Pope Theodore II

Last updated

Pope

Theodore II
Pope Theodore II Illustration.jpg
Papacy beganDecember 897
Papacy endedDecember 897
Predecessor Romanus
Successor John IX
Personal details
Birth nameTheodorus
Born840
Rome, Papal States
DiedDecember 897 (aged 5657)
Rome, Papal States
Other popes named Theodore

Pope Theodore II (Latin : Theodorus II; 840 – December 897) was Pope for twenty days in December 897. His short reign occurred during a period of partisan strife in the Catholic Church, which was entangled with a period of feudal violence and disorder in central Italy. His main act as pope was to annul the "Cadaver Synod" of the previous January, therefore reinstating the acts and ordinations of Pope Formosus, which had themselves been annulled by Pope Stephen VI. He also had the body of Formosus recovered from the river Tiber and reburied with honour. He died in office in late December 897.

Pope leader of the Catholic Church

The pope, also known as the supreme pontiff, is the Bishop of Rome and ex officio 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.

Catholic Church Christian church led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's "oldest continuously functioning international institution", it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

Feudalism combination of legal and military customs in medieval Europe

Feudalism was a combination of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly defined, it was a way of structuring society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour. Although derived from the Latin word feodum or feudum (fief), then in use, the term feudalism and the system it describes were not conceived of as a formal political system by the people living in the Middle Ages. In its classic definition, by François-Louis Ganshof (1944), feudalism describes a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the warrior nobility revolving around the three key concepts of lords, vassals and fiefs.

Contents

Background

Towards the end of the ninth century, due to the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire the Catholic Church had to rely upon powerful European nobles for support. Pope Stephen V approached Arnulf of Carinthia to protect Rome from "pagan and evil Christians". After he refused, Stephen V had to rely upon Guy III of Spoleto instead. Guy agreed to protect Rome as long as he was named as the Holy Roman Emperor, to which Stephen V acceded. After Stephen V's death, Pope Formosus was elected. Formosus and Guy were reluctant allies, and Guy forced Formosus to crown him emperor again and to name his son, Lambert, as co-emperor and successor. Formosus did so, but after Guy's death, he lobbied Arnulf to rescue Rome from the Spoletans. Arnulf agreed, and Formosus subsequently appointed him as the Holy Roman Emperor in 894. Both Arnulf and Formosus died within a few years of the coronation, and the new pope, Stephen VI, crowned Lambert as the new emperor shortly thereafter. [1] [2]

Holy Roman Empire Varying complex of lands that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe

The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it also came to include the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, and numerous other territories.

Pope Stephen V pope

Pope Stephen V was Pope from September 885 to his death in 891. He succeeded Pope Adrian III, and was in turn succeeded by Pope Formosus. In his dealings with Constantinople in the matter of Photius, as also in his relations with the young Slavic Orthodox church, he pursued the policy of Pope Nicholas I.

Arnulf of Carinthia King of East Francia

Arnulf of Carinthia was the duke of Carinthia who overthrew his uncle, Emperor Charles the Fat, became the Carolingian king of East Francia from 887, the disputed King of Italy from 894 and the disputed Holy Roman Emperor from February 22, 896 until his death at Regensburg, Bavaria.

In January 897, Stephen VI held what is known as the "Cadaver Synod". He had the body of Formosus exhumed from St. Peter's Basilica and dressed in pontifical vestments. The dead pope was charged with "perjury, violating the canons prohibiting the translation of bishops, and coveting the papacy." [3] Formosus' defence was provided by a deacon, but he was found guilty of all the charges. The synod annulled all of Formosus' acts and ordinations. Formosus' body was reburied in a common grave, and then thrown in the river Tiber. Supporters of Formosus rebelled, and seven months after the synod, Stephen VI was deposed, and died soon after in prison. His replacement, Pope Romanus is generally assumed to have been pro-Formosus, but he was only pope for four months before he was deposed and made a monk. [4]

Old St. Peters Basilica religious building

Old St. Peter's Basilica was the building that stood, from the 4th to 16th centuries, where the new St. Peter's Basilica stands today in Vatican City. Construction of the basilica, built over the historical site of the Circus of Nero, began during the reign of Emperor Constantine I. The name "old St. Peter's Basilica" has been used since the construction of the current basilica to distinguish the two buildings.

Tiber river in Italy

The Tiber is the third-longest river in Italy, rising in the Apennine Mountains in Emilia-Romagna and flowing 406 kilometres (252 mi) through Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio, where it is joined by the river Aniene, to the Tyrrhenian Sea, between Ostia and Fiumicino. It drains a basin estimated at 17,375 square kilometres (6,709 sq mi). The river has achieved lasting fame as the main watercourse of the city of Rome, founded on its eastern banks.

