Lucius III, Pope
Lucius III, Pope
LUCIUS III, POPE
Pontificate: Sept. 1, 1181 (consecrated, Velletri Sept. 6, 1181) to Nov. 25, 1185; b. Hu[m]baldus Allucingoli (?), Lucca; d. Verona; cardinal deacon of Sant'Adriano (1138), promoted cardinal-priest of Sta Prassede (1141) by Innocent II, and cardinal bishop of Ostia and Velletri by Hadrian IV (1158); long thought to have been a Cistercian, but seems never to have become a monk.
Lucius participated in drawing up the Treaty of Constance with Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa (March 1153), but was an important member of the "Sicilian party" of cardinals who favored an alliance with the king of Sicily and the Lombard cities rather than with the emperor. He took part in negotiating the Treaty of Benevento with William I of Sicily (June 1156) and was prominent in the curia of Pope Alexander III, undertaking legations to the Sicilian kingdom (1166–7) and Constantinople (1167, 1168–9). He participated in failed negotiations with Frederick in Pavia in 1175 and, after Frederick's defeat at Legnano (1176), was a leading negotiator of the Treaty of Venice (1177) that ended the papal schism of 1160–77.
On accession, he was the only pope of this period who is known to have refused to bestow beneficia or gifts on the Romans, a failure to respect custom which contemporaries regarded as contributing to the conflict which led to his exile from the city after only five months. He spent the remainder of his pontificate travelling between towns near Rome and moved north to Verona in the summer of 1184. At first he was aided in fighting the Romans by the imperial chancellor, Christian, archbishop of Mainz, but after Christian's death, sought aid elsewhere.
The most pressing issues of his pontificate were undoubtedly reform after the crisis of the schism and disputes left unresolved by the Treaty of Venice. A controversy over the legacy of Matilda of Tuscany, who had left both allodial and imperial fiefs to the papacy, was not resolved, although an imperial letter records that Frederick offered to hand over a tenth of present and future imperial revenues in Italy to the pope and a ninth to the cardinals, to submit contentious possessions to mutually agreed arbitration, and to meet the pope. Frederick was keen to ensure the Hohenstaufen succession and to have his son crowned during his own lifetime. Lucius may initially have planned to accede to this request, but if so, he later changed his mind. The pope was in Verona from July 22, 1184 and met in council with Frederick there from mid-October to early November and again in mid-December.
On Oct. 29, 1184 the betrothal took place in Augsburg of the emperor's son Henry to Constance, posthumous daughter of King Roger II and aunt of King William II of Sicily. The pope's attitude to this match is not known. He certainly favored the Sicilian kings, raising the royal Benedictine foundation of Monreale to an archbishopric (1183), and he could not have known that King William II of Sicily would die childless. He may also have hoped for imperial support against the city of Rome, as suggested by the chronicler Robert of Auxerre.
Frederick was prepared to make concessions to the pope, as demonstrated by his acceptance (November 1184) of the pope's request that Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony, be allowed to return from exile in England. The emperor and pope agreed on support for a crusade to the Holy Land, urgently sought by ambassadors to Verona from Jerusalem.
Frederick also supported the papal bull Ad abolendam (Nov. 4, 1184), designed to "eradicate the depravity of heresy," by condemning named heretical groups (Cathars, Patarines, Humiliati, Poor of Lyons, Passagines, Josephines, and Arnaldists) and identifying preaching without authority, or any teaching which differed from that of the Roman church on the sacraments, baptism, forgiveness of sins, and marriage as indicators of heresy. A first attempt at a comprehensive papal policy, the decree charged bishops with seeking out heresy and required temporal rulers to take oaths to aid the church against heretics. Sympathizers with heresy were to be penalized and heretics themselves handed over to secular authority for punishment.
Other issues discussed in Verona were more contentious: Frederick sought the recognition of ordinations bestowed by Alexander's schismatic opponents, but this was referred by the papal side to a later council that never took place. Negotiations broke down over the disputed double election to the archbishopric of Trier. Frederick had called the two candidates to his court in Konstanz, had ordered a second election, and had invested the provost Rudolf. The original victor, archdeacon Folmar, appealed to the pope. Lucius supported Folmar, but no definitive settlement was reached during his pontificate.
This sequence of events may have influenced the pope's attitude toward Henry's coronation: whether at Verona or during 1185, Lucius refused to crown Henry, arguing, according to contemporary chroniclers, that it was not appropriate to have two emperors.
Other acts show Lucius's concern for reform. His bull Vestra (X.3.2.7) commended the holy zeal of laypersons who boycotted masses celebrated by notoriously concubinous priests. He remained well-disposed towards the Cistercians: a privilege of November 1184 prohibited bishops from exercising their power of correction over Cistercian houses and forbade the passing of sentences of excommunication, suspension, or interdict against the order. He settled the disputed status of the diocese of Tripoli, allowing that while part of the province of Tyre, it belonged to the jurisdiction of the patriarch of Antioch. On May 17, 1182 he absolved William the Lion, king of Scotland, lifted the interdict on his kingdom which had been imposed because of royal interference in the election of the bishop of St. Andrews, and sent him a golden rose, a mark of papal favor.
His additions to the college of cardinals included four canons and one monk, but he also continued the tradition of his predecessors in appointing magistri, and the majority were from the communal milieu of north Italy whence he himself came. He encountered Joachim of Fiore, who interpreted a prophecy in Veroli. His Registers do not survive (but certainly existed), and during his pontificate the Liber Censuum was begun. In 1183 he canonized Bruno bishop of Segni (d. 1123), whilst the earliest extant canonization process is that carried out at Lucius's request in 1185 for the lay hermit Galganus (d.1181). He declined to canonize Anno, archbishop of Cologne, founder of the monastery of Siegburg (d. 1175) but sought further information and recommended that details of the life of the Cistercian Peter, archbishop of Tarentaise (d. 1174) be written down. Both were later canonized. Lucius was buried in the Cathedral of Verona.
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