Pope Benedict V

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Pope

Benedict V
Pope Benedict V Illustration.jpg
Papacy began22 May 964
Papacy ended23 June 964
Predecessor John XII
Successor Leo VIII
Personal details
Birth nameBenedetto
Born Rome, Papal States
Died(965-07-04)4 July 965
Hamburg, Holy Roman Empire
Other popes named Benedict

Pope Benedict V (Latin : Benedictus V; died 4 July 965) was Pope from 22 May to 23 June 964, in opposition to Pope Leo VIII. He was overthrown by emperor Otto I. His pontificate occurred at the end of a period known as the Saeculum obscurum.

Pope Leader of the Catholic Church

The pope, also known as the supreme pontiff, is the bishop of Rome and leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. Since 1929, the pope has also been head of state of Vatican City, a city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. The current pope is Francis, who was elected on 13 March 2013, succeeding Benedict XVI.

Pope Leo VIII pope

Pope Leo VIII was the head of the Catholic Church from 23 June 964 to his death in 965; before that, he was an antipope from 963 to 964, in opposition to Pope John XII and Pope Benedict V. An appointee of the Holy Roman Emperor, Otto I, his pontificate occurred during the period known as the Saeculum obscurum.

Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor German king and first emperor of the Ottonian empire

Otto I, traditionally known as Otto the Great, was German king from 936 and Holy Roman Emperor from 962 until his death in 973. He was the oldest son of Henry I the Fowler and Matilda.

Contents

Biography

Fragment from the grave monument of Pope Benedict V Scherbe vom Grab Benedikt V.jpg
Fragment from the grave monument of Pope Benedict V

Benedict was the son of a Roman called John, and was born and raised in Rome around the vicinity of the Theatre of Marcellus. [1] A Cardinal-deacon before his election, Benedict was renowned for his learning, for which his contemporaries gave him the additional name of Grammaticus. [2] He was also a Notarius and had taken part in the deposition of Pope John XII and the subsequent election of Pope Leo VIII.

Rome Capital of Italy

Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.

Theatre of Marcellus theater

The Theatre of Marcellus is an ancient open-air theatre in Rome, Italy, built in the closing years of the Roman Republic. At the theatre, locals and visitors alike were able to watch performances of drama and song. Today its ancient edifice in the rione of Sant'Angelo, Rome, once again provides one of the city's many popular spectacles or tourist sites. Space for the theatre was cleared by Julius Caesar, who was murdered before its construction could begin; the theatre was advanced enough by 17 BC that part of the celebration of the ludi saeculares took place within the theatre; it was completed in 13 BC and formally inaugurated in 12 BC by Augustus.

Notarius

A notarius is a public secretary who is appointed by competent authority to draw up official or authentic documents. In the Roman Catholic Church there have been apostolic notaries and even episcopal notaries. Documents drawn up by notarii are issued chiefly from the official administrative offices, the chanceries; secondly, from tribunals; lastly, others are drawn up at the request of individuals to authenticate their contracts or other acts.

The Roman people, unhappy with the election of Leo who was the candidate of the Holy Roman Emperor, Otto I, had instead recalled John XII, whom Otto had deposed. John convened a synod which condemned Leo, in which Benedict took part. However, with John's death, the Roman people again rejected Leo, who had fled from Rome and joined Otto who was at Rieti, in central Italy. After a violent struggle between rival factions, the Romans elected Benedict instead, who was acclaimed by the city militia. [3] Prior to his coronation as pope, envoys were sent to Otto, informing them of their decision. The emperor rejected their decision out of hand and warned them not to proceed. Returning to Rome, they decided to ignore Otto; Benedict was consecrated bishop and crowned pope on 22 May 964. [4] The Romans swore an oath to Benedict that they would not abandon him and would protect him against Otto.

Holy Roman Emperor Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire

The Holy Roman Emperor, officially the Emperor of the Romans, and also the German-Roman Emperor, was the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The title was, almost without interruption, held in conjunction with title of King of Germany throughout the 12th to 18th centuries.

The Synod of Rome (964) was a synod held in St. Peter’s Basilica from 26 to 28 February 964, for the purpose of condemning the Synod of Rome (963) and to depose Pope Leo VIII.

Rieti Comune in Lazio, Italy

Rieti is a city and comune in Lazio, central Italy, with a population of 47,700. It is the capital of province of Rieti and see of the diocese of Rieti, as well as the modern capital of the Sabina region.

Otto however, upon hearing the news, resolved to restore his candidate as pope. He marched and proceeded to besiege Rome, blockading it so that no one was able to leave the city. The result was famine, as the land around the city was ravaged, and a single modius of bran cost thirty denarii. [5] Although Benedict tried to bolster morale by encouraging the defenders from the walls of the city, as well as threatening to excommunicate the emperor and his army, the Romans soon decided to capitulate. Opening the gates to Otto, they handed Benedict over to him on 23 June 964. [6] Together with his clerical and lay supporters, and clad in his pontifical robes, Benedict was brought before a synod which Leo had convened, and was asked by the Arch-deacon how Benedict dared to assume the chair of Saint Peter while Leo was still alive. He was also accused of having broken his oath to the Emperor, where he promised never to elect a pope without the emperor's consent. [7] Benedict responded “If I have sinned, have mercy on me.” Having received a promise from the emperor that his life would be spared if he submitted, Benedict threw himself at Leo's feet and acknowledged his guilt. [8]

Bran Hard outer layers of cereal grain

Bran, also known as miller's bran, is the hard outer layers of cereal grain. It consists of the combined aleurone and pericarp. Along with germ, it is an integral part of whole grains, and is often produced as a byproduct of milling in the production of refined grains.

