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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

1154-1187 A.D.

1046  |  1055  |  1073  |  1118  |  1143  |  1154  |  1187  |  1198  |  1241  |  1261  |  1276  |  Index

Hadrian IV : 1154-1159 A.D.

169. Born in Lafiiley (England). Elected December 5, 1154 - died September 1st, 1159.

He was a supporter of pontifical supremacy. At the meeting held in Sutri, Barbarossa refused to hold the bridle of the Pope's mule and he refused him the kiss of forgiveness.

Arnold of Brescia was burned according to an order given by the Pope, who had his ashes thrown in the Tiber; according to other sources, Frederick II rather than Hadrian ordered this terrible torture.

He was the first and the only English Pope.

Before dying, he recommended his old and poor mother to the charity of the church of Canterbury.

He was buried in an ancient urn made of red granite, in the dungeons of the Basilica of St. Peter.

In 1607, when the sepulchre was opened, he was found intact and dressed with dark habits.

His pontificate lasted almost 5 years.

Alexander III : 1159-1181 A.D.

170. Born in Siena. Elected September 20,1159 - died August 20,1181.

He excommunicated Barbarossa because of his evil actions, supported the Lombard League, and defeated him in Legnano with the famous "Carroccio". He called the 11th Ecumenical Council. He reserved to the Pope the right to canonisation.

He definitively decided through the bull "Licet et Vitanda" issued in 1179, that the Pope had to be elected only by cardinals, without any other influence from the clergy or the people, and with a majority of at least two thirds (this last provision was left unchanged until Paul VI, who introduced the second ballot).

He was buried in San Giovanni in Laterano.

His pontificate lasted almost 22 years.

Lucius III : 1181-1185 A.D.

171. Born in Lucca. Elected in Velletri September 6, after one day of office vacancy, 1181 - died September 25, 1185.

He planned and promoted a statute (November 4th, 1184), which had to contain the rules and functions for a more rapid repression than the public accusation against heretics, and that lead to the creation of the Tribunal of the Holy Office (Paul III, 220). He was buried in the Cathedral of Verona.

His pontificate lasted almost 4 years and 2 months.

Urban III : 1185-1187 A.D.

172. Born in Milan. Elected December 1st, 1185 - died October 20, 1187.

He was elected in Verona and chose this city as his pontifical residence. When he was a cardinal, he created the "Lombard League".

He opposed the abuse of Barbarossa and died of grief vvhen the Saracens occupied Jerusalem.

Urban III never came to Rome.

He is buried in the Cathedral of Ferrara.

His pontificate lasted about 1 year and 10 months.

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Index of Roman Pontiffs


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