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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

1187-1198 A.D.

Gregory VIII : 1187 A.D.

173. Born in Benevento. Elected October 25,1187 - died December 17, 1187.

He was elected in Ferrara. Accepted by Barbarossa, he succeeded in settling the disputes between the Church and the Empire, thanks to a longer pontificate.

He helped the Christians in the Holy Land, who were oppressed by the unfaithful.

He was buried in the Cathedral of Pisa and on occasion of the fire that broke out in this Cathedral on October 15th 1595, his mortal remains were destroyed and part of the monument was burnt.

His pontificate lasted 1 month and 27 days.

Clement III : 1187-1191 A.D.

174. Born in Rome. Elected December 20, 1187 - died March 1191.

He restored peace in Rome after 60 years during which time the Popes had been forced to leave the city.

He promoted the 3rd Crusade, in which also the English King Richard the Lionhearted participated.

At the end of this crusade, the Christian Kingdom of Cyprus was established and Clement obtained a strip of Palestine coast and the permission to visit the Holy Sepulchre that had been in the hands of Sultan Saladine since 1187.

He is buried in the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano.

His pontificate lasted 3 years and 3 months.

Celestine III : 1191-1198 A.D.

175. Born in Rome. Elected April 14, 1191 - died January 8, 1198.

He affirmed the indissolubility of marriage.

He approved the Teutonic knight order, the main task of which was that of defending the pilgrims who went to the Holy Land.

He also took action in order to regulate monasticism and decided, in an open and respectful decision, that the young boys who were destined to religious life, could freely change their mind once of age.

After a long period of time, Celestine III was the only Pope to spend all the years of his pontificate in Rome.

He was buried in the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano. His pontificate lasted about 6 years and 9 months

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