Roman Catholic Pope. Also known as Hadrian VI, he served as Pope from 1522 to 1523. Born Adriaan Floriszoon Boeyens in the Holy Roman Empire. He attempted to reform the Catholic Church to face the challenges posed by the Protestant Reformation, but the reforms of his brief term in office were largely opposed or ignored. He was the only pope from the Netherlands and the last non-Italian pope until John Paul II in 1978. Italians saw him as a pedantic foreign professor, blind to the beauty of classical antiquity, penuriously docking the stipends of great artists. As a peacemaker among Christian princes, whom he hoped to unite in a protective war against the Turks, he was a failure; in August 1523 he was forced openly to ally himself with the Holy Roman Empire, England, Venice, and others, against France. He only created one cardinal in his short pontificate, Willem van Enckenvoirt, who also commissioned his funerary monument.
Bio by: Fred Beisser