(Also called DE M IRANDA, from his native town).
Archbishop of Toledo; b. at Miranda de Arga, Spain, 1503; d. at Rome, 2 May, 1576. Carranza belonged to a noble family which had its estates at Miranda de Arga in Spanish Navarre. He received his early education at Alcalá and in 1520 entered the Dominican convent of Benalaque near Guadalajara. He continued his philosophical and theological studies at Salamanca; in 1528 he was made master of the liberal arts, and in 1534 lector of theology, at the College of St. Gregory, Valladolid. On account of some doctrinal opinions he was said to hold, an accusation was about this time brought against him, but nothing further came of it. Carranza's reputation as a learned theologian increased rapidly, and he was appointed censor by the Inquisition and was commissioned to prepare opinions and sermons. He was also sent by his order on various important missions. Thus in 1539 he represented his province at the general chapter of the Dominicans at Rome. After his return, in 1540, the Emperor Charles V offered him the See of Cuzco in Peru, but Carranza declined the appointment and continued performing his duties as lector of theology at Valladolid. In 1545, when the Council of Trent was opened, Charles V sent Carranza and another Dominican, Dominicus de Soto, as imperial theologians, to the council, and by June, 1545, Carranza was in Trent. During the first period of the council (1545-47) he took an active part in the discussions of the theologians in the congregations, expressed opinions concerning the various matters appointed for discussion, the sacraments in general, Baptism, the Eucharist, and the Sacrifice of the Mass, and preached at Divine service, 14 March, before the assembled council (Le Plat, "Monum. Trident.", I, 52-62, gives the text of the sermon ). He also showed great zeal in the conferences concerning the reform of church discipline. In the warm discussions as to the duty of episcopal residence, Carranza, like all the Spaniards, was strongly of the opinion that the duty of residence was a Divine law ( juris divini ), and therefore could not be delegated to a vicar. On this question, Carranza wrote and issued a treatise, "Controversia de necessarii residentii personali episcoporum et aliorum inferiorum ecclesiæ pastorum Tridenti explicata" (Venice, 1547), which may be found in Le Plat, "Monum. Trident.", III, 522-584. Carranza also had a share in drawing up the eleven articles proposed by the Spaniards, which treated the duty of episcopal residence and other questions of discipline relating to the office of a bishop. When the council was transferred to Bologna he did not go to that city, but remained in Trent. In 1548 Charles asked him to accompany Prince Philip to Flanders as confessor, but Carranza declined the position; in 1549 he refused the appointment of Bishop of the Canary Islands.
After his return to Spain, in 1549, he was made prior of the monastery at Palencia, and in 1550 provincial. In 1551, when Pope Julius III reopened the Council at Trent, Carranza went once more to that city to take part in the deliberations. The council was again interrupted in 1552, and Carranza went back to Spain, where, besides his duties in his order, he also took part in the labours of the Inquisition. As almoner of Prince Philip, Carranza came in contact with the prince, and often preached before him and his court. When, in 1554, Philip was betrothed to Queen Mary of England, and was preparing to go to that country for the marriage, he sent Carranza and other members of Spanish orders ahead of him, in order to give support to the queen in her efforts to bring back the country to the Catholic Faith. Carranza remained until 1557 in England, where he was actively engaged, in connexion with Cardinal Pole , as visitator and preacher. He sought to prevent the sale of Protestant books, preached frequently against the false doctrines , and made an inspection of the University of Oxford, from which, by his efforts, a number of professors were expelled. After Charles V had abdicated the throne and was succeeded, in Spain, by Philip, Carranza returned, in 1557, to the Continent, and went to Flanders, where the new king had his principal residence at that time. In Flanders the zealous Dominican also busied himself with efforts to check the introduction and spread of Protestant writings and to maintain the Catholic Faith.
