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Nevertheless there emanated from his charitable lips a death sentence probably too hastily arrived at, when he delivered the verdict against the nephews of Julius III, who had been tried on a vast array of charges. Two of them were executed: one was beheaded, and the other (Cardinal Carlo Caraffa) was strangled. It seemed certain that such a Pope would avoid even the appearances of nepotism, but he helped his family, which was of Milanese extraction, to many a rich benefice. Yet among those he favoured there was one for whose sake the Pope's weakness can actually be praised Charles Borromeo. Consecrated Archbishop and Cardinal of Milan at the age of twenty- one, he became a truly great man and earned a reputation for saintli- ness. He inaugurated his life's work by making the Vatican the scene of an active spiritual life, took care that the Papal States were governed more efficiently, and as the shepherd of his own diocese ded- icated himself particularly to those who were poorest and most for- saken. On his official journeys he could be seen climbing on all fours to the highest, most miserable villages of the Alps. When famine and pest raged he remained on the scene, after all the other spiritual and temporal authorities had fled. But the hardships which he en- dured because of his zeal and his love for men caused his death in the prime of life and thus deprived the Church of a great reformer, teacher and ascetic whom the people adored and who may safely be considered the good, yes, even the better genius of the Pope.
To Saint Charles as well as to his uncle the reforms of Trent meant exactly what they did to the Church as a whole. Paul IV had been antagonistic to the Council from the bottom of his soul, but Pius IV convened it anew during the early months of 1562. This third ses- sion lasted nearly two years. The religious revolution had led to abiding cleavages, and the Council now concerned the Catholic world alone. Nevertheless antagonistic points of view, nations and factions clashed resoundingly. The Catholic countries and princes, too, were conscious of a conflict of interests between Church and State; and the conservative spirit opposed every innovation such as the grant of the chalice to laymen, then so widely demanded, and of course also any modification of celibacy. By reason of the great influence of the Jesuits the Papal system triumphed over a minority who wanted to restore to the authority of the bishops the rights and dignities of old.