Pope Julius III
Pope Julius III (Latin: Iulius III; 10 September 1487 – 23 March 1555), born Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte, was Pope from 7 February 1550 to his death in 1555.
Distinguished as an effective diplomat, he was elected to the papacy as a compromise candidate after the death of Paul III. As pope he made only reluctant and short-lived attempts at reform, mostly devoting himself to a life of personal pleasure. His lasting fame, or notoriety, rests rather on his relationship with the teenaged boy whom he raised to the position of Cardinal-Nephew, and, it was said at the time, with whom he shared his bed: the resulting scandal did great harm to the dogma of the Church at the time. 
Education and early career
Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte was born in Rome. He was educated by the humanist Raffaele Brandolini Lippo, and later studied law at Perugia and Siena. During his career, he distinguished himself as a brilliant canonist rather than as a theologian.
Del Monte was the nephew of Antonio Maria Ciocchi del Monte, Archbishop of Manfredonia (1506–1511). When his uncle exchanged this see for a position as a Cardinal in 1511, Giovanni Maria Ciocchi del Monte succeeded in Manfredonia in 1512. In 1520, del Monte also became bishop of Pavia. Popular for his affable manner and respected for his administrative skills, he was twice governor of Rome and was entrusted by the curia with several duties. At the Sack of Rome (1527) he was one of the hostages given by Pope Clement VII to the Emperor's forces, and barely escaped execution. Pope Paul III made him Cardinal-bishop of Palestrina in 1536 and employed him in several important legations, notably as papal legate and first president of the Council of Trent (1545/47) and then at Bologna (1547/48).
The Innocenzo scandal
Julius's papacy was marked by scandals, the most notable of which is centered around the pope's adoptive nephew, Innocenzo Ciocchi Del Monte. Innocenzo del Monte was a teenaged beggar found in the streets of Parma that was hired by the family as a lowly hall boy in their primary residence, the boy's age being variously given as 14, 15 or 17 years. After the elevation of Julius to the papacy, Innocenzo Del Monte was adopted into the family by the pope's brother and Julius was then promptly created cardinal-nephew. Julius showered his favourite with benefices, including the commendatario of the abbeys of Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy and Saint Zeno in Verona, and, later, of the abbeys of Saint Saba, Miramondo, Grottaferrata and Frascati, among others. As rumours began to circle about the particular relationship between the pope and his adoptive nephew, Julius refused to take advice. The cardinals Reginald Pole and Giovanni Carafa warned the pope of the "evil suppositions to which the elevation of a fatherless young man would give rise".
Poet Joachim du Bellay, who lived in Rome through this period in the retinue of his relative, Cardinal Jean du Bellay, expressed his scandalized opinion of Julius in two sonnets in his series Les regrets (1558), hating to see, he wrote, "a Ganymede with the red hat on his head". The courtier and poet Girolamo Muzio in a letter of 1550 to Ferrante Gonzaga, governor of Milan, wrote: "They write many bad things about this new pope; that he is vicious, proud, and odd in the head", and the Pope's enemies made capital of the scandal, Thomas Beard, in the Theatre of God's judgement (1597) saying it was Julius's "custome ... to promote none to ecclesisatical livings, save only his buggerers”. In Italy it was said that Julius showed the impatience of a "lover awaiting a mistress" while awaiting Innocenzo's arrival in Rome and boasted of the boy's prowess in bed, while the Venetian ambassador reported that Innocenzo Del Monte shared the pope's bed "as if he [Innocenzo] were his [Julius's] own son or grandson." "The charitably-disposed told themselves the boy might after all be simply his bastard son."
Despite the damage which the scandal was inflicting on the church, it was not until after Julius' death in 1555 that anything could be done to curb Innocenzo's visibility. He underwent temporary banishment following the murder of two men who had insulted him, and then again following the rape of two women. He tried to use his connections in the College of Cardinals to plead his cause but his influence waned and he died in obscurity. He was buried in Rome in the Del Monte family chapel. One outcome of the cardinal-nephew scandal, however, was the upgrading of the position of Papal Secretary of State, as the incumbent had to take over the duties Innocenzo Del Monte was unfit to perform: the Secretary of State eventually replaced the cardinal-nephew as the most important official of the Holy See.
- Crompton, Louis (2004). Julius III. glbtq.com. Retrieved on 2007-08-16.
- ‘’Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes,’’ Eamon Duffy; p.215
- Ludwig von Pastor, The History of the Popes, Germany
- Crompton, Louis (2004). "Julius III". glbtq.com. http://www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/julius_III.html. Retrieved 2007-08-16
- E. Joe Johnson, Idealized male friendship in French narrative from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment, p69. USA, 2003
- Hor di questo nuovo papa universalmente se ne dice molto male; che egli è vitioso, superbo, rotto et di sua testa", Lettere di Girolamo Muzio Giustinopolitano conservate nell'archivio governativo di Parma, Deputazione di Storia Patria, Parma 1864, p. 152
- See The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church – Biographical Dictionary – Pope Julius III (1550–1555) – Consistory of 30 May 1550 (I) for a summary of Innocenzo Del Monte's life based on Francis Burkle-Young and Michael Leopoldo Doerrer's authoritative biography, "The life of Cardinal Innocenzo del Monte"
- P. Messina, 'Del Monte, Innocenzo', Dizionario biografico degli italiani, Vol 38, Rome, 1990..
- Burkle-Young, Francis A., and Michael Leopoldo Doerrer. The Life of Cardinal Innocenzo del Monte: A Scandal in Scarlet. Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen, 1997.
- Dall'Orto, Giovanni. "Julius III." Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History from Antiquity to World War II. Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon, eds. London: Routledge, 2001. 234-35.
- Kelly, J. N. D. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986.