The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Pope John XIII (965-972)
972


(4) 1. BENEDETTO, iuniore (?-before 993)

Birth. (No date or place found).

Education. (No information found).

Cardinalate. Presbyter cardinalis of the title of S. Maria in Trastevere in 972.

Death. Before 993, (no place found). Buried (no information found).

Bibliography. Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. 54; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1927, p. 158, no. 4.

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(5) 2. GIULIANO (?-?)

Birth. (No date or place found).

Education. (No information found).

Cardinalate. Presbyter cardinalis of the title of S. Pietro in Vincoli in 972.

Death. (No date or place found). Buried (no information found).

Bibliography. Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. 99; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1927, p. 158, no. 5.

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(6) 3. CRESCENZIO (?-?)

Birth. (No date or place found).

Education. (No information found).

Cardinalate. Presbyter cardinalis of an unknown title ca. 972.

Death. (No date or place found). Buried (no information found).

Bibliography. Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ vsque ad Vrbanvm VIII. Pont. Max. 2 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, 1677, I, col. 730, no. 5; Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. ; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1927, p. 158, no. 6.

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(7) 4. BENEDETTO (?-974)

Birth. (No date found), Rome. Son of Ildebrando, who later became a monk.

Education. (No information found).

Cardinalate. Deacon cardinalis of the Holy Roman Church before 972 (1). At the death of Pope John XIII, the influential Roman family Crescenzi backed Cardinal deacon Francone as his successor; but Cardinal Benedetto's election to the papacy was supported by the imperial party, and probably by reformers who opposed a solely political appointment.

Papacy. Elected pope on December 20, 972. Took the name Benedict VI. Consecrated on January 19, 973; his consecration had been delayed awaiting authorization from Emperor Otto I, according to the Privilegium Ottonianum of February 13, 962; at the time, the emperor was in Germany. He confirmed the privileges of several churches and monasteries; confirmed the precedence of Trier as the oldest see in Germany; and forbade bishops to charge for priestly ordinations and episcopal consecrations. No names of new cardinals have been found in his pontificate. Emperor Otto I died on May 7, 973; a year later, in the spring of 974, when Otto II, the new emperor, was occupied with problems in Germany, there was a nationalist revolt in Rome organized by Consul Crescenzio I, chief of the Crescenzi family; in June 974, Pope Benedict VI was taken prisoner by the rebels and sent to Castello Sant'Angelo awaiting trial; no details are known of the charges against the pontiff or of the judicial process; Cardinal Francone was quickly elected and consecrated antipope taking the name Boniface VII; Count Sicco of Spoleto, an imperial envoy, went to Rome in July and strongly demanded the pope's freedom, but he was not heard. The antipope had Pope Benedict VI strangled by Stephen, a priest.

Death. July 974, strangled in Castello Sant'Angelo, Rome. Buried in the Vatican (2).

Bibliography. Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ vsque ad Vrbanvm VIII. Pont. Max. 2 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, 1677, I, col. 731-732; Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. XLI; De Angelis, Maria Antonietta. "Benedetto VI, papa." Mondo vaticano. Passato e presente. Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995, p. 127-128; Delogu, Paolo. "Benedetto VI." Enciclopedia dei papi. 3 vols. Roma : Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 2000, II, 92-93; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1927. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1928, p. 158-159, no. 7; Kelly, John Norman Davidson. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 130; Montini, Renzo Uberto. Le tombe dei papi. Roma : Angelo Belardetti, 1957. Note: At head of title: Instituto di studi romani, p. 159; Reardon, Wendy J. The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., Publishers, 2004, p. 73-74; Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab conditio Ecclesia. Ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1956. 2 v. Reprint. Originally published : Lipsiae : Veit et comp., 1885-1888. Original t.p. included : Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab condita ecclesia : ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Editionem secundam correctam et auctam edidit Philippus Jaffè ; auspiciis Gulielmi Wattenbach; curaverunt S. Loewenfeld, F. Kaltenbrunner, P. Ewald, I, 477-479.

Links. Biography, in English; biography, in English (Brittanica); biography, in English; biography, in English; biography, in Italian; biography, in German; biographies, in German; his engraving, Biblioteca comunale dell'Archiginnasio, Bologna; his engraving, Fondazione Marco Besso, Rome; his engraving, Catholic Heritage Images; his effigy, on a medal, Numismatic collection of Olomouc archiepiscopate, Czech Republic.

