#144 - Pope John XIX
Pope from May 10, 1024 - November 6, 1032
Died: November 6, 1032
Birth name: Romanus
Give me the scoop on John XIX.
Romanus was the brother of his predecessor, Benedict VIII, and both were influential members of the powerful Roman Tusculani family. During Benedict’s pontificate, Romanus was temporal ruler of the Eternal City, and thus had enough sway to practically buy his way into the papacy in May of 1024, choosing to take the name John XIX. He undid much of Benedict’s good work to de-secularize the Church simply by abandoning his efforts. At the very least, John continued to support the Abbey of Cluny and remained on good terms with the German king, like his brother had done. However, because John XIX was seemingly so disinterested in actually bettering the Church, Eric John wrote about him, “In this pontificate … reform slept.” John XIX was in office for nearly eight and a half years, likely dying November 6, 1032.
What was he known for?
John XIX is perhaps best known for almost ending a 600-year dispute between the Eastern and Western Churches, albeit not in a good way. The Patriarch of Constantinople, off and on over the past several centuries, had wished to call himself “universal patriarch” but had been shut down by popes at every turn. With the ambitious and money-hungry John in office, Patriarch Eustachius of Constantinople saw his chance, sending an envoy stuffed with rich presents to Rome as an obvious bribe. It would have worked if it weren’t for those meddling kids...er...more religiously-inclined Romans, who stirred up enough public opposition to make John XIX reconsider.
John XIX succeeding Benedict VIII as pope marked the third time in papal history, and the first time in nearly 300 years, that two brothers held the Chair of Peter in succession. The first pair was Popes Sisinnius & Constantine (708-715), and the second was Popes St. Paul I and Stephen III (IV) (757-772).
What else was going on in the world at the time?
The world’s first paper-printed money appeared around the year 1024, originating in the Sichuan Province of China.
Coming tomorrow...Pope Benedict IX
SOURCES (and further reading)
John, E. (1964). The Popes: A concise biographical history. New York: Hawthorn Books.
Guruge, A. (2010). The Next Pope. New Hampshire: WOWNH
Pope John XIX -
Pope John XIX -
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Sent by Matthew Sewell on Monday, July 17, 2017 at 2:00AM