The Lateran Council (964) was a synod held in the Lateran Palace on 23 June 964, for the purpose of deposing Pope Benedict V.

Saint Peter apostle and first pope

Saint Peter, also known as Simon Peter, Simeon, Simon, Sham'un al-Safa, Cephas, or Peter the Apostle, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, and the first leader of the early Church.

The synod revoked his consecration as Bishop, his pallium was torn from him, and his pastoral staff was broken over him by Pope Leo. However, through the intercession of Otto, he was allowed to retain the rank of deacon. [9] Otto left Rome sometime after 29 June 964, taking Benedict with him. After some delay, he was taken to Germany in early 965. The ex-Pope was moved to Hamburg and placed under the care of Adaldag, Archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen. [10] His period of exile was brief; Adam of Bremen noted:

A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight.

Pallium an ecclesiastical vestment in the Catholic Church: a narrow band, seen from front or back the ornament resembles the letter Y and decorated with six black crosses

The pallium is an ecclesiastical vestment in the Roman Catholic Church, originally peculiar to the Pope, but for many centuries bestowed by the Holy See upon metropolitans and primates as a symbol of their conferred jurisdictional authorities, and still remains papal emblems. Schoenig, Steven A., SJ. Bonds of Wool: The Pallium and Papal Power in the Middle Ages (Washington, DC: The Catholic University of America Press, 2017. ISBN 978-0-8132-2922-5. In its present form, the pallium is a long and "three fingers broad" white band adornment, woven from the wool of lambs raised by Trappist monks. It is donned by looping its middle around one's neck, resting upon the chasuble and two dependent lappets over one's shoulders with tail-ends on the left with the front end crossing over the rear. When observed from the front or rear the pallium sports a stylistic letter 'y'. It is decorated with six black crosses, one near each end and four spaced out around the neck loop. At times the pallium is embellished fore and aft with three gold gem-headed stickpins. The doubling and pinning on the left shoulder likely survive from the Roman pallium. The pallium and the omophor originate from the same vestment, the latter a much larger and wider version worn by Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic bishops of the Byzantine Rite. A theory relates origination to the paradigm of the Good Shepherd shouldering a lamb, a common early Christian art image — but this may be an explanation a posteriori, however the ritual preparation of the pallium and its subsequent bestowal upon a pope at coronation suggests the shepherd symbolism. The lambs whose fleeces are destined for pallia are solemnly presented at altar by the nuns of the convent of Saint Agnes and ultimately the Benedictine nuns of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere weave their wool into pallia.

Deacon ministry in the Christian Church

A deacon is a member of the diaconate, an office in Christian churches that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions. Major Christian churches, such as the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Anglican church, view the diaconate as part of the clerical state.

”The archbishop [Adaldag] kept him with great honour till his death; for he is said to have been both holy and learned and worthy of the Apostolic See. . . . And so living a holy life with us, and teaching others how to live well, he at length died a happy death just when the Romans had come to ask the emperor that he might be restored.” [11]

Although he was treated well by Archbishop Adaldag, many others considered him an antipope, and attempted to keep him ostracised. Archbishop Libentius I (the successor of Adaldag) commented:

”When the Lord Pope Benedict was an exile in these parts, I sought him out; and though every effort was made to prevent my going to him, I would never allow myself to be influenced against the Pope. But, as long as he lived, I closely adhered to him.” [12]

Benedict died on 4 July 965 and was buried in the cathedral in Hamburg. [13] Then sometime before the year 988, his remains were transferred to Rome, but where they were interred is unknown. [14] A legend has it that Benedict prophesied his relocation to Rome, and the devastation of Hamburg by King Mstivoj of the Obodrites in 983:

”Here must my frail body return to dust. After my death all this country will be devastated by the sword of the heathen and be abandoned to wild beasts. Nor will the land experience solid peace till my translation. But when I am taken home, I trust that, by the intercession of the apostle, the pagan ravages will cease” [15]

See also

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
John XII
Pope
964
Succeeded by
Leo VIII

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References

Notes

  1. Mann, p. 273-274
  2. Mann, p. 274
  3. Gregorovius, p. 352
  4. David Warner, Ottonian Germany: the Chronicon of Thietmar of Merseburg, (Manchester University Press, 2001), 113.
  5. Mann, pg. 275
  6. Gregorovius, pg. 353
  7. Gregorovius, pg. 354
  8. Mann, pgs. 275-6
  9. Mann, pg. 276
  10. Philip Hughes, A History of the Church, (Sheed & Ward Ltd., 1978), 196.
  11. Mann, pg. 277
  12. Mann, pg. 278
  13. Gregorovius, pg. 357
  14. Mann, pgs. 278-9
  15. Mann, pg. 279