(1) Some sources erroneously indicate that he was cardinal deacon of of S. Teodoro.
(2) This is according to "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1927, p. 159. Montini, Le tombe dei papi, p. 159, says that his body was thrown into the river Tiber; and adds, that Chacón, Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm, I, col. 732, says that he was buried in St. Peter's basilica; Montini adds, that the tomb is lost. Reardon, The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs, p. 74, indicates that he was buried in St. Peter's basilica but that the tomb was destroyed in the demolition of the 17th century to build the new basilica. De Angelis, "Benedetto VI, papa." Mondo vaticano. Passato e presente, p. 128, says that in a fragment of a sepulchral metric inscription found toward the end of the 19th century in the apse of the church of S. Maria della Pietà in Camposanto teutonico, it can be read, in its first two verses, partly reconstructed, "(Pontificis) hoc membra iacent repLICATA SVB ANTRO / ... seXTI BENEDICTI". The inscription attests, according to De Angelis, that the pope of the imperial party may have been buried in the cemetery of the Schola Francorum, of his supporters and the Germans who resided in Rome. Delogu, "Benedetto VI." Enciclopedia dei papi, II, 93, says that it is not known where Pope Benedict VI was buried and that the fragmentary inscription found in the German cemetery, near St. Peter's basilica, has been referred to his tomb; Delegou adds that the inscription may attest to the aristocratic origin of the person, but that it does not allow with absolute certainty that the person was Pope Benedict VI.

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(8) 5. DOMNO (?-974)

Birth. (No date found), Rome. He is also listed as Dono, Donno and Donus.

Education. (No information found).

Cardinalate. Deacon cardinalis of the Holy Roman Church ca. 972.

Papacy. Elected pope on September (or December 20), 973 (1). Took the name Donno II.

Death. March 974, (no place found). Buried (no information found).

Bibliography. Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ vsque ad Vrbanvm VIII. Pont. Max. 2 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, 1677, I, col. 729-730; Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. XLI; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1927, p. 159, no. 8.

Links. Biography, in Italian; his engraving, Fondazione Marco Besso, Rome; his engraving, Biblioteca comunale dell'Archiginnasio, Bologna; his effigy, on a medal, Numismatic collection of Olomouc archiepiscopate, Czech Republic; his effigy on two coins, Numismatic collection of Olomouc archiepiscopate, Czech Republic.

(1) This is according to "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1927, p. 159, no. 8. Annuario Pontificio per l'anno 2009 (Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2009), p. 13*, n. 21, indicates that in 972 a pope that did not exist, Donus, II, used to be listed in the series of Roman pontiffs.

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(9) 6. BENEDETTO (?-983)

Birth. (No date found), Rome. Of an aristocratic family. Son of Davide. He was related to Prince Alberic II, who had ruled Rome between 932 and 954; He was also connected with the powerful Crescenzi family.

Education. (No information found).

Early life. He went to the Holy Land and brought back to Rome a piece of the Holy Cross.

Episcopate. Elected bishop of Sutri ca. 968. Consecrated (no information found).

Cardinalate. Deacon cardinalis of the Holy Roman Church in 972. Influenced by Count Sicco of Spoleto, imperial representative, who refused to recognize Antipope Boniface VII, the Romans elected him to the papacy.

Papacy. Elected pope in October 974. Took the name Benedict VII. Although Antipope Boniface VII, who opposed him, was forced to flee and escaped to Constantinople, his party continued the fierce opposition, forcing the pope to ask Emperor Otto II for protection; the imperial support firmly established him in the papal throne. The new pope quickly convoked a synod, which excommunicated the antipope. Benedict VII combatted the rising simony that was affecting the Church and promoted monasticism and monastic reform, especially in Germany. He allowed Abbot Majolo of Cluny to place his monastery under the special protection of the Holy See, thus ensuring the reform movement of the following century; also, he placed the island of Lérins under Cluny. In 975, he granted the bishop of Mainz the right to crown the German kings and confirmed his primacy as apostolic vicar. He gave Archbishop Dietrich of Trier the cell of SS. Quattro Coronati on the Caelian, thus making him the first foreigner to possess a title church in Rome. In early 976, he appointed Thietmar as bishop of the new see of Prague, with oversight over Moravia and Bohemia. In Rome, in 977, he refounded, under Patriarch Sergius of Damasco, who had been expelled by the Arabs, the monastery of Ss. Bonifacio ed Alessio on the Aventine; the monastery maintained contact with eastern, and especially Slav, Christianity, in which the pope had a great interest. On December 4, 980, he consecrated the church of S.Scholastica, in the Benedictine monastery of Subiaco, in which he had great interest. From the Byzantine territory in south Italy, where he was exiled, Boniface organized a revolt in the summer of 980 which forced Benedict VII to leave Rome; the pope appealed urgently to the emperor, and was able to return to the Eternal City in March 981, when the emperor had settled himself in Italy. In March 981, he celebrated a synod at Saint Peter's basilica, in the presence of the emperor, which prohibited simony; the decision was communicated to the entire Christian world. On September 9 and 10, 981, he celebrated a synod at the Lateran palace, which according to the emperor's wishes, reorgainzed several dioceses in Germany. During Pope Benedict VII 's pontificate the prestige and importance of the Holy See increased in Western Europe; the visits ad limina apostolorum (to the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul) by leading archbishops and bishops became more frequent; and the referral to Rome of important issues augmented. He created five cardinals in four promotions.

