The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope Adrian II (867-872)
868 (I)


(1) 1. DONATO (?-870)

Birth. (No date or place found).

Education. "... uomo di consumata, ed eminente dottrina, ed avveduto nel trattare gli affari della Chiesa..." (1).

Cardinalate. Bishop cardinalis of Ostia in 868 (2). Consecrated (no information found). In 869, he was sent to Constantinople before Emperor Basil I, together with Bishop Stefano of Nepi and Cardinal deacon Marino, to try to end the schism caused by Photius and arrange the differences between the Eastern and Western Churches. To this purpose, he celebrated a synod in the patriarchal cathedral of Saint Sophia in 869 with 109 bishops in attendance (including the three legates of the Apostolic See, the patriarchs of Oriental see and Ignatius, patriarch of Constantinople), who subscribed the condemnation of the intruder Photius. This was the eighth Ecumenical Council.

Death. 870, (no place found). Buried (no information found)

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1792, I, pt. 1, 62-63; Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. 1; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1927, p. 153, no. 1; Gams, Pius Bonifatius. Series episcoporum Ecclesiae catholicae. 3 v. in 1. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1957, p. IV.

(1) Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa, I, pt. 1, 62: "a man of consummate and eminent doctrine, and prudent in the affairs of the church."
(2) This is according to all the sources cited except Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa, I, pt. 1, 62-63, which lists him among the cardinals of Pope Nicholas I and indicates that he subscribed the documents of several synods celebrated in Rome and that the pope sent him in 866 to Constantinople before Emperor Michael III the Drunkard, together with Cardinal Leone of S. Lorenzo in Damaso, and Marino, cardinal deacon, to inform him about the sentiments of the Western Church concerning the cause of Patriarch Ignatius and Photius and to induce him to expel the latter from the see of Constantinople and reinstate the former, legitimate patriarch. Impeded from discharging their mission, they returned to Rome in 867 without any conclusions.

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