Benedict IX, Pope
BENEDICT IX, POPE
Pontificate: August or September 1032 to September 1044; b. Theophylactus; d. Grottaferrata, 1055?. He was a son of Alberic III, leader of the tusculani, and he simoniacally succeeded his uncles, benedict viii and john xix. Though young (perhaps 30), Theophylactus was certainly not a boy of 12 when he became pope. His personal conduct was often not edifying. The first 12 years of Benedict's pontificate were peaceful, and he was free to meet conrad ii at cremona and Spello and to journey to Marseilles. There was no controversy with the emperor; and when Conrad uncanonically deposed Abp. Heribert of Milan, Benedict compliantly excommunicated him. In 1044 a revolt drove Benedict from Rome and installed Bishop John of Sabina as antipope Sylvester III. In March 1045 Benedict in turn drove out Sylvester. Then on May 1 Benedict sold his papal office to his baptismal sponsor, the reforming archpriest John Gratian, Pope gregory vi. In the fall of 1045 the reform-minded Emperor henry iii entered the fray. Reform synods held at Pavia, Sutri, and Rome deposed Gregory, and Suidger of Bamberg was acclaimed Pope clement ii. After Clement's untimely death in 1047, Benedict again controlled Rome, Nov. 8, 1047 to July 16, 1048, until Boniface of Tuscany, acting on Henry's orders, drove him out for good and installed the new pope, damasus ii. Benedict died probably at the end of 1055.
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