Death. July 10, 983, Rome. Buried in the wall of the nave, on the right side of the entrance of the basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, Rome (1).

Bibliography. Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ vsque ad Vrbanvm VIII. Pont. Max. 2 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, 1677, I, col. 731-732; Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. XLI; De Angelis, Maria Antonietta. "Benedetto VII, papa." Mondo vaticano. Passato e presente. Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995, p. 128; Delogu, Paolo. "Benedetto VII." Enciclopedia dei papi. 3 vols. Roma : Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 2000, II, 96-100; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1927, p. 59, no. 9; Gams, Pius Bonifatius. Series episcoporum Ecclesiae catholicae. 3 v. in 1. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1957, p. 730; Kelly, John Norman Davidson. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 131-132; Montini, Renzo Uberto. Le tombe dei papi. Roma : Angelo Belardetti, 1957. Note: At head of title: Instituto di studi romani, p. 161; Reardon, Wendy J. The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., Publishers, 2004, p. 74; Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab conditio Ecclesia. Ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Graz : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1956. 2 v. Reprint. Originally published : Lipsiae : Veit et comp., 1885-1888. Original t.p. included : Regesta pontificum Romanorum ab condita ecclesia : ad annum post Christum natum MCXCVIII. Editionem secundam correctam et auctam edidit Philippus Jaffè ; auspiciis Gulielmi Wattenbach; curaverunt S. Loewenfeld, F. Kaltenbrunner, P. Ewald, I, 479-484; Schwartz, Gerhard. Die Besetzung der Bistümern Reichsitaliens unter den sächsischen und salischen Kaisern mit den listen der Bischöfe 951-1122. Leipzig und Berlin : Verlag von B. G. Teubner, 1913, p. 264.

Links. Biography, in English; biography, in English (Britannica); biography, in English; biography, in English; biography, in English; biography, in English; biography, in English; biographies, in German; biography, in Italian; his engraving, Fondazione Marco Besso, Rome; his engraving; another engraving, in color; four engravings, Bildarchiv Austria. Die Bildplattform der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek; his effigy, on a medal, Numismatic collection of Olomouc archiepiscopate, Czech Republic; his epitaph, in English..

(1) This is the text of his epitaph, taken from Monitini, Le tombe dei papi, p. 161:

+ HOC BENEDICTI PP QVIESCVNT MEMBRA SEPVLCHRO
SEPTIMVS EXISTENS ORDINE QVIPPE PATRVM
HIC PRIMVS REPPVLIT FRANCONIS SPVRCA SVPERBI
CVLMINA QVI INVASIT SEDIS APOSTOLICAE
QVI DOMINVMQVAE SVVM CAPTVM IN CASTRO HABEBAT
CARCERIS INTEREA VINCLIS CONSTRICTVS IN IMO
STRANGVILATVS VBI EXVERAT HOMINEM
CVMQVE PATER MVLTVM CERTARET DOGMATE SCO
EXPVLIT A SEDE INIQVVS NAMQVE INVASOR
HIC QVOQVE PREDONES 'SCORVM FALCE SVBEGIT
ROMANE ECCLESIE IVDICIIS QVAE PATRVM
GAVDET AMANS PASTOR AGMINA CVNCTA SIMVL
HICCAE MONASTERIVM STATVIT MONACHOSQ: LOCAVIT
QVI LAVDES DNO NOCTE DIEQVAE CANVNT
CONFOVENS VIDVAS NEC NON ET INOPESQ PVPILLOS
VT NATOS PROPRIOS ASSIDVE REFOVENS
INSI~ECTOR TVMVLI COMPVNCTO DICITO CORDE
CV 'XPO REGNES O BENEDICTE DO D. X M. IVL IN APL SEDE
RESIDENS VIIII ANN OBIIT AD XPM INDIC. XII

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(10) 7. FRANCONE (?-985)

Birth. (No date found), Rome. Son of Ferruccio. He is also listed as Francesco, Francon and Franco.

