicatio, originally written in Italian, and now translated into rill the European languages. Pope Urban VIII., at the instigation of the Jesuits, declared Bellarmine to bo a faithful servant of God;" but his canonization as a saint bas hitherto been opposed. Complete editions of his works have been published at Venice, 5 vols., 1721; and Cologne. 7 vols., 1619. Ilis life was written in Italian by the Jesuit Fuligatti (Rome, 1624); ansl translated into Latin by Petra Sancta (Liege, 1626).