Sudden Death of Pope Boniface VII, Probably not from Natural Causes

Sudden Death of Pope Boniface VII, Probably not from Natural Causes

Pope Boniface VII

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Religious History

Pope Boniface VII dies suddenly, possibly due to murder. People drag his body through the streets and strip it naked. Many call him "Malefatius" instead of Bonifatius because of the crimes he has committed. He will eventually become listed as an antipope rather than as a legitimate pope, but not before another pope takes the name Boniface VIII.

Boniface VII became pope after the murder of Benedict VI in 974, and some believe that Boniface may have been involved in that crime. Benedict was the choice of Emperor Otto the Great, and he was resented by the Romans because he represented imperial influence over Rome.

After Otto the Great died and was succeeded by Otto II, the Romans rebelled and put forth a replacement for Benedict: Franco Ferrucci, who took the name Boniface VII. He has to flee after a month and is excommunicated by Pope Benedict VII. He returns and imprisons Pope John XIV in 984; John died in prison, either due to mistreatment or on orders from Boniface.

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