1902 Encyclopedia > Benedict (popes)

Fourteen popes with the name Benedict

BENEDICT. Fourteen popes bore the name of Benedict—

BENEDICT I. (573-8) succeeded John III., and occupied the Papal chair during the incursions of the Lombards, and during the series of plagues and famines which followed these invasions. (PauL Diacon., De Gest. Longob., ii 10.)

BENEDICT II. (684-685) succeeded Leo II., but although chosen in 683 he was not ordained till 684, because the leave of the Emperor Constantine was not obtained until some months after the election. (Paul. Diacon., op. cit. vi. 53.)

BENEDICT III. (855-858) was chosen by the clergy and people of Borne, but the election was not confirmed by the Emperor Lothair, who appointed an anti-pope, Anastasius. Benedict was at last successful, and the schism helped to weaken the hold of the emperors upon the popes. The mythical Pope Joan is usually placed between Benedict and his predecessor Leo IV.

BENEDICT IV. (900-903).

BENEDICT V. (964-965) was elected by the Romans on the death of John XII. The Emperor Otho did not approve of the choice, and carried off the pope to Hamburg, where he died.

BENEDICT VI. (972-974) was chosen with great cere-mony and installed pope under the protection of the Emperor Otho the Great. On the death of the emperor the turbulent citizens of Rome renewed their outrages, and the pope himself was strangled by order of Crescentius, the son of the notorious Theodora.

BENEDICT VII. (975-983) belonged to the noble family of the counts of Tusculuni, and governed Rome quietly for nearly nine years, a somewhat rare thing in those days.

BENEDICT VIII. (1012-1024), also of the family of Tusculum, was opposed by an anti-pope, Gregory, who compelled him to flee from Rome. He was restored by Henry of Saxony, whom he crowned emperor in 1014. In his pontificate the Saracens began to attack the southern coasts of Europe, and effected a settlement in Sardinia. The Normans also then began to settle in Italy.

BENEDICT IX. (1033-1056), the son of Alberic, count of Tusculum, and nephew of Benedict VIII., obtained the Papal chair by simony. He was deposed in 1044, and Sylvester was chosen in his stead. The result was a long and disgraceful schism (cf. Mittler, De Schismate in Eccl. Rom. sub Pontif. Bened. IX.)

BENEDICT X. (1058-9) scarcely deserves to be reckoned a pope. He reigned nine months. It is important, how-ever, to remember that his election is one of the latent made by Roman factions, and under his successor the mode of election by the cardinals was adopted.

BENEDICT XI. (1303-1304) succeeded the famous Boni-face VIII., but was unable to carry out his Ultramontane policy. He released Philip the Fair of France from the excommunication laid on him by Boniface, and practically ignored the bull Unam Sanctam. The popes who imme-diately succeeded him were completely under the influence of the kings of France, and removed the Papal seat from Rome to Avignon.

BENEDICT XII. (1334-1342) succeeded Pope John XXII., but did not carry out the policy of his predecessor. He practically made peace with the Emperor Louis, and as far as possible came to terms with the Franciscans, who were then at war with the Roman see. He was a reforming pope, and tried to curb the luxury of the monastic orders, but without much success. (Baluze, VitcePontif. Avenion., i.)

BENEDICT XIII. Two popes assumed this title—(l.) Peter de Luna, a Spaniard, who was chosen by the French cardinals on the death of Clement VII. in 1394. On the death of Urban V. in 1389 the Italian cardinals had chosen Boniface IX.; the election of Benedict therefore perpetuated the great schism. The greater portion of the church refused to recognize him, and in 1397 the French Church, which had supported him, withdrew from allegiance to both popes, and in 1398 Benedict was imprisoned in his own palace end. Benedict abdicated in 1417, but was recognized by Scotland and Spain until his death in 1424. His name does not appear in the Italian list of popes. (Cf. Dupuy, Hist, du Schisme, 1378-1428). (2.) Vincenzo Marco Orsini, who succeeded Innocent XIII. in 1724. He at first called himself Benedict XIV., but afterwards altered the title. He was a reforming pope, and endeavoured to put down the luxury of the Italian priesthood and of the cardinalate. He died in 1730.

BENEDICT XIV. (1740-1758) belonged to a noble family of Bologna. Elected to the Papal chair in a time of great difficulties, chiefly caused by the disputes between Roman Catholic nations about the election of bishops, he managed to overcome most of them. The disputes of the Holy See with Naples, Sardinia, Spain, Venice, and Austria were settled. Perhaps the most important act of his pontificate was the promulgation of his famous laws about missions in the two bulls, Ex quo singulari and Omnium solicitu-dinum. In these bulls he denounced the custom of accom-modating Christian words and usages to express heathen ideas and practices, which had been extensively done by the Jesuits in their Indian and Chinese missions. The consequence of these bulls was that most of the so-called converts were lost to the church.

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