He was born as Camillo Borghese into a noble family in Rome which had recently fled from Siena. He was educated in law at Perugia and Padua. In June 1596 he was made cardinal and Cardinal-Vicar of Rome by Pope Clement VIII.
When Pope Leo XI died (May 8, 1605) Camillo became Pope over a number of candidates including Caesar Baronius and Robert Bellarmine, his neutrality and distance from factionalism made him an ideal compromise candidate. In character he was very stern and unyielding, defending the privileges of the Church to his upmost. This led to a number of quarrels between the Church and various states, notably Venice. In April 1606 the Pope excommunicated the entire government of Venice and placed a interdict on the city. Many clergy sided with the city, however, and religious life there was largely uninterrupted. Within a year (March 1607) the disagreement was mediated and the Pope withdrew his censure. He also condemned the oath of allegiance of James I of England, twice. He met with Galileo Galilei and had him warned not to hold or defend the heliocentric ideas of Copernicus.
In Rome the Pope financed the completion of St. Peter's Basilica, and improved the Vatican Library. He canonized Charles Borromeo (November 1, 1610) and Frances of Rome. He beatified a number of individuals including Ignatius Loyola. Like many Popes he was also guilty of nepotism.
Paul V was succeeded by Gregory XV.
Pope Leo XI
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Pope Gregory XV