John XIX - Encyclopedia

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JOHN XIX., pope from 1024 to 1033, succeeded his brother Benedict VIII., both being members of the powerful house of Tusculum. He merely took orders to enable him to ascend the papal chair, having previously been a consul and senator. He displayed his freedom from ecclesiastical prejudices, if also his utter ignorance of ecclesiastical history, by agreeing, on the payment of a large bribe, to grant to the patriarch of Constantinople the title of an ecumenical bishop, but the general indignation which the proposal excited throughout the church compelled him almost immediately to withdraw from his agreement. On the death of the emperor Henry II. in 1024 he gave his support to Conrad II., who along with his consort was crowned with great pomp at St Peter's in Easter of 1027. John died in 1033, in the full possession of his dignities. A successor was found for him in his nephew Benedict IX., a boy of only twelve years of age.

(L. D.*)

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