|Papacy began||20 January 1045|
|Papacy ended||10 March 1045|
|Birth name||Giovanni dei Crescenzi – Ottaviani|
Rome, Papal States, Holy Roman Empire
|Died||1063 (aged 63)|
Sabina, Papal States, Holy Roman Empire
|Other popes named Sylvester|
Pope Sylvester III (1000 – October 1063), born John in Rome, was bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States from 20 January to March 1045.
Christened John, he was born into the powerful Roman patrician family Crescentii. Upon the death of Pope John XIX in October 1032, the papal throne became the subject of dispute between rival factions of nobles. Theophylactus, a youth of about twenty, the son of Alberic III, Count of Tusculum, was supported by the nobles of Tusculum. Giovanni de' Crescenzi–Ottaviani was supported by the Crescenzi family. Alberic secured the election of his son through bribery. The nephew and namesake of Pope Benedict VIII, he took the name Benedict IX. The young man was not only unqualified, but led a reportedly dissolute life, and factional strife continued. A revolt in Rome led to Benedict IX being driven from the city in 1044.
John, bishop of Sabina, was elected after fierce and protracted infighting. He took the name Sylvester III in January 1045. Benedict IX excommunicated him,and in March returned to Rome and expelled Sylvester, who himself returned to Sabina to again take up his office of bishop in that diocese.
Nearly two years later (in December 1046), the Council of Sutri deprived him of his bishopric and priesthood and ordered him sent to a monastery.This sentence was obviously suspended because he continued to function and was recognized as bishop of Sabina until at least 1062. A successor bishop to the see of Sabina is recorded for October 1063, indicating that John must have died prior to that date.
Though some consider him to have been an antipope, Sylvester III continues to be listed as an official pope (1045) in Vatican lists. A similar situation applies to Pope Gregory VI (1045–1046). His pontifical name was used again by Antipope Theodoric because, at that time, he was not considered a legitimate pontiff.
An antipope is a person who, in opposition to the lawful pope, makes a significant attempt to occupy the position of Bishop of Rome and leader of the Catholic Church. At times between the 3rd and mid-15th centuries, antipopes were supported by important factions within the Church itself and by secular rulers.
Pope Benedict IX, born Theophylactus of Tusculum in Rome, was bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States on three occasions between October 1032 and July 1048. Aged approximately 20 at his first election, he is one of the youngest popes in history. He is the only man to have been pope on more than one occasion and the only man ever to have sold the papacy.
Pope Clement II, was bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States from 25 December 1046 until his death in 1047. He was the first in a series of reform-minded popes from Germany. Suidger was the bishop of Bamberg. In 1046, he accompanied King Henry III of Germany, when at the request of laity and clergy of Rome, Henry went to Italy and summoned the Council of Sutri, which deposed Benedict IX and Sylvester III, and accepted the resignation of Gregory VI. Henry suggested Suidger for pope, and he was then elected, taking the name of Clement II. Clement then proceeded to crown Henry as emperor. Clement's brief tenure as pope saw the enactment of more stringent prohibitions against simony.
Pope Gregory VI, born John Gratian in Rome, was bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States from 1 May 1045 until his abdication at the Council of Sutri on 20 December 1046.
The 1040s was a decade of the Julian Calendar which began on January 1, 1040, and ended on December 31, 1049.
Pope/Antipope Benedict X was born Giovanni, a son of Guido, a brother of the notorious Pope Benedict IX, a member of the dominant political dynasty in the region at that time. He reportedly later was given the nickname of Mincius (thin) due to his ignorance.
Marozia, born Maria and also known as Mariuccia or Mariozza, was a Roman noblewoman who was the alleged mistress of Pope Sergius III and was given the unprecedented titles senatrix ("senatoress") and patricia of Rome by Pope John X.
Saeculum obscurum was a period in the history of the Papacy during the first two-thirds of the 10th century, beginning with the installation of Pope Sergius III in 904 and lasting for sixty years until the death of Pope John XII in 964. During this period, the popes were influenced strongly by a powerful and allegedly corrupt aristocratic family, the Theophylacti, and their relatives.
A papal renunciation occurs when the reigning pope of the Catholic Church voluntarily steps down from his position. As the reign of the pope has conventionally been from election until death, papal renunciation is an uncommon event. Before the 21st century, only five popes unambiguously resigned with historical certainty, all between the 10th and 15th centuries. Additionally, there are disputed claims of four popes having resigned, dating from the 3rd to the 11th centuries; a fifth disputed case may have involved an antipope.
The Crescentii clan — if they were an extended family — essentially ruled Rome and controlled the Papacy from 965 until the nearly simultaneous deaths of their puppet pope Sergius IV and the patricius of the clan in 1012.
The Council of Sutri was called by the Holy Roman Emperor Henry III and opened on December 20, 1046, in the hilltown of Sutri, at the edge of the Duchy of Rome. The Catholic Church does not list this as an ecumenical council.
The counts of Tusculum were the most powerful secular noblemen in Latium, near Rome, in present-day Italy between the 10th and 12th centuries. Several popes and an antipope during the 11th century came from their ranks. They created and perfected the political formula of noble-papacy, wherein the pope was arranged to be elected only from the ranks of the Roman nobles. The pornocracy, the period of influence by powerful female members of the family, also influenced papal history.
Alberic I was the Lombard Duke of Spoleto from between 896 and 900 until 920, 922, or thereabouts. He was also Margrave of Camerino, and the son-in-law of Theophylact I, Count of Tusculum, the most powerful man in Rome.
Alberic III was the Count of Tusculum, along with Galeria, Preneste, and Arce, from 1024, when his brother the count Roman was elected Pope John XIX, until his own death. He was a son of Gregory I and Maria, brother of Popes Benedict VIII and John XIX, and brother-in-law of Thrasimund III of Spoleto.
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.
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 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 1099 took place upon the death of Pope Urban II, the cardinal-electors with the consent of the lower Roman clergy chose Pope Paschal II as his successor.
The papal election of 1086 ended with the election of Desiderius, abbot of Monte Cassino as Pope Gregory VII's successor after a year-long period of sede vacante.
|Catholic Church titles|
| Pope |