#132 - Pope Benedict V
Pope from May 22, 964 - June 23, 964
Died: July 4, 965
Give me the scoop on Benedict V.
Benedict V was born in Rome and grew up there, having served as a cardinal-deacon before being elected pope. Although the time of Benedict’s reign technically fell before that of Leo VIII’s, the Church doesn’t actually make a distinction of who came first chronologically, considering Benedict V played third wheel in a rather odd period of papal history. John XII was deposed in 963, then Leo VIII was chosen to replace him. However, John may never have consented to his removal, which put Leo in an awkward situation.
After John’s death, opponents of Leo’s picked Benedict V to be next in line instead. Since John had deposed Leo prior to his death, that meant Benedict was his legitimate successor. He reigned for one glorious month, until Otto, the Holy Roman Emperor and self-proclaimed president of the Leo VIII Fan Club, had him forcibly removed and demoted. Benedict V was then brought to Germany, where he was under the care of Archbishop Adalgag of Hamburg -- a man who had great respect for Benedict -- until his death on (interestingly enough, for we Americans) July 4 of the following year. He was initially buried in the cathedral at Hamburg, but his remains were eventually moved to Rome.
What was he known for?
Given that his pontificate was so short, Benedict wasn’t able to become known for much. However, in the lead-up to his selection as a successor of Peter, Benedict bore the nickname
, because of his reputation for being intelligent and well-educated.
In the list of shortest papacies, Benedict V rounds out the Top 10, having been in office just 33 days. He reigned just one day less than No. 11, the most recent addition to the list, Pope John Paul I (34 days).
Coming Monday...Pope John XIII
SOURCES (and further reading)
John, E. (1964). The Popes: A concise biographical history. New York: Hawthorn Books.
Pope Benedict V -
Pope Benedict V -
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Sent by Matthew Sewell on Friday, June 30, 2017 at 2:00AM