Again at the Council of Ferrara, Torquemada rendered such services to the Pope and to the whole Church that Eugenius IV, in gratitude, bestowed on him the title of Defender of the Faith, and in 1439 made him a Cardinal.
Jewish or not, this prelate was one of the great Catholics of his time, and one of the most respected members of the Sacred College. He was tireless in his charities. He founded the Confraternity of the Annunciation to provide dowries for poor girls who otherwise in those times could not have married; and he helped to build the chapel at Santa Maria Sopre Minerva…A great Thomist, he was admittedly the most learned Cardinal of his time. His Summa against the enemies of the Church (1450), the most important work of the later Middle Ages on the papal power, influenced Catholic scholarship down to the eighteenth century.
William Thomas Walsh, Characters of the Inquisition (1940)