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Honorius II, Pope


Pontificate: Dec. 15, 1124 to Feb. 13 or 14, 1130; b. Lambert Scannabecchi, at Fagnano, near Imola, Italy, date unknown; d. Rome. Widely known for his learning, he entered papal service under urban ii and was made a cardinal by paschal ii in 1117. His most important task as a papal diplomat was acting as callistus ii's representative in the negotiations with Emperor henry v that culminated in the Concordat of Worms in 1122. His pontificate was concerned in large part with securing for the Church the rights promised by that concordat. Lambert's election as pope was marked by an outbreak of the feud between the pierleoni and the frangipani families, which divided the Roman nobility and interfered with the electoral process. The first conclave ended on Dec. 15, 1124, with the election of Honorius, supported by the Frangipani, and the election of an antipope, Celestine II (Cardinal Teobaldo Buccapecci), supported by the Pierleoni. After it became clear that Honorius was supported by the sanior pars of the cardinals, Celestine lost his supporters and resigned. On December 21, Honorius also resigned, only to be reelected immediately by the assembled cardinals. With the death of Henry V in 1125, Honorius moved to consolidate the Church's position with regard to the empire by supporting the election of lothair iii, count of Supplinburg, to succeed to the imperial throne rather than allow either of Henry's nephews, Frederick or Conrad of Hohenstaufen (later to rule as Conrad III), to assume power. When Conrad declared himself king in opposition to Lothair, Honorius excommunicated him, thus placing the papacy clearly on Lothair's side. Within the papal lands Honorius sought to pacify the rebellious Roman barons and to defend the duchy of Apulia from roger II of Sicily, but after failing to prevent Roger's seizure of the duchy, Honorius recognized his right to hold it in return for Roger's oath of fealty, thus paving the way for the creation of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. In addition to these political controversies, Honorius was mindful of the spirit of reform within the Church. In 1126 he confirmed the establishment of the premonstratensians, who combined the active with the contemplative life, and in 1128 he approved the rule of the templars, who had been founded to protect pilgrims in the Holy Land. Even as he lay dying, however, the two factions that disputed his election were gathering for the new election, which was to lead to a serious schism.

Bibliography: p. jaffÉ, Regesta pontificum romanorum ab condita ecclesia ad annum post Christum natum 1198, ed. s. lÖwenfeld (Graz 1956) 1:823839, 2:755. Patrologia Latina, ed. j. p. migne (Paris 187890) 166:12171320. h. k. mann, The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages from 590 to 1304 (London 190232) 8:228305. e. amann, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al. (Paris 190350) 7:132135. a. fliche and v. martin, Histoire de l'église depuis les origines jusqu'à nos jours (Paris 1935) 9:4353. h. w. klewitz, Reformpapsttum und Kardinalkolleg (Darmstadt 1957). f. x. seppelt, Geschichte der Päpste von den Anfängen bis zur Mitte des 20. Jh. (Munich 1956) 3:165171. h. schmidinger, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 195765) 5:476. u. r. blumenthal, "The Text of a Lost Letter of Pope Honorius II," Bulletin of Medieval Cannon Law (Berkeley, CA 1974) 6466. f. geldner, "Kaiserin Mathilde, die deutsche Königswahl von 1125 und das Gegenkönigtum Konrads III," Zeitschrift für Bayerische Landesgeschichte (München 1977) 322. g. haendler, "Zur Missionsreise des Bischofs Otto von Bamberg, 11281278," Theologische Literaturzeitung (Berlin 1981) 30514. j. leclercq, "La 'paternité' de S. Bernard et les débuts de l'Ordre cistercien," Revue Bénédictine (Maredsous, Belgium 1993) 44581. f. v. lombardi, "La bolla di papa Onorio II a Pietro vescovo di Montefeltro (anno 1125)," Studi Montefeltrani (1976) 5799. g. j. schiro, "The Career of Lamberto da Fagnano: Honorius II 1035?1130 and the Gregorian Reform," Dissertation Abstracts (Ann Arbor, Mich. 1975/1976) 391314. r. somerville, "Pope Honorius II, Conrad of Hohenstaufen, and Lothar III," Archivum Historiae Pontificiae (Roma 1972) 3416. h. stoob, "Zur Königswahl Lothars von Sächsen im Jahre 1125," Festschrift für Walter Schlesinger, II (Köln 1976) 43861. j. n. d. kelly, Oxford Dictionary of Popes (New York 1986) 16566.

[j. m. muldoon]

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