Borja maintained an antagonistic relationship with Pope Urban VIII during the Thirty Years' War, accusing the pope of not supporting the Catholics enough. In response, Urban had Spain recall Borja in 1634, and subsequently prevented his installation as Archibishop of Toledo. Urban's successor, Innocent X, did give Borja this title shortly before Borja's death.
Gaspar de Borja y Velasco was already an enemy of Pope Urban VIII when Grantville arrived in the past. American intervention in the Thirty Years' War, combined with Urban's lack of antipathy towards the Americans, exacerbated Borja further. When Urban pardoned Galileo in 1634, in some part due to the actions of the Americans, Borja decided to move against Urban once and for all.
In 1635, Borja engaged Francisco de Quevedo to undermine Urban, and later maneuvered Spanish forces into into invading Rome for the purpose of overthrowing and imprisoning Urban. However, Urban was able to escape from Rome with the assistance of the USE embassy. Many bishops and cardinals loyal to Urban (including Urban's nephew Francesco Barberini), were killed during Borja's takeover. Whether or not Borja directly ordered these killings, he did countenance them once he learned of them from Quevedo.
He eventually had himself declared Pope.[n 1] One of his first acts was to brand the Americans as heretics and demons. However, it eventually became known that Urban had been able to escape.
Borja's upheaval was not taken very well by Philip IV, who was critical of the negative effects Borja had on Spanish possessions in Italy, and privately refused to refer to him as pope. Philip even wanted Borja's immediate death, and was not alone in that, but he grudgingly accepted that having Borja killed, or even openly disavowing him, would make matters worse. Phillip also grudgingly realized that, if Borja was killed, Urban would likely regain the papacy, and would remain hostile to Spain for its association with Borja. Therefore, Borja was recognized as the new pope by Spain and its territories and satellites, but only by them. Elsewhere in Europe, he was considered an antipope.
- ↑ There appear to be some discrepancies as to just when this happened.
|Religious offices (1632)|
Pope Urban VIII
Recognized only by Spain
Served alongside: Pope Urban VIII (disputed)
| Succeeded by|