Intended for a business career, he took orders during the pontificate of his uncle, Eugenius IV., and was appointed successively archdeacon of Bologna, bishop of Cervia, bishop of Piacenza, protonotary of the Roman Church, and in 1440 cardinal-deacon of Sta Maria Nuova.
Amongst them, actually or potentially, are the grand steward (0yas oircovo,uos), who serves him as deacon in the liturgy and presents candidates for orders; the grand visitor (µryas oaKEAAaptos), who superintends the monasteries; the sacristan (o - KEvocAuAa); the chancellor (X apr041,Xa), who superintends ecclesiastical causes; the deputyvisitor (o rou caKEAAiov), who visits the nunneries; the protonotary (7rpwrovorapcos); the logothete (Aoy06Erns), a most important lay officer, who represents the patriarch at the Porte and elsewhere outside; the censer-bearer, who seems to be also a kind of captain of the guard (Kavarpio-cos or Kavvrp11vQLos); the referendary (pEckpevSapcos); the secretary (i)7rown L uoyp x4wv); the chief syndic (7rpwrEK&Kos), 1 The numbers have varied from time to time.
He was created a protonotary apostolic, and in July returned to Germany, as papal nuncio, with the celebrated bull Exsurge Domine directed against Luther's writings.
(his alleged military service seems to be questionable), and became successively protonotary, president of the Apostolic Chamber, governor of Macerate and commissary of Ancona.
At the age of twenty-five he held several rich livings, had been notary and protonotary to the Curia, and was first secretary to the pope, in which capacity he conducted the correspondence with the nuncios (among them Pier Paolo Bergerio in Germany) and a host of other duties.