Popes in a Year
#83 - Pope Conon
Pope from October 21, 686 - September 21, 687
Died: September 21, 687
Give me the scoop on Conon.
Pope Conon was the son of a Thracian soldier and had been educated in Sicily. Though not a
, he apparently still was very good looking. His appearance, along with his character and advanced age, caused him to be a solid compromise candidate when rival camps couldn’t decide on a new pope following the death of John V. Conon’s election came as a result of the downside to not having the emperor confirm candidates for pope.
As Eric John’s
on the popes reads, “The greater freedom of election...the greater danger there was of the intervention of laymen.” As pope, Conon welcomed the Irish St. Killian and his companions, making Killian a bishop and sending them out to evangelize in Franconia (southeast Germany). Pope Conon died after a long illness on September 21, 687, exactly 11 months after taking office.
What was he known for?
Pope Conon was very close with the new Byzantine emperor, Justinian II. The emperor informed Conon that he had recovered the canons of the Sixth Ecumenical Council and intended to abide by them. Conon said (to paraphrase), "Cool. Sounds good."
In addition, like John V’s relationship with Justinian’s father, Constantine IV, Conon’s friendship with the emperor offered the Church some breathing room on things like taxes paid to the government on Church income.
Conon’s presence in Rome as a priest, despite having been educated over 500 miles away in Sicily, was likely a result of Islamic attacks on the area during the mid-7th Century. Many Sicilian clergy took refuge in the Eternal City during that time to avoid persecution.
What else was going on in the world at the time?
In 687, Emperor Justinian II negotiated a peace treaty with the Islamic army and also removed 12,000 Christians from Lebanon in an effort to protect them.
Coming tomorrow....Pope St. Sergius I
SOURCES (and further reading)
John, E. (1964). The Popes: A concise biographical history. New York: Hawthorn Books.
Pope Conon -
Pope Conon -
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Sent by Matthew Sewell on Wednesday, April 26 at 2:00AM