|Papacy began||2 January 533|
|Papacy ended||8 May 535|
|Died||8 May 535|
|Buried||St. Peter's Basilica|
|Other popes named John|
Pope John II (Latin : Ioannes II; died 8 May 535) was Bishop of Rome from 2 January 533 to his death in 535.
He was born in Rome as Mercurius, son of Praeiectus. He became a priest at St. Clement's Basilica on the Caelian Hill. The basilica still retains memorials of "Johannes surnamed Mercurius". A reference to "Presbyter Mercurius" is found on a fragment of an ancient ciborium. Several marble slabs that enclose the schola cantorum bear upon them, in the style of the sixth century, his monogram.
Mercurius was elected pope on 2 January 533, becoming the first to adopt a new name upon elevation to the papacy.Considering his birth name—after the pagan god Mercury—to be inappropriate, he took John as his papal name after Pope John I, who was venerated as a martyr.
At this period, simony (the purchase or sale of church offices or preferment) in the election of popes and bishops was rife among clergy and laity. During the sede vacante of over two months, "shameless trafficking in sacred things was indulged in. Even sacred vessels were exposed for sale". The matter was brought before the Senate, and laid before the Arian Ostrogothic Court at Ravenna. The last decree ( Senatus Consultum ) that the Roman Senate is known to have issued, passed under Boniface II, was directed against simony in papal elections. The decree was confirmed by Athalaric, king of the Ostrogoths. He ordered it to be engraved on marble and to be placed in the atrium of St. Peter's Basilica in 533.
By one of Athalaric's additions to the decree, it was decided that if a disputed election was carried before the Gothic officials of Ravenna by the Roman clergy and people, three thousand solidi would have to be paid into court. This sum was to be given to the poor. John remained on good terms with Athalaric, who, being an Arian Christian, was content to refer to John's tribunal all actions brought against the Roman clergy. Cassiodorus, as praefectus praetorio under the Ostrogothic supremacy, entrusted the care of temporal affairs to Pope John II.
The Liber Pontificalis records that the following year John obtained valuable gifts as well as a profession of orthodox faith from the Byzantine emperor Justinian I,a significant accomplishment in light of the strength of Monophysitism in the Byzantine Empire at that time.
The notoriously adulterous behavior of Bishop Contumeliosus of Riez caused John to order the bishops of Gaul to confine him in a monastery.Until a new bishop could be appointed, he bade the clergy of Riez to obey the Bishop of Arles.
In 535, two hundred and seventeen bishops assembled in a council at Carthage submitted to John II a decision about whether bishops who had lapsed into Arianism should, on repentance, keep their rank or be admitted only to lay communion. The question of re-admittance to the lapsed troubled north Africa for centuries (see Novatianism and Donatism). The answer to their question was given by Agapetus I, as John II died on 8 May 535. He was buried in St Peter's Basilica.
Pope Alexander II, born Anselm of Baggio, was pope from 1061 to his death in 1073. Born in Milan, Anselm was deeply involved in the Pataria reform movement. Elected on 30 September according to the terms of his predecessor's bull, In nomine Domini, Anselm's was the first election by the cardinals without the participation of the people and minor clergy of Rome.
Pope Agapetus I was Pope from 13 May 535 to his death in 536. He is not to be confused with Agapetus the Deacon, another saint and early Christian martyr with the feast day of 7 August.
Pope Gregory III was Bishop of Rome from 11 February 731 to his death in 741. His pontificate, like that of his predecessor, was disturbed by Byzantine iconoclasm and the advance of the Lombards, in which he invoked the intervention of Charles Martel, although ultimately in vain. He was the fifth Syrian pope and the last pope born outside of Europe for 1,272 years, until the election of Pope Francis in 2013.
Pope Callixtus II or Callistus II, born Guy of Burgundy, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 1 February 1119 to his death in 1124. His pontificate was shaped by the Investiture Controversy, which he was able to settle through the Concordat of Worms in 1122.
Pope Eugene II was Pope from June 6, 824 to his death in 827. A native of Rome, he was chosen to succeed Paschal I. Another candidate, Zinzinnus, was proposed by the plebeian faction, and the presence of Lothair I, son of the Frankish emperor Louis the Pious, was necessary in order to maintain the authority of the new pope. Lothair took advantage of this opportunity to redress many abuses in the papal administration, to vest the election of the pope in the nobles, and to confirm the statute that no pope should be consecrated until his election had the approval of the Frankish emperor.
Year 526 (DXXVI) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Olybrius without colleague. The denomination 526 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.
Ravenna is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy. It was the capital city of the Western Roman Empire from 402 until that empire collapsed in 476. It then served as the capital of the Ostrogothic Kingdom until it was re-conquered in 540 by the Byzantine Empire. Afterwards, the city formed the centre of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna until the invasion of the Lombards in 751, after which it became the seat of the Kingdom of the Lombards.
Pope John I was Pope from 13 August 523 to his death in 526. He was a native of Siena, in Italy. He was sent on a diplomatic mission to Constantinople by the Ostrogoth King Theoderic to negotiate better treatment for Arians. Although relatively successful, upon his return to Ravenna, Theoderic had the Pope imprisoned for allegedly conspiring with Constantinople. The frail pope died of neglect and ill-treatment.
Pope Severinus was Bishop of Rome two months, from 28 May until his death on 2 August. He became caught up in a power struggle with the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius over the ongoing Monothelite controversy.
Epiphanius was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from February 25, 520 to June 5, 535, succeeding John II Cappadocia.
Pope John IV was head of the Catholic Church from 24 December 640 to his death in 642. His election followed a four-month vacancy.
Laurentius was Archpriest of Santa Prassede and later antipope of the Roman Catholic Church. Elected in 498 at the Basilica Saint Mariae with the support of a dissenting faction with Byzantine sympathies, who were supported by Eastern Roman Emperor Anastasius I Dicorus, in opposition to Pope Symmachus, the division between the two opposing factions split not only the church, but the senate and the people of Rome. However, Laurentius remained in Rome as Pope until 506.
The Ostrogothic Kingdom, officially the Kingdom of Italy, was established by the Ostrogoths in Italy and neighbouring areas from 493 to 553.
The history of the papacy, the office held by the pope as head of the Catholic Church, according to Catholic doctrine, spans from the time of Peter to the present day.
There was no uniform procedure for papal selection before 1059. The bishops of Rome and supreme pontiffs (popes) of the Catholic Church 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 Byzantine Papacy was a period of Byzantine domination of the Roman papacy from 537 to 752, when popes required the approval of the Byzantine Emperor for episcopal consecration, and many popes were chosen from the apocrisiarii or the inhabitants of Byzantine-ruled Greece, Syria, or Sicily. Justinian I conquered the Italian peninsula in the Gothic War (535–554) and appointed the next three popes, a practice that would be continued by his successors and later be delegated to the Exarchate of Ravenna.
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).
The Tusculan Papacy was a period of papal history from 1012 to 1048 where three successive Counts of Tusculum installed themselves as pope.
The papal election of 1073 saw the election of Hildebrand of Sovana as successor to Pope Alexander II.
The Lateran Council of 769 was a synod held in the Basilica of St. John Lateran to rectify perceived abuses in the papal electoral process which had led to the elevation of the Antipopes Constantine II and Philip. It also condemned the rulings of the Council of Hieria. It is perhaps the most important Roman council held during the 8th century.
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