POPES

THE HISTORY OF POPE JOHN XV

Although Pope John XV is spoken of as having a pontificate marked by greed and nepotism, there is little in the way of facts to support it. The same can not be said of the Roman dictator. John certainly had to be careful of whatever he did, since he was succeeding two...

POPES BENEDICT VII AND JOHN XIV

POPES BENEDICT VII and JOHN XIV Benedetto (Benedict) de Spoleto was born in Rome around 930 AD. Does the name sound familiar? If you have been following this series, it does. The papacy was getting to be quite the family affair. Marozia Crescentii was the female...

THE STORY OF POPE BENEDICT VI

Here is a story of a difficult episode in Church history. Benedict was a Roman, whose father, Hildebrand, was of German descent. In the past 35 years, Otto, the Holy Roman Emperor, a German, had been a controlling factor of the papacy and Italian politics. Benedict...

POPE JOHN XIII

Lateran basilica, where Pope John XIII grew up and served If you have been following this series, you will remember that Theophylact, virtual controller of Rome, and his wife, Theodora, were able to run the politics of the Catholic Church from the beginning of the...

HOW POPE LEO VIII WAS BOTH A POPE AND AN ANTIPOPE

Pope Leo VIII is seen as both an antipope and a pope. Let me explain…. Born in Rome, around 915, Leo was the son of a well-known noble family. His father was the protonotary, or the palace notary for the papal chancery, a layman. Leo followed in his father’s...

POPE JOHN XII, THE BAD BOY POPE

Considered one of the worst of the popes , Octavian, son of Alberic II of Spoleto, was the spoiled child of the Dark Ages. He was born some time between 930 and 937 in the neighborhood of Via Lata. Being an only surviving son, the father, Alberic wanted the best for...