The See of Toledo falling vacant by the death of the Cardinal Archbishop Siliceo, 31 May, 1557, the king decided upon Carranza as successor to the position. In vain did Carranza exert himself to win the favour of the king for another candidate. Philip II persisted in his choice, so that at last Carranza yielded and was preconized by Pope Paul IV, 16 December, 1557, as Archbishop of Toledo and, therefore, Primate of Spain. Carranza received episcopal consecration at Brussels, in 1558, from Cardinal Granvella, then Bishop of Arras. Equipped with important political instructions the new archbishop left Flanders in June and reached the court at Valladolid in August. Soon after this he went to Yuste to visit Charles V, who was dying; he remained with the emperor until the latter's death. A report arose in time that Carranza had led Charles into heretical views, so that the emperor had not died in the true Catholic Faith. This rumour was pure invention, but it gave a new ground for the process before the Inquisition which had already begun against him. It was only for about a year that Carranza was able to devote himself to his diocese, where he bestowed especial attention upon the care of the poor. In 1558 his "Commentary on the Christian Catechism" (Commentarios del revmo. Señ. Fray Bartolomé Carranza de Miranda sobre el catechismo cristiano) had appeared at Antwerp. A number of views suspected of heresy were found in the book, and the Grand Inquisitor Valdés brought an action against the author. Besides this work on the catechism,Carranza's manuscripts, expressions he had employed in sermons, and letters found in his possession, including one from Juan Valdés, the heretic, were taken as evidence against him. Melchior Cano, the famous theologian, and Dominicus de Soto, both members of the same order as the archbishop, drew numerous propositions from the commentary which were open to ecclesiastical censure. A Brief of Paul IV , dated 7 January, 1559, had granted the Grand Inquisitor of Spain the power, for the space of two years, to investigate the conduct of all Spanish bishops ; this measure was intended to conteract the threatening danger of the spread of Protestant doctrine. With the permission, therefore, of King Philip II (26 June, 1558) the grand inquisitor had the archbishop arrested at Torrelaguna, 22 August, 1558, and brought a prisoner to Valladolid. Pope Pius IV made repeated requests to Philip II in the matter, and the Holy Father was urged several times, in the years 1562 and 1563, by the members of the Council of Trent, to bring the case of the Archbishop of Toledo before his court. The Congregation of the Index also gave at the council a favourable testimony for Carranza in regard to his commentary.
Nevertheless the Spanish process pursued its tedious course. In 1564, when the Inquisition had closed its investigation, the king expressed the wish to Pius IV that the matter be decided in Spain by judges appointed by the pope. The pope agreed to this and named (13 July, 1565) four judges who were to pronounce judgment in Spain. These judges were: Cardinal Ugo Buoncompagni, Ippolito Aldobrandini, Fel. Peretti, O. S. F., and J. B. Castagna, Archbishop of Rosano; all four became popes later. However, after their arrival in Spain in November, 1565, they were not permitted to proceed independently of the officials of the Inquisition, and the process, therefore, reached no final settlement. At last, in 1567, owing to the peremptory order of Pius V, the suit was brought before the Curia, the official documents were sent to Rome, and Carranza, who had been in prison eight years, was taken to Rome, where he arrived 28 May, 1567. The papal chambers in the Castle of Sant' Angelo were appointed to be his residence during the trial. Once more the case lasted a long time, being nine years before the Curia. It was not until the reign of Gregory XIII that a final decision was reached, 14 April, 1576. Carranza was not found guilty of actual heresy, but he was condemned to abjure sixteen Lutheran propositions of which he had made himself suspected, was forbidden to enter on the government of his diocese for another five years, and was ordered during this period to live in the monastery of his order near the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, and there to perform certain religious exercises as penance. Carranza died, however, in the same year, and was buried in the choir of the church just mentioned. Before this he had, on 23 April, visited the seven great churches and had celebrated Mass on the following day in the basilica of the Lateran. Previous to receiving the last sacraments he touchingly declared that he had been all his life a true adherent of the Catholic Faith, that he had never voluntarily understood and held the condemned propositions in a heretical sense, and that he submitted entirely to the judgment pronounced upon him. He had borne the imprisonment of nearly seventeen years with patience and resignation, and was universally venerated at Rome. Pope Gregory XIII gave permission for the placing over his grave of a monument bearing an inscription in his honour.
Carranza's sorrowful fate was brought about, largely, by the intense desire to keep all Protestant influences out of Spain. At the same time it cannot be denied that expressions which he used and propositions which he occasionally set forth would of themselves give rise to the suggestion of heretical opinions. At a later date the Congregation of the Index also condemned his commentary. This work, a stout folio, treated the doctrines of Christian faith and morals under four heads: faith, commandments, sacraments, and good works. Besides the commentary, Carranza published a "Summa Conciliorum et Pontificum a Petro usque Paulum III" (Venice, 1546), often republished and enlarged by later editors. The "Summa" was prefaced by four dissertations: "Controversiæ quattuor, (1) Quanta sit auctoritas traditionum in ecclesiâ; (2) Quanta Sacræ Scripturæ (3) Quanta Romani Pontificis et Sedis apostolicæ (4) Quanta Conciliorum"; further, by the controversial treatise concerning episcopal residence mentioned above, and by an "Introduction to the Hearing of the Mass" (Instruccion para oir messa). An edition was issued at Antwerp in 1555.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online