Talk:Charles Borromeo

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First Name?[edit]

Borromeo is referred to by his first name repeatedly in this article. Should his last name be used instead? Samatva (talk) 20:40, 12 February 2016 (UTC)


Is this man a member of the aristocratic Borromeo family after whom the Borromean rings are named? Michael Hardy 20:45, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Yes. (We should probably have an article on the family. There is a brief outline here, but it’s too vague about quite what the Borromeo State was to be quickly summarized into a satisfactory stub.) —Ian Spackman 22:41, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Is Karlskirche in Vienna named after him? Irvin Seah 21.54 AEST 16 Nov 05.

According to Karlskirche, it is indeed. —Ian Spackman 22:41, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

POV check[edit]

This article reads like a personal essay on Charles Borromeo - and a very favourable one. I think this is a result of erlying heavily on EB 1911 as a source. But some cleaning up and rebalancing is needed. PiCo 06:04, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Hagiography’ was the word that came to mind as I read it. -- Ian Spackman 22:16, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Um, from Hagiography- "Hagiography is the study of saints. A hagiography refers literally to writings on the subject of such holy people, and specifically the biographies of ecclesiastical and secular leaders." So...what's your point? Pop6 (talk) 17:21, 13 July 2008 (UTC)
Indeed that is one meaning of hagiography, but sadly it was not the one I had in mind: I was not proposing that the Bollandists should confer gold barnstars upon the article’s authors. Rather, I meant to imply that it reads like something casually transwikied from Tridentineopedia—and about as appropriate for Wikipedia as a biography of Chemical Ali casually transwikied from Baathopedia. —Ian Spackman (talk) 01:39, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
The biography in Catholic Saints Online seems to have a better tone and is more understandable to contemporary audiences. I agree this needs to be cleaned up to reduce the hagiography aspect.--Parkwells (talk) 17:05, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

The recommendation for WP:POV corrections originally made by PiCo in January 2006 don't seem to have been made, and there has not been any opposition to making them. This article is highly objectionable from the non-Catholic viewpoint. For example, Protestants are described as "heretics", "inroads" is how the effects of the Protestant Reformation are described, and in many places the tone is one of condoning the suppression or murder of Protestants, and other POV statements are present. --Zeamays (talk) 17:36, 28 October 2016 (UTC)

I see no problem with the sentence "This organization was determined to expel heretics": it is describing accurately how the League saw these unfortunate people. History can only be understood from the point of view of those involved – and that is by no means to say tout comprendre, c'est tout pardonner! Deipnosophista (talk) 11:29, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

Saint Charles Boormeo[edit]

The article explains that San Carlo Borromeo is how he is known in Italian. But in what language is he known as Saint Charles Boormeo? —Ian Spackman 15:11, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

  • English, there are tons of churches called St. Charles Borromeo in the USA. The Scalabrian order is actually called Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo, they are all over the world I believe. Williamb 14:16, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
    • I am afraid that you missed my (not particularly interesting) joke. See #the solemn Mass of the deu, below. Or check the edit history. (But personally I wouldn’t bother—it’s not that amusing.) —Ian Spackman 17:55, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Excessively Long Sections[edit]

Seems that the main section of this article could really do with some subheadings? It's enormous! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 00:34, 7 November 2006 mumynjmyurjrnjbn :))))))) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:57, 31 August 2015 (UTC)


This page was renamed without any discussion. Please restore Charles Borromeo (Italian saint) to its original name. Even if the other article about the Indian athlete is found to be notable, the renaming should be handled differently and not simply by a single user's fiat. For example, perhaps the {{moveto}} template should have been used to alert people that a major chnage to a major saint was about to be made. --evrik (talk) 14:37, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

‘the solemn Mass of the deu’[edit]

Anyone know what that means? I would guess that there has been a vandalistic deletion at some point. But, if not, the phrase should be explained. —Ian Spackman 19:54, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

I was wrong—I was guessing that ‘deu’ was short for deus plus something or other. But it wasn’t vandalism, just an unconsidered (probably un-read!) mport of a scanning error in one of the Catholic Encyclopedia on-line versions by the late-lamented User:Fastifex. [1] (The same edit that turned the the subject of the article into the idiotic Saint Charles Boormeo). I'll remove the apposite sentence(s). —Ian Spackman 17:48, 20 November 2006 (UTC)


