Boniface VI, Pope

views updated


Pontificate: April 11, 896 to April 26, 896; b. Rome;d. there. He was the son of Adrian, a bishop, and was elected pope almost immediately after the death of his predecessor,formosus, on April 4, 896. A struggle for control of Rome was then going on between the partisans of Arnulf, the German emperor, and those of lambert of spoleto. In the ensuing popular tumult, the latter group accomplished the election of Boniface, but later a Roman synod under john ix (898) deplored his election since he had been twice suspended, as a subdeacon and again as a priest, because of unworthy conduct, and had not been canonically reinstated. Afflicted with gout, he died 15 days after his election and was buried in the portico of the popes in the Vatican.

Bibliography: f. baix, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 9:899900. p. jaffÉ, Regesta pontificum romanorum ab condita ecclesia ad annum post Christum natum 1198, ed. s. lÖwenfeld (2d ed. Leipzig 188188; repr. Graz 1956) 439. f. x. seppelt, Geschichte der Päpste von den Anfängen bis zur Mitte des 20. Jh. (Munich 1955) 2:341. g. schwaiger, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 195765) 2:589. p. bertolini, Dizionario biografio delgi italiani (Rome 1970). j. n. d. kelly, Oxford Dictionary of Popes (New York 1986) 115.

[a. j. ennis]