John XIII, Pope

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JOHN XIII, POPE

Pontificate: Oct. 1, 965 to Sept. 6, 972; b. Rome, probably a cousin of Alberic II of Spoleto and brother of Crescentius. John was the bishop of Narni when he was chosen as pope by otto i. Noble opposition in Rome, resenting the imperial election and John's attempts to curb their power, rebelled in December 965 and took the Pope to the Campagna as a prisoner. However, early in 966 John escaped and, aided by Otto's army, returned to Rome in November. The crescentii had remained loyal and gradually became the leaders of the Roman aristocracy. John's remaining years were spent in peace since Otto stayed in Italy until 972. The pope and the emperor encouraged the extension of the cluniac reform. Together they presided at a synod in Ravenna, April 967, where laws were passed against clerical marriage (see celibacy, clerical history of) ; but the times were not propitious for so sweeping a reform. The pope conferred the imperial crown on the 12yearold otto ii on Christmas Day 967; on April 14, 972, he married the young emperor to the Byzantine princess Theophano, whom he also crowned as empress. In 962 John XII, at Otto's request, had approved the erection of the metropolitan See of Magdeburg, but opposition in the German hierarchy prevented the erection. By 968, John XIII had succeeded, and he consecrated Adalbert its first and most important archbishop. Magdeburg with its suffragan sees became the headquarters for the conversion of the Slavs. John died in Rome and was buried in St. Paul-Outside-the-Walls.

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[s. mckenna]