If you compare this entry with the entry on C. Borromeo in the Italian Wikipedia you'll see the latter is about half the length and much more to the point. I suggest we remove the last two paragraphs and add some mention of his famous role in burning witches in Switzerland. Even the Catholic Encyclopedia (online) mentions this: "He began in the Mesoleina [sic] Valley; here not only was there heresy to be fought, but also witchcraft and sorcery, and at Roveredo it was discovered that the provost, or rector, was the foremost in sorceries. Charles spent considerable time in setting right this terrible state of things." The Italian version of wikipedia gives more detail. What follows is a summary of the information it contains, and I suggest we add it to the entry: "Borromeo combated Protestantism in the Swiss valleys. On a pastoral visit to Val Mesolcina in 1583 he had 150 people tried for witchcraft, about a hundred of them being women. This is one of the best-documented witchcraft trials in the period. Many of them were tortured to extract confessions. The trials ended by finding eleven people guilty (ten of them women), and they were burnt at the stake." I haven't added the above information to the entry, because I would like others to comment on it first. Sadleir 10:09, 8 January 2007 (UTC)Sadleir 21.30 6.01..2007

Uh, it is the biography of a saint you know. Also, I see no reason not to include that information, as long as it's well cited. Why'd you put it on the talk page rather than in the article? Ford MF 11:13, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
To be precise: It is the biography of a human being, and in the Point Of View of some it is the biography of a saint. Hagiographies are certainly not acceptable here. -- (talk) 09:03, 22 March 2009 (UTC)


Shouldn't something be added about his effect on today's seminary system? As I understand it, he is the 'father' of the modern seminary system, owing to his desire to see priests be more like theologians. The mention in the article hardly gives him credit. Pop6 (talk) 17:19, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

List of churches in separate article?[edit]

There are so many churches, parishes and schools named for St. Charles that perhaps they should appear in a separate article as a list. This probably does not encompass all of them.--Parkwells (talk) 18:34, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

It seems very arguable that long lists of churches and schools are mere stamp-collecting, and not of sufficient interest to be included at all. Deipnosophista (talk) 11:05, 4 September 2017 (UTC)

Date of death[edit]

In the first sentence in the article it is stated that he died on November 3. In the section entitled "Legacy and other Controversies" the date is given as November 4. Which is it? Caeruleancentaur (talk) 11:56, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

I have checked the article in the Catholic Encyclopedia and the Roman Martyrology. Both sources state he died on 3 November, so I've changed the date in the article. Caeruleancentaur (talk) 12:05, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved Kotniski (talk) 08:01, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

Charles BorromeoCarlo Borromeo — His name was Carlo not Charles. Lucifero4 (talk) 12:04, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

  • Oppose; most English-language sources translate his Christian name into English. Powers T 19:26, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. No reason given for the move in terms of WP:NC. Andrewa (talk) 21:00, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose, per LtPowers. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 17:02, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Relics link[edit]

The link Relics of St Charles Borromeo in St Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, Wrocław, Poland] recently added by user:Internuncio seems to me to fail WP:EL by a long, long way. At first sight there is nothing of relevance at all. However, If you click on the words Saint Charles Borromeo' a (standard kind of) biography of the archbishop is revealed, headed up by a small photograph of a reliquary with a caption reading ‘Relic of Saint Charles Borromeo’. No information whatsoever is given about the reliquary itself (how big is it? what is it made of? who made it? who commissioned it, when?) nor of its contents (which bit of San Carlo? How and why did it get to Wrocław? Did Milan get anything in return, in the way that it got a lot bones of Ursula’s virgins from Cologne in return for the preserved corpses of the three magi which Barbarossa felt proper to—err—translate?) Some or all of these questions—or other questions—might well have interesting answers; answers, however, which the page does not begin to provide.

To date Internuncio’s edits have been limited to adding links to . In this edit s/he even managed to add three of them to Conventual Franciscans. WP:SPAM seems to apply, and I have reverted the addition of the link. Ian Spackman (talk) 23:53, 21 August 2013 (UTC)


I hope that this is the right place to reply to you. Obviously, I'm totally new to putting anything on Wikipedia, and I find all the rules and regulations frankly overwhelming and often I simply can't find an answer to my question about whether to link something or not. (For example, I clicked every link in your message to me and could not figure out how to actually RESPOND to you!) I don't have ages to spend reading every lengthy article about how to use Wikipedia, especially when I so often can't find what I need to know in a user-friendly or intuitive way.

