Election of Stephen III as Pope Hot

Election of Stephen III as Pope

Pope Stephen III

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Religious History

Stephen III (IV) is elected pope, following the deposition of Antipope Constantine II. Stephen will convoke the Lateran Council which deals with Constantine: he's blinded, tortured into confessing his crimes, then has his tongue torn out before being executed.

Other than this, Pope Stephen III will not do much of anything remarkable, except that he will crown and anoint Louis the Pious, successor of Charlemagne.

For political protection and support, Pope Stephen III needs to aligned himself with the Frankish king and order the people of Rome to swear fealty to Louis the Pious. This establishes as tradition the idea that papal approval is necessary for a ruler to exercise full authority.

There is some debate as to whether Stephen should be III or IV. The original Stephen II died just 3 days after he was elected and before he was consecrated, so some don't regard him as ever having been officially pope. Those who don't number this Stephen as III, while those who do number him as IV.

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