John IV, Pope

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Pontificate: August 640 to Oct. 12, 642; d. Rome. He was a Dalmation by birth, son of Venantius (probably consultor to the exarch of Ravenna). He redeemed Christian captives taken by the Slavs in the Balkans and he endowed a chapel at the Lateran baptistery with relics. In a letter written to the Celtic clergy in England while he was pope-elect, John censured both pelagianism and the Celtic custom of keeping Easter on the 14 of Nisan (Bede, Hist. Eccl. 2.19). Early in 641 he assembled a synod that condemned monothelitism (Mansi 10:607e). Later he informed pyrrhus, Patriarch of Constantinople, that he rejected the ecthesis published by Emperor heraclius in 638 because it proclaimed a single Will in Christ (Mansi 11:9b). John's epistle to Emperor Constantine III upheld the orthodoxy of Pope honorius i (62538), explaining that Honorius had understood the unity of Will in Christ as meaning that in His sinless humanity there was no place for opposition between the law of the members and the law of the mind (see Rom 7.23).

Bibliography: e. jaffÉ, Regesta pontificum romanorum ab condita ecclesia ad annum post Christian natum 1198, ed. p. ewald 1:227228; 2:698739. Liber pontificalis, ed. l. duchesne, v. 1-2 (Paris 188692), v. 3 (Paris 1958) 1:330; 3:94. Patrolgia Latina, ed. j. p. migne, 217 v., indexes 4 v. (Paris 187890) 80:601608. c. j. von hefele, Histoire des conciles d'après les documents originaux, tr. and continued by h. leclercq, 10 v. in 19 (Paris 190738) 3.1:390398. h. k. mann, The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages from 590 to 1304, 18 v. (London 190232) 1.1:351368. j. haller, Das Papsttum, 5 v. (2d, rev. ed. Stuttgart 195053) 1:314317. f. x. seppelt, Geschichte der Päpste von den Anfängen bis zur Mitte des 20. Jh., (Munich) 2:5759. j. n. d. kelly, Oxford Dictionary of Popes (New York 1986), 7273

[h. g. j. beck]

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John IV, Pope

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