Pope Romanus pope

Pope Romanus was Pope from August to November 897.

Theodore II's reign

Little is known of Theodore's background; he is recorded as being born a Roman, and the son of Photios I of Constantinople, who was the Patriarch of Constantinople. His brother Theodosius (or Theosius) was also a bishop. [5] [6] He was ordained as a priest by Stephen V. [5] The exact dates of his papal reign are unknown, but modern sources generally agree that he was pope for twenty days during December 897. [5] [6] Flodoard, a tenth-century French chronicler, only credited Theodore with a twelve-day reign, [7] while in his history of the popes, Alexis-François Artaud de Montor listed Theodore's reign as being twenty days, from 12 February to 3 March 898. [8]

Photios I of Constantinople Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople

Photios I, , also spelled Photius or Fotios, was the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople from 858 to 867 and from 877 to 886; He is recognized in the Eastern Orthodox Church as Saint Photios the Great.

Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople position

The Ecumenical Patriarch is the Archbishop of Constantinople–New Rome and ranks as primus inter pares among the heads of the several autocephalous churches that make up the Eastern Orthodox Church. The term Ecumenical in the title is a historical reference to the Ecumene, a Greek designation for the civilised world, i.e. the Roman Empire, and it stems from Canon 28 of the Council of Chalcedon.

Ordination is the process by which individuals are consecrated, that is, set apart as clergy to perform various religious rites and ceremonies. The process and ceremonies of ordination vary by religion and denomination. One who is in preparation for, or who is undergoing the process of ordination is sometimes called an ordinand. The liturgy used at an ordination is sometimes referred to as an ordination.

Like his predecessor, Theodore was a supporter of Formosus. Some historians believe that Romanus had been deposed because he had not acted to restore Formosus' honour quickly enough, though others suggest that he was removed by supporters of Stephen VI. In either case, Theodore immediately threw himself into the task of undoing the "Cadaver Synod". He called his own synod, which annulled the rulings set out by Stephen VI. In so doing, he restored the acts and ordinations of Pope Formosus, including the restoration of a large number of clergy and bishops to their offices. [6] Theodore also ordered Formosus' body to be recovered from the harbour of Portus, where it had been secretly buried, and restored to the original grave at St. Peter's Basilica. [6] Like Romanus before him, Theodore bestowed a privilege upon the See of Grado, [9] and had a coin minted, bearing the name of Lambert on the obverse, and "Scs. Petrus" and "Thedr." on the reverse. [5] [lower-alpha 1]

Portus

Portus was a large artificial harbour of Ancient Rome. Sited on the north bank of the north mouth of the Tiber, on the Tyrrhenian coast, it was established by Claudius and enlarged by Trajan to supplement the nearby port of Ostia.

Privilege in the canon law of the Roman Catholic Church is the legal concept whereby someone is exempt from the ordinary operation of the law over time for some specific purpose.

Patriarch of Grado Wikimedia list article

This is a list of the Patriarchs of Grado. The patriarchate came into being when the schismatic Patriarch of Aquileia, Paulinus (557-569), moved to Grado in the mid 6th century. But in their reunion with Rome in 606, a rival office was set up in Old-Aquileia. Aquileia later entered communion with Rome but was able to keep its independence and title from Grado. In 1451 the see of Grado was merged with Castello to form the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice.

Flodoard cast Theodore in a positive light, describing him as "beloved of the clergy, a friend of peace, temperate, chaste, affable and a great lover of the poor." [5] He died in office, though the cause of his death is unknown. [6] Because of this, some writers, such as, Wendy Reardon) [10] suggest the possibility of foul play. [11] Horace Kinder Mann offers a different suggestion in his papal history, noting that it is possible that Popes who were "infirm or even older than [...] their predecessors" might have been elected intentionally. [5] Theodore was buried at St. Peter's Basilica, but his tomb was destroyed during the demolition of the old basilica in the seventeenth century. [10]

Aftermath

After Theodore's death, both Pope John IX and Sergius III claimed to have been elected pope; the latter was excommunicated and driven from the city, though he did later become pope in 904. John IX held synods reaffirming that of Theodore II, and he further banned the trial of people after their death. [12] In turn, Sergius III later annulled the synods of Theodore II and John IX, and reinstated the validity of the "Cadaver Synod". [13]

See also

Notes

  1. "Scs. Petrus" stands for "Sanctus Peter", the first pope, while "Thedr." was an abbreviated form of Theodore.

