Benedict IX - Encyclopedia


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BENEDICT IX., pope from 1033 to 1056, son of Alberic, count of Tusculum, and nephew of Benedict VIII., was also called Theophylactus. He was installed pope at the age of twelve through the influence of his father. The disorders of his conduct, though tolerated by the emperors, Conrad II. and Henry III., who were then morally responsible for the pontificate, at length disgusted the Romans, who drove him out in 1044 and appointed Silvester III. his successor. Silvester remained in the papal chair but a few weeks, as the people of Tusculum quickly recovered their influence and reinstated their pope. Benedict, however, was obliged to bow before the execration of the Romans. He sold his rights to his godfather, the priest Johannes Gratianus, who was installed under the name of Gregory VI. (1045). The following year Henry III. obtained at the council of Sutri the deposition of the three competing popes, and replaced them by Suidger, bishop of Bamberg, who took the name of Clement II. But before the close of 1047 Clement II. died, probably from poison administered by Benedict, who was reinstalled for the third time. At last, on the 17th of July 1048, the marquis of Tuscany drove him from Rome, where he was never seen again. He lived several years after his expulsion and appears to have died impenitent.

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