Theodore II, Pope

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Pontificate: December 897 to December 897 or January 898; b. Rome; d. Rome. Despite his extremely short reign, Theodore is credited with two important accomplishments. Ignoring the "cadaveric" synod convened under Pope stephen vi, Theodore held a synod that validated all ordinations by his predecessor Pope formosus, allowing clerics who had been degraded to resume their functions and ordering them to burn their forced resignations, which he returned to them. He formally vindicated Formosus's authority at this same synod. Secondly, he gave honorable burial at Saint Peter's to the corpse of Formosus, which had been cast up on the bank of the Tiber and hastily buried by a monk. Seppelt thinks Theodore's courageous acts cost him his life.

Bibliography: Liber pontificalis, ed. l. dushesne (Paris 1958) 1:331335. l. jaffÉ, Regesta pontificum romanorum ab condita ecclesia ad annum post Christum natum 1198, ed. s. lÖwenfeld 1:441. j. d. mansi, Sacrorum Conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio, 31 v. (Florence-Venice 175798) 17:221227. c. j. von hefele, Historie des conciles d'après les documents originaux, tr. and continued by h. leclercq (Paris 190738) 4:566. h. k. mann, The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages from 590 to 1304 (London 190232) 4:8890. É. amann, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant (Paris 190350; Tables générales 1951) 15.1:226. f. x. seppelt, Geschichte der Päpste von den Anfängen bis zur Mitte des 20. Jh. (Munich 1959) 2:342343. e. pulsfort, Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon, 11 (Herzberg 1996). j. n. d. kelly, Oxford Dictionary of Popes (New York 1986) 116.

[c. m. aherne]

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Theodore II, Pope

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