Related Research Articles

Pope Benedict VII pope

Pope Benedict VII was Pope from October 974 to his death in 983.

Pope Stephen IV was Bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States from June 816 to his death in 817.

Pope Stephen VI pope

Pope Stephen VI was Pope from 22 May 896 to his death in 897.

Pope Sergius III pope

Pope Sergius III was Pope from 29 January 904 to his death in 911. He was pope during a period of feudal violence and disorder in central Italy, when warring aristocratic factions sought to use the material and military resources of the Papacy. Because Sergius III had reputedly ordered the murder of his two immediate predecessors, Leo V and Christopher, and allegedly fathered an illegitimate son who later became pope, his pontificate has been variously described as "dismal and disgraceful", and "efficient and ruthless".

Pope Formosus pope

Pope Formosus was Cardinal-bishop and Pope, his papacy lasting from 6 October 891 to his death in 896. His brief reign as Pope was troubled, marked by interventions in power struggles over the Patriarchate of Constantinople, the kingdom of West Francia, and the Holy Roman Empire. Formosus's remains were exhumed and put on trial in the Cadaver Synod.

The 890s decade ran from January 1, 890, to December 31, 899.

891 Year

Year 891 (DCCCXCI) was a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar.

897 Year

Year 897 (DCCCXCVII) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar.

Pope Leo VI pope

Pope Leo VI was Pope for just over seven months, from June 928 to his death in February 929. His pontificate occurred during the period known as the Saeculum obscurum.

896 Year

Year 896 (DCCCXCVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar.

898 Year

Year 898 (DCCCXCVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar.

Pope Severinus pope

Pope Severinus was Pope two months, from 28 May until his death on 2 Aug. He became caught up in a power struggle with the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius over the ongoing Monothelite controversy.

Pope John IX pope

Pope John IX was Pope from January 898 to his death in 900.

Cadaver Synod posthumous ecclesiastical trial of Pope Formosus

The Cadaver Synod is the name commonly given to the posthumous ecclesiastical trial of Pope Formosus, held in the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome during January 897. The trial was conducted by Pope Stephen VI, the successor to Formosus' successor, Pope Boniface VI. Stephen had Formosus' corpse exhumed and brought to the papal court for judgment. He accused Formosus of perjury and of having acceded to the papacy illegally. At the end of the trial, Formosus was pronounced guilty and his papacy retroactively declared null.

Lambert of Italy King of Italy, Holy Roman Emperor, and Duke of Spoleto and Camerino

Lambert was the King of Italy from 891, Holy Roman Emperor, co-ruling with his father from 892, and Duke of Spoleto and Camerino from his father's death in 894. He was the son of Guy III of Spoleto and Ageltrude, born in San Rufino. He was the last ruler to issue a capitulary in the Carolingian tradition.

A year of three popes is a common reference to a year when the College of Cardinals of the Catholic Church are required to elect two new popes within the same calendar year. Such a year generally occurs when a newly elected pope dies or resigns very early into his papacy. This results in the Catholic Church being led by three different popes during the same calendar year.

Guy III of Spoleto King of Italy, Holy Roman Emperor

Guy of Spoleto, sometimes known by the Italian version of his name, Guido, or by the German version, Wido, was the Margrave of Camerino from 880 and then Duke of Spoleto and Camerino from 883. He was crowned King of Italy in 889 and Holy Roman Emperor in 891. He died in 894 while fighting for control of the Italian Peninsula.

Ageltrude was the Empress and Queen of Italy as wife and mother respectively of Guy and Lambert. She was the regent for her son and actively encouraged him in opposing her archenemies, the Carolingians, and in influencing papal elections in their favour.

References

  1. Dollison (1994), p. 95.
  2. Kelly, Walsh (2010), pp. 113–14.
  3. Kelly, Walsh (2010), p. 114.
  4. Kelly, Walsh (2010), pp. 114–15.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Mann (1902), pp. 88–90.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 Kelly, Walsh (2010), p. 115.
  7. Gregorovius (2010), p. 230.
  8. Artaud De Montor (1911), pp. 119–20.
  9. "Theodore II – A 20 Day Reign". Sts. Martha and Mary Parish, Mississauga. 3 December 2006. Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  10. 1 2 Reardon (2004), p. 68.
  11. "The 115th Pope", Spirituality.org, Diocese of Bridgeport
  12. Kelly, Walsh (2010), p. 116.
  13. Kelly, Walsh (2010), pp. 118–19.

Bibliography

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Romanus
Pope
897
Succeeded by
John IX