Pope Damasus II has the 7th shortest time as Pontiff,only reigning for 24 days. Pope Damasus also has one of the greatest real names for any Pope;Poppo de’ Curagnoni! POPPO! You gotta say that name with dramatic Italian hand gestures(even though Poppo was actually German). Handpicked by German Holy Roman Emperor Henry III,Damasus was briefly held up on his way to Rome by that pesky disposed Pope(and troublemaker),Benedict IX. Benedict kept leaving and returning to Rome,and this time he was marched,by military force on orders from the emperor,out of Rome for good so Pope Damasus could take his rightful place. It was mid-July by this point and Rome happened to be under an awful heat wave. The elderly Damasus contracted malaria and passed away shortly after.
Filling in on art duties this week is my 10 year old son Brody,and I think he did a great job! My lazy butt will return to drawing Popes next week.
After Pope Benedict IX made a holy mess of the Papacy,causing three Popes at once,King Henry III made his way from Germany to Rome to try to set things right. Accompanying him on his journey was the Bishop of Bamberg,Suidger von Morsleben. Popes Sylvester III,Pope Benedict IX and Pope Gregory VI all laid claim to the Papacy(thanks to that rotten Benedict and all of his shenanigans). Henry called a synod and immediately disposed Sylvester(who didn’t want it) and Bendict(who didn’t deserve it),and Gregory(who bought it)was forced to resign. In their place,Henry elected his Bishop(who we already mentioned)to the Papacy. Now we had one Pope and one Pope only and he took the name Clement II. Clement’s first act was to crown Henry III the new Holy Roman emperor. Clement was a reforming Pope and he enacted degrees against simony(looking at you,Pope Gregory VI). Sadly,he didn’t live very long as he soon died from poisoning from lead sugar,but we don’t know if it was murdered or if the lead sugar was used as some sort of medicine. Clement’s body was transferred back to Bamberg,Germany and he is the only Pope buried north of the Alps.
Since I’m falling behind on my weekly Popes,I’ve enlisted my children to help me draw my Popes. This week’s guest artist is my 12 year old son Jack! I paid him in peanut butter cups and Dr Pepper for his trouble.
Many men have bribed their way into the Papacy but Pope Gregory VI literally bought the office. Like bought. From another Pope.(This is all terrible)
Pope Benedict IX was all of 20 when he became Pope and he’s the chief culprit for causing a mess of the Papacy from 1032 to around 1048. Benedict IX was Pope three different times and one of those times,he left the office to marry a girl. Benedict went to his godfather for advice of what to do and his godfather,John Gratian, the Archpriest of St. John by the Latin Gate,suggested he abdicate. Benedict agreed,in exchange for money for his upcoming wedding,which was gladly paid so Rome could hopefully be rid of him. His wealthy godfather paid him the money and promptly made himself the new Pope in his stead,taking the name Gregory VI. Trouble was that the was still another man claiming to be Pope(Sylvester III),and once Benedict tired of marriage,he returned to Rome assuming he could take up where he left off. This meant a possible three Popes at once and this required the Holy Roman emperor,Henry III,to enter Rome in order to call a synod to clear up all of this mess. Henry III disposed both Sylvester and Benedict,and ordered Gregory to resign,on charges of simony. With these three gone,Henry would appoint his own pick,a German Bishop who took the name Clement II.
Pope Benedict IX left the Papacy to marry a girl,and this would have been very romantic in any other story but Benedict also happened to be miserable little snot that actually sold the office to pay for said marriage. Ugh. This guy. I’ve been dreading this guy. Put on the chair of Peter by his influential family(his Uncles had been Popes),Benedict was all of about 20 years old when he was elected and you can guess how this plays out. Every awful thing that you could accuse a 20 year old of,Benedict was accused of(and probably guilty of). Eventually the Roman people ran him out of town and replaced him with Pope Sylvester III. Nothing if not persistent,Benedict returned with an army and forced poor Sylvester into a monastery. Benedict “Poped” for a year before he grew bored and decided to marry. He agreed to basically sell the Papacy to his Godfather(who becomes Pope Gregory VI)in exchange for money to marry and off he went(again). Benedict soon changed his mind and returned to claim his Papacy,but Gregory wasn’t budging and now Sylvester was poking his nose back into Papal business. Three Popes,we had three Popes and this was just two Popes too many so King Henry III of Germany decided to intervene. Henry called a synod to set things right. Sylvester and Gregory stepped down but Benedict refused to appear and refused to set down. No matter,Henry elected a German Bishop and this became Pope Clement II. Clement crowned Henry Holy Roman Emperor and apparently…..apparently(!)this resolved this mess. Nope. Clement passed away a year later and look who’s back….Yes,it’s Benedict again(Are you still following any of this?). Emperor Henry sent a force into Rome to permanently remove Benedict once and for all in favor of Pope Damasus II. Benedict was brought up on charges of simony(the selling of Church offices)and he was finally excommunicated. He would live through three more Popes before dying in 1055.