117. Pope Benedict IV 900-903

Benedict III

Pope Benedict IV had a relatively quiet time in office compared to previous Pontiffs. In his first year he crowned a new Holy Roman Emperor,Louis of Provence. Benedict also had to step in and excommunicate Count Baldwin of Flanders(modern day Netherlands). The Count was having a property dispute with the local Archbishop over the ownership of an Abbey in Flanders. When the matter couldn’t be resolved to anyone’s liking,the Count had the Archbishop murdered,which is always a surefire way to earn an excommunication. The Count was himself murdered shortly after that. Pope Benedict was buried in front of the old St Peter’s Basilica when he passed away in 903.

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42. Pope St. Boniface I 418-422

Boniface

When Pope Zosimus died,deacons of the Church decided that Archbishop Eulalius was to be Pope,but a week later,a majority of priests and the rest of the Church elected a priest named Boniface. Early Papal elections weren’t the most organized affairs and both parties assumed they were having proper elections. Arguments between the two factions then escalated into violence. The emperor of Rome,Honorius,was fed up with the fighting and ordered the two supposed Popes out of Rome until he could arrange for the matter to be decided by a council of Bishops. The emperor favored Eulalius,but wanted to make sure everything in the election was valid before he confirmed him as Pope. Easter rolled around and a presumptuous Eulalius came back to Rome and celebrated Mass against the emperor’s wishes to STAY. AWAY. FROM. ROME. Big mistake. Big! Huge! A very irritated emperor then confirmed Boniface as the new Bishop of Rome. Probably the only case of a Pope elected to office out of spite.