72. Pope John IV 640-642

John IV

Pope John IV was a native of Dalmatia(Croatia)and was the Archdeacon of Rome when he was elected to the Papacy. He had a fairly drama-free two year run as Pope. He wrote many letters back and forth to England and Ireland trying to get them on the same page as to when Easter is officially celebrated. He also sent large sums of money back to Dalmatia to buy the freedom of Christians enslaved by pagans in the area. He also officially declared monothelitism a heresy. This was the belief that Jesus had two natures but only a divine will and it was the current fad belief of Constantinople. John IV not only declared it a heresy but tried to also apologize for Pope Honorius’ failure to declare it a heresy when he was the reigning Pontiff. It’s a light week for Popes so the one interesting thing from his Papacy was that his homeland of Dalmatia is where the Dalmatian dog originated. The first descriptions of the dog come from paintings from Croatia from the 1600s. These dogs apparently have a problem with their hearing and are prone to kidney stones and learning about these dogs from Wikipedia has officially derailed me from my topic…..

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.