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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

985-1003 A.D.

JOHN XV : 985-996 A.D.

137. Born in Rome. Elected August 985 . died March 996.

Caught in the snare of abuses, he was forced to look for shelter in Tuscany.

He solved the disagreement affecting the church of Reims.

He was the first Pope to carry forward the trial and the canonisation of a Saint: Ulderich, archbishop of Augsburg, who was made saint on decision of a Lateran. synod.

This was the first example of canonisation performed by a Pope.

He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes. His pontificate lasted about 10 years and 7 months.

GREGORY V : 996-999 A.D.

138. Born in Saxony. Elected May 3, 996 - died November 11, 999.

In the Basilica of St. Peter, he crowned his cousin Otto III, but after Otto went back to Germany, Gregory V was forced to leave Rome because of the threat represented by Crescentium, who opposed him with an anti-pope.

Otto III came to the aid of the Pope; the anti-pope escaped from Rome and Crescentium was beheaded in Castel S. Angelo.

He introduced the commemoration of the dead. He transferred St. Lucille's mortal remains to S. Maria Nuova in Rome. He is buried in the Vatican Grottoes.

His pontificate lasted 2 years and 9 months.

SILVESTER II : 999-1003 A.D.

139. Born in Auvergne (France). Elected April 2, 999 - died May 12, 1003.

He tried to stem immoral behaviour. 

He was extremely learned and introduced the use of Arab numbers.  (1)

His pontificate crossed the threshold of the famous year 1000, which was considered crucial for the Last Judgment: people used to say: one thousand and not one thousand more.

He is said to have invented the balance-wheel, which was used till 1640 and then replaced by the pendulum clock.  (1)

He was the only Pope keen to astronomy and mathematic.  (1)

He was also the first Pope to think about crusades, fostering princes and nations to start an allied war to free the Holy Land and Eastern Christians.

He is buried in San Giovanni in Laterano.

His pontificate lasted about 4 years and 1 month.

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(1)
We have encountered some very serious allegations about Pope Sylvester II. Many sound ludicrous but "where there is smoke there is a fire somewhere". In addition, we have reason to believe that there is some serious truths in said allegations.  Pope Sylvester II in Wikipedia.

JOHN XVII : 1003 A.D.

140. Born in Rome. Elected June 1003 - died December 1003.

His election took place in a period of serious disorders which followed the death of Otto II from Germany.

We do not have significant information concerning his short pontificate.

He is buried in San Giovanni in Laterano.

His pontificate lasted about 5 months and 25 days.

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