|Papacy began||12 July 526|
|Papacy ended||22 September 530|
|Born||Samnium, Ostrogothic Kingdom|
|Died||22 September 530 (aged 40)|
|Feast day||30 January|
|Other popes named Felix|
Pope Felix IV (died 22 September 530) was the bishop of Rome from 12 July 526 to his death. He was the chosen candidate of Ostrogoth King Theodoric the Great, who had imprisoned Felix's predecessor, John I.
Felix came from Samnium, the son of Castorius. He was elected after a gap of nearly two months after the death of John I, who had died in prison in Ravenna, having completed a diplomatic mission to Constantinople on behalf of the Ostrogoth King Theodoric the Great. The papal electors acceded to the king's demands and chose Felix as pope. Felix's favor in the eyes of the king allowed him to press for greater benefits for the Church.However, Theodoric died later that year, allowing Felix to pursue his own policies in peace.
Felix built the Santi Cosma e Damiano in the Imperial forums on land donated by Queen Amalasuntha,and consecrated no fewer than thirty-nine bishops, during his short pontificate of four years. During Felix's pontificate, an imperial edict was passed granting that cases against clergy should be dealt with by the pope or a designated ecclesiastical court. Violation of this ruling would result in a fine, which proceeds were designated for the poor. Felix also defined church teaching on grace and free will in response to a request of Faustus of Riez, in Gaul, on opposing Semi-Pelagianism. As such, Felix approved the teachings of the Council of Orange in 529, which also explained Original sin.
Felix attempted to designate his own successor: Pope Boniface II. The reaction of the Senate was to forbid the discussion of a pope's successor during his lifetime or to accept such a nomination. The majority of the clergy reacted to Felix's activity by nominating Dioscorus as Pope. Only a minority supported Boniface. His feast day is celebrated on 30 January.
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Pope Boniface IV was the bishop of Rome from 608 to his death. Boniface had served as a deacon under Pope Gregory I, and like his mentor, he ran the Lateran Palace as a monastery. As pope, he encouraged monasticism. With imperial permission, he converted the Pantheon into a church. In 610, he conferred with Bishop Mellitus of London regarding the needs of the English Church. He is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church with a universal feast day on 8 May.
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The 490s decade ran from January 1, 490, to December 31, 499.
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Pope Vitalian was the bishop of Rome from 30 July 657 to his death. His pontificate was marked by the dispute between the papacy and the imperial government in Constantinople over Monothelitism, which Rome condemned. Vitalian tried to resolve the dispute and had a conciliatory relationship with Emperor Constans II, who visited him in Rome and gave him gifts. Vitalian's pontificate also saw the secession of the Archbishopric of Ravenna from the papal authority.
Dioscorus was a deacon of the Alexandrian and the Roman church from 506. In a disputed election following the death of Pope Felix IV, the majority of electors picked him to be pope, in spite of Pope Felix's wishes that Boniface II should succeed him. However, Dioscorus died less than a month after the election, allowing Boniface to be consecrated pope and Dioscorus to be branded an antipope.
Guibert or Wibert of Ravenna was an Italian prelate, archbishop of Ravenna, who was elected pope in 1080 in opposition to Pope Gregory VII and took the name Clement III. Gregory was the leader of the movement in the church which opposed the traditional claim of European monarchs to control ecclesiastical appointments, and this was opposed by supporters of monarchical rights led by the Holy Roman Emperor. This led to the conflict known as the Investiture Controversy. Gregory was felt by many to have gone too far when he excommunicated the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV and supported a rival claimant as emperor, and in 1080 the pro-imperial Synod of Brixen pronounced that Gregory was deposed and replaced as pope by Guibert.
Sylvester IV, born Maginulf, was a claimant to the Papacy from 1105 to 1111. Today he is regarded as an antipope.
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Papal appointment was a medieval method of selecting a pope. Popes have always been selected by a council of Church fathers, however, Papal selection before 1059 was often characterized by confirmation or nomination by secular European rulers or by their predecessors. The later procedures of the papal conclave are in large part designed to constrain the interference of secular rulers which characterized the first millennium of the Roman Catholic Church, and persisted in practices such as the creation of crown-cardinals and the jus exclusivae. Appointment might have taken several forms, with a variety of roles for the laity and civic leaders, Byzantine and Germanic emperors, and noble Roman families. The role of the election vis-a-vis the general population and the clergy was prone to vary considerably, with a nomination carrying weight that ranged from near total to a mere suggestion or ratification of a prior election.
The selection of the pope, the bishop of Rome and supreme pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, prior to the promulgation of In nomine Domini in 1059 varied throughout history. Popes were often appointed by their predecessors or by political rulers. While some kind of election often characterized the procedure, an election that included meaningful participation of the laity was rare, especially as the popes' claims to temporal power solidified into the Papal States. The practice of papal appointment during this period would later result in the jus exclusivae, i.e., a right to veto the selection that Catholic monarchs exercised into the twentieth century.
The Ostrogothic Papacy was a period from 493 to 537 where the papacy was strongly influenced by the Ostrogothic Kingdom, if the pope was not outright appointed by the Ostrogothic King. The selection and administration of popes during this period was strongly influenced by Theodoric the Great and his successors Athalaric and Theodahad. This period terminated with Justinian I's (re)conquest of Rome during the Gothic War (535–554), inaugurating the Byzantine Papacy (537-752).
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