That said, I can understand your objections to the link to the relic of St Charles. All the information you wrote about would be quite interesting to know, and indeed, when I think of an 'Encyclopedia article' about the relics, I would indeed expect all that information to be on the page. However, since I didn't link to a museum, but to a religious shrine, the point of the link is not what you expected.

I wasn't linking to an encyclopedia article about Charles Borromeo or about the history, size, shape, etc. of the relic itself (people of faith have very little interest in those questions). What I was linking to is a shrine in which a number of first-class and second-class relics are kept. The point of the shrine is not to measure the size of the relic or ask about its historic origins. The point of a shrine is a pilgrimage site for the faithful to pray for the intercession of particular saints.

I don't know if you're Catholic or religious, but here's how it works: Someone wants to go to a holy place - say Jerusalem or Mecca or indeed, our Shrine here in Poland. They go to Wikipedia and look up "Jerusalem" or "Mecca" and read all the encyclopedia facts and figures about the place. BUT, when it comes to EXTERNAL links, they might very well be interested in knowing, as a religious person and a pilgrim, of interesting places where they can go to practice their religious faith - retreat houses, shrines, holy wells, famous icons, or indeed, relics of holy people. That's why it was an EXTERNAL link, and not in the article itself.

Someone looking up Charles Borromeo, who has a devotion to that saint, would be very interested in knowing that he can go to that shrine, find a relic of the saint and pray there.

If the relic itself were of interest - size, shape, origins, etc. - I could have made a page about that particular relic and the reliquary, etc. My aim was only to send Catholics who have a devotion to St Charles to a link that would tell them, in effect, 'If you are going to be in Poland, you can come to this shrine, which is a place of devotion for your patron saint.' No harm, no foul. No? Let's remember that external links are entirely optional: nobody has to click on one.

That's the aim of any links I've put up to the Pastoral Centre for English-Speakers in Wroclaw, Poland. It is a place of pilgrimage for many reasons (the relics of 10 saints, including a relic of the True Cross can be found there, as well as an image of the Blessed Virgin which is connected with a number of verified miracles). As such, it is an important religious site for Catholics, but it's not well-known outside of Poland. Furthermore, it is one of the only 'official' places in Poland where English-speaking Catholics can worship in English. This is very important to English-speaking Catholics and again, it is not well-known. If you are Catholic, you know that one of the first things you need to do before taking a trip is find out where you can go to Mass and have other sacraments that might be necessary. Hence a link on the "Wroclaw" page in Wikipedia (which I hope you will not remove) and another on the "Poland" page. Over the years, we've been told by almost everyone who finds us, 'I could not find information about you on the Internet when I was looking up information about Poland, religion in Poland, Wroclaw, churches in Wroclaw, etc.' So clearly there is a need for some kind of information about the existence of Catholic religious services in English in Poland and in Wroclaw.

I am not a 'spammer.' Our shrine actually exists; the Pastoral Centre was duly created by the local archbishop and officially exists within the Catholic Church in Poland. We're not a hotel or a business, but a parish church that is also a shrine and also takes care of the needs of Catholic English-speakers (from many countries and language groups) who live in this region. We don't make any money from anything. We simply want English-speakers who come to Poland to know that they can come as pilgrims to our shrine and that there is Catholic religion in English in Poland as part of the religious make-up of the country and of this city.

In short, I was not trying to link to an encyclopedia description of any particular relic, but to alert people who read about St Charles for reasons of religious devotion (not unlikely) that there is a shrine with his relic in this part of the world. The information about the saint himself is general because some Catholics don't know about him and will be introduced to him for the first time when they come to our church and see the relic.

If you go to the webpage of Czestochowa, Poland, in the external links you will find a link to the Black Madonna Monastery. The link to our Shrine on the St Charles page is similarly motivated: if you are interested in St Charles, you might want to know where you can find one of his relics. To a Catholic, this makes perfect sense. That's all the defense I can offer to your objections: an EXTERNAL link to an object of veneration for faithful Catholics was intended; not a link to an encyclopedia description of the object itself, which is of little or no interest to the faithful.

