116. Pope John IX 898-900

Pope John IX

Look out,we’ve got a Pope that actually lasted more than a few weeks! Pope John IX was Pope for two whole years,which at this point in history,was a minor miracle,especially considering the reign of the four Popes in front of him barely amounted to an entire year combined. Before John was elected,supporters of a Bishop named Sergius stormed the Lateran Palace and installed their man into office. Holy Roman Emperor Lambert would have none of that so he had imperial guards forcefully removed Sergius before he could be officially sworn in. Sergius was a patient man though,and he would hide away in exile,biding his time(he will eventually reach the Papacy in six years)
The imperial guard made sure that a Bishop favorable to the Emperor was elected and once elected,John made sure to do his best to try and bring stability to Rome and the Church which had been lacking since Pope Formosus. John achieved this by calling various synods that both helped in strengthening ties with the Empire and by further cleaning up the messes caused by insane Pope Stephen VI.

71. Pope Severinus 640


Pope Severinus was elected within three days of the death of Pope Honorius,but was not installed as Pope for nearly two years after that. During this time,a newly elected Pope had to get confirmation from the emperor of Constantinople. The current emperor was on the Monothelitism bandwagon believing that Jesus had two natures(human and divine),but one will(Divine). This is in direct opposition to the Church’s belief that Jesus has both human and Divine natures and two distinct wills. Severinus refused to even consider this belief so a battle of wills then began between the two cities. The emperor sent his agents to apply pressure on Rome,first by inciting a mob of Roman soldiers to storm the Vatican and steal their pay(which had been late in coming),then another group came in,ran the soldiers off,and stole all the loot they wanted(with a share for the emperor,of course). All the while Severinus and his clergy had barricaded themselves in the Lateran palace,refusing to compromise(or even come outside to meet the various angry mobs). Finally,after all of this childishness from Constantinople,and with the emperor dying,time was running out for him to get his way. Not much could get done without an official Pope and delegates for Severinus had convinced the emperor that he would at least consider the nature of Christ if he was approved as Pope(they were of course lying,or at least fudging the truth. Severinus would not be budged). This convinced the emperor(who was tired of talking about all of this). He confirmed Severinus as our 71st Pope. Severius officially reigned for all of two months before passing away due to natural causes,which looks bad on paper……but the guy put in the time,holding the line on the one Truth of which our Church was built. He was outstanding.