Education. (No information found).

Cardinalate. Deacon cardinalis of the Holy Roman Church before 972. When Pope John XIII died on September 6, 976, Cardinal Francone was the preferred candidate of the influential Crescenzi family to succeed him. But Cardinal Benedetto, deacon of S. Teodoro, was chosen by the imperial party, with the approval of Emperor Otto I. Benedict VI did have little support from the Roman nobility. When the emperor died in May 973 and his successor was preoccupied with serious matters in Germany, there was a revolt against the pope in June 974, Crescenzio I de Theodora; the pope was imprisoned in Castello Sant'Angelo; and Cardinal Francone was consecrated pope.

Papacy. Installed as an antipope in June or July 973, under the name of Boniface VII (1). Count Sicco of Spoleto, the imperial representative, rapidly went to Rome to demand the freedom of Pope Benedict VI; but the antipope, knowing that the imperial envoy was going to certainly restore the legitimate pope, had the pontiff strangled. The disgust of the Roman people was such at the murder perpetrated by the antipope that he had to seek refuge in Castello Sant'Angelo; the antipope was able to escape before Count Sicco took over the castle. Boniface, with part of the papal treasure, went to Byzantine territory in southern Italy. The antipope was deposed the following August by Emperor Otto II, and was replaced by Pope Benedict VII. In the summer of 980, Antipope Boniface VII went to Rome, during the pope's absence and established himself as pontiff; Pope Benedict VII quickly appealed to the emperor and was able to return to Rome in March 981, in the company of the emperor and his troops; the antipope was expelled from Rome and sought refuge in Constantinople. When Emperor Otto II died on December 7, 983, Antipope Boniface VII went back to Rome in April 984 and succeeded in taking over the papal throne due to the unpopularity of Pope John XIV and the generous financial support of the Byzantines. He had powerful allies and was able to imprison and depose Pope John XIV; on August 20, 984, he had the pope murdered; and then occupied again the papal throne until his death. He did not create any pseudocardinals.

Death. July 20, 985, murdered by poison (2), Rome. Buried in the Vatican basilica (3).

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1792, I, pt. 1, 80; Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificvm Romanorum et S. R. E. Cardinalivm ab initio nascentis Ecclesiæ vsque ad Vrbanvm VIII. Pont. Max. 2 volumes. Romae : Typis Vaticanis, 1677, I, col. 733-734; Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. XLI; Delogu, Paolo. "Benedetto VII." Enciclopedia dei papi. 3 vols. Roma : Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 2000, II, 93-96; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1927, p. 159, no. 10; Ilari, Annibale. "Bonifacio VII, antipapa." Mondo vaticano. Passato e presente. Città del Vaticano : Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1995, p. 152-153; Kelly, John Norman Davidson. The Oxford Dictionary of Popes. Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1986, p. 130-131; Reardon, Wendy J. The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., Publishers, 2004, p. 75.

Links. Biography, in English; biography, in English (Britannica); biography, in English; biography, in English; biography, in English; biographies, in German; biography, in Italian; his engraving, Biblioteca comunale dell'Archiginnasio, Bologna.

(1) In 1904, he was classified as antipope, but until then he was listed in the ancient official lists as a pope. He was usually qualified as an intruder. The next pope who took the name Boniface was numbered the eighth. Some sources believe that he was a legitimate pope from the date of Pope John XIV's death in Aug. 984. Boniface VII regarded Popes Benedict VII and John XIV as intruders and dated his pontificate from the date of his consecration in 974.
(2) This is according to Reardon, The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs, p. 75. Kelly, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, p. 131, says that while the theory of assassination, as a result of a palace conspiracy, is plausible, it is not supported by the sources.
(3) This is according to "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926, p. 159, no. 10, citing Cristofori, Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. XLI. Reardon, The deaths of the popes : comprehensive accounts, including funerals, burial places and epitaphs, p. 75, says: "The angry Romans so hated the antipope that when he died they seized his body, stripped it of papal vestments, dragged it through the streets of Rome, threw it at the feet of the statue of Marcus Aurelius on horseback, then trampled and stabbed his naked body with knives and spears. After the gruesome night several clerics carried away the body and gave it a decent burial in an unknown location." Kelly, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, p. 131, adds that "in popular speech his name was twisted from 'Bonifatius' to 'Malefatius'.


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