As far as the links on the Conventual Franciscans page goes, well, the Pastoral Centre is run by Conventual Franciscans, and they would be VERY surprised to find out that they can have a link to the Conventual Franciscans in Uganda, but not a link to an article written by a Conventual Franciscan giving a complete historic account of their history (very 'encyclopedic') in Wroclaw, Poland! If you removed that one, I'd really like your explanation of what was wrong with it, since it's the ONLY official history of the Conventual Franciscans in Wroclaw available in English, and I have personal knowledge that in fact, it's much more complete than the corresponding text in Polish, having worked with a Conventual Franciscan here to expand the original sources with other materials to make the 'definitive' history of the Conventual Franciscans in Wroclaw.

I am NOT a spammer; however, I have removed all links to our 'relics' page since you are correct: our relics pages do not give more information than the main Wikipedia page.

I'll be putting back the link to the Conventual Franciscans in Wroclaw and to the Franciscan martyrs in Peru, as this information cannot be found anywhere else on the Internet in English, and is worthwhile information that the Franciscans are eager to share in English (especially compared to the VIDEO link on the Conventual Franciscans page. I'd be interested in knowing how the video qualifies as suitable to an encyclopedia.). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Internuncio (talkcontribs) 19:44, 23 August 2013 (UTC)

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Tag I just placed[edit]

Having originally checked into this article to add a better picture I took of his coffin when I was in Milan last summer before Wikimania, I happened to notice that a fair amount of the article's text is not only uncited but somewhat ... hagiographic, as noted above, even given that it is the biography of a saint. For example: "Charged with implementing the reforms dictated by the Council of Trent, Charles had to be tough, and his toughness brought him into conflict with secular leaders, priests, and even the pope himself". Yes this is cited, but language like this cannot just be cited, it has to be quoted, attributed or in some way made clear that this is not Wikipedia speaking.

I suspected that a lot of this might have been copypasted from somewhere else, so I ran the article through Earwig's Copyvio Detector. Sure enough, I was right. A good deal of this source, itself taken from The Lives of the Saints but not attributed as such when it is cited here, as it should be, turns up in the text of this article.

So, in addition to saying whatever amount of Hail Marys and Our Fathers prescribed in the confessional, the penance needs to include taking care of this and rewriting in Wikipedia's voice, taking care to maintain NPOV. Daniel Case (talk) 03:17, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

I have made a start on toning down the hagiographical tone, which was certainly intrusive in places. I am practising RC by the way. Tigerboy1966  11:17, 9 September 2017 (UTC)

Ribera slander?[edit]

There seems to be no evidence for the Ribera incident, so this passage should probably be removed. The article claims:

He [Charles Borromeo] successfully attacked his Jesuit confessor, Giovanni Battista Ribera, who, with other members of the college of Milan, was found to be guilty of "unnatural offenses". This action increased the number of Borromeo's enemies within the church.

A historian tells me:

Ribera never was stationed in Milan.
Source of the calumny: perhaps Agnelli, apostate priest, 1762/3 published letter of Charles, supported by Portuguese envoy, Almada, tool of Pombal. Letters mutilated; falsified. [B N<Barbara Frances M. comtesse de Courson> The Jesuits: their history and foundation. London. Burns and Oates. 1879 p. 139]

He cites from: John Peter Guissano, The Life of St Charles Borromeo. Aetna Press 2015:

The young archbishop <Borromeo> suddenly assumed a life of great rigidity….All this was attributed by the Jesuits to the unction of Father Ribera and the “Spiritual Exercises” of Loyola and the harassments consequent to the reforms set on foot by the zealous archbishop, suggested, according to the Jesuits, one of the foulest charges imaginable against the confessor Ribera.[Sacchinus. lib. viii, 13. Joly, i, 465.]…I need not say that the hostile histories of the Jesuits broadly and boldly assert the charges, as though they were facts, [Pasquier Quesnel, Moral Reflections on the New Testament] though Charles Borromeo himself is stated to have recognized Ribera’s innocence, and continued to honor him with his confidence. [Guissano, a contemporary, De Vita Sancti Caroli Borromei, and others]

Pernimius (talk) 14:30, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

"Latin" Archbishop of Milan[edit]

what other Archbishops of Milan were there? Why have "Latin" there?--2607:FEA8:D5DF:1AF0:3516:3674:C59F:4426 (talk) 12:51, 4 November 2020 (UTC)

Yes, silly. It says he was Catholic in the same sentence. Removed. Johnbod (talk) 17:22, 4 November 2020 (UTC)