61. Pope John III 561-574

John III

Born to a wealthy and prominent Roman senator,Pope John III would become another in a succession of unpopular Pontiffs. Shortly after John entered the office of the Papacy,the emperor of Constantinople,Justinian,passed away. In his place was his nephew Justin II,who soon began pulling Constantinople’s troops out of Rome,which they had occupied for several years. This act left Rome wide open for a Lombard invasion. The Lombards were a Germanic people who had already invaded and taken over much of Italy. They brought death,destruction and a strong belief in arianism,which is a heresy that denies the divinity of Christ. So yeah,these guys were bad news for Rome and for Catholicism. The current governor of Rome was of no help in this crisis so Pope John III set off to try to catch the departing Constantinople army led by General Narses,and beg them to return to Rome to act as a deterrent to the prowling Lombards. General Narses agreed and returned to Rome. Problem solved. Not so fast. The Roman people HATED General Narses. HATED HIM! Hate wasn’t a strong enough word,and now our Pope has brought this awful man back to them?? Great,so now they HATED the Pope too. The Pope has managed to keep Rome and the Catholic faith safe for the moment,but the Romans resent him(ungrateful!),and chase him out of Rome,where he has to take up residence in the Catacombs of Callixtus two miles outside of town. He continued his Papal duties from there until his death on July 13 574. Poor guy had to live underground. Like a Fraggle. Nobody ever said being the Pope is easy.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s