Leo VII, Pope

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Pontificate: Jan. 936 to July 13, 939; b. Rome. A priest of St. Sixtus and probably a Benedictine, he was promoted to the papacy by Alberic II, on whose favor he was wholly dependent. Together they promoted the reform of gorze and the cluniac reform. At Leo's invitation Abbot odo of cluny came to Rome, where he was effective both as a peacemaker and as a stimulator of spiritual revival. Leo's surviving letters indicate his interest in cluny and subiaco, whose rights he confirmed, and in the rebirth of Christian life in France. He sent the pallium to adaldag of BremenHamburg (c. 937) and appointed Abp. Frederick of Mainz apostolic vicar and legate for all Germany, charging him with the reform of the clergy of every rank. His advice to Frederick regarding the Jews was something less than permissive: he forbade their forced conversion but allowed Frederick to expel them from the cities unless they accepted the Christian faith.

Bibliography: p jaffÉ, Regesta pontificum romanorum ab condita ecclesia ad annum post Christum natum 1198, ed. s. lÖwenfeld (repr. Graz 1956) 1:455457; 2:706, 747. Patrologia latina, ed. j. p. migne (Paris 187890) 132:106588. Neues Archiv der Gesellschaft für ältere deutsche Geschichtskunde 10 (1885) 380386. Liber pontificalis, ed. l. duchesne (Paris 188692) 2:244. h. k. mann, The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages from 590 to 1304 (London 193032) 4:205207. e. bourgeois, "L'assemblée de Mersen 847," in Mélanges Paul Fabre. Études d'histoire du Moyen Age (Geneva 1972) 72100. p. brezzi, Roma e l'Impero medioevale (Bologna 1947). g. schwaiger, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 195765) 6:949. h. zielinski, "Zur Aachener Königserhebung von 936," Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters (1972) 210222. h. zimmerman, BiographischBibliographisches Kirchenlexikon, 4 (Herzberg 1992). j. n. d. kelly, Oxford Dictionary of Popes (New York 1986) 123124.

[o. j. blum]