Popes in a Year
#171 - Pope Lucius III
Pope from September 1, 1181 - November 25, 1185
Lived: c. 1100 - November 25, 1185
Birth name: Ubaldo Allucingoli
Who was this guy before he was pope?
Ubaldo Allucingoli was born in Lucca, Italy around the year 1100 and may well have been from a noble family. Pope Innocent III was the first to tap him for a Church position, naming him cardinal-deacon in 1138 and cardinal-priest three years later. He kept moving up when “Yo” Adrian IV made him Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia in 1158. Prior to his election, Ubaldo was serving as the dean of the College of Cardinals and key advisor to his predecessor, Alexander III.
Okay, give me the scoop on Lucius III
Pope Lucius III was unanimously elected by his brother cardinals on September 1, 1181 in the first election since the Third Lateran Council's two-thirds majority rule was created. He started immediately at forging out some lasting peace between the Church and Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, considering he’d become progressively more thorny to Peter’s successors as the years dragged on. A meeting known as the Diet of Constance in 1183 brought agreement between the two on preparations for a new crusade. Lucius worked to quash heresy with the papal bull
(“On abolition”), as well as with a Synod at Verona in 1184. Other issues between emperor and pope weren’t able to be resolved as easily. Lucius III died in Verona after a four-year reign.
What was he known for?
Seeing the writing on the wall seemed to be one of Lucius’ strong suits, especially when it came to his political contemporaries. When Barbarossa requested that his son Henry be crowned emperor to ensure his family’s succession, Lucius balked. Lucky for him, he had just learned that young Henry had been betrothed to none other than the daughter of Roger II, the former king of Sicily. The arrangement would have made for one family ruling both Germany
Sicily, which would have been no bueno for the papacy. So Lucius backed away verrrry slooowly, while encouraging his successors to do the same.
Though many think otherwise, Lucius III didn’t actually establish the Inquisition (cue ominous music). The Inquisition, known also as the Holy Office or (these days) the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wasn’t created until 1234, at the hands of Pope Gregory IX.
What else was going on in the world at the time?
In 1185, the Knights Templar finished and moved into their snazzy new English headquarters, the Temple Church in London. It still stands today between Fleet Street and the River Thames, despite being heavily damaged by the Germans in World War II.
Coming Tomorrow...Pope Urban III
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
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Sent by Matthew Sewell on Monday, August 21 at 2:00AM