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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

896-900 A.D.


Stephen VI : 896-897 A.D.  [For the seldom mentioned activities of this Pope - Click Here]

113. Born in Rome. Elected May 22, 896 - August 897.

Submitted to internal quarrels, he had the corpse of Pope Formosus disinterred and thrown into the Tiber after an unfair trial.

As a consequence of a popular insurrection, he was arrested and strangled in jail.

Always in 897, during an earthquake, the Old Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano collapsed.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate lasted about 1 year and 3 months.

Romanus : 897 A.D.

114. Born in Gallese (Rome). Elected August 897 - died in November of the same year.

One of his first actions was that of rehabilitating the memory of Pope Formosus.

He confirmed to Gerona the control of the islands of Majorca and Minorca.

He died from poisoning.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate was short, it lasted about 3 months.

Theodore II : 897 A.D.

115. Born in Rome. Elected in December 897 - died in the same month.

He ruled the Church for only 20 days, he transferred to the Vatican the mortal remains of Pope Formosus, pulled out from the Tiber.

He died suddenly, probably from poisoning.

As to the striking brevity of the pontificates of Stephen VI, Romanus and Theodore II, Gregorovius said that the foul air of the profaned body of Formosus hung over the people, who passed by rapidly and fleetingly: it seemed that the angry spirit of Formosus rose over them.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes.

John IX : 898-900 A.D.

116. Born in Tivoli. Elected January 898 - died January 900.

He reaffirmed the supremacy of the Church over all its territories and Rome.

In order to prevent certain struggles from occurring, he restored the imperial participation in the consecration of popes and to ensure the liberty of the pontifical election he wrote: From now on, we wish that the Pope, elected by the bishops and the whole clergy, be consecrated in the presence of the imperial commissioners and all the believers.

He prohibited the sacking of bishops' and popes' places after their death, as usually occurred.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate lasted about 2 years.

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