Pope Benedict III Consecrated, Will Push for Independence of Papacy Hot

Pope Benedict III Consecrated, Will Push for Independence of Papacy

Pope Benedict III

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Benedict III is consecrated pope. Previously cardinal priest of the church of San Callisto, he was only elected because the first choice, Hadrian, refused to accept his own election.

Like his predecessors, Leo IV and Sergius II, he will immediately be put under pressure from Emperor Louis II, who insists on exercising authority over the popes and the church (for example, by having the right to give his approval to the election of any pope before he could be consecrated).

Also like his predecessors, Pope Benedict III will resist this pressure and pushes for the independence of the papacy.

Because of this, King Lothair will appoint an antipope, Anastasius Bibliothecarius. Fortunately for Benedict III, popular support will be behind him and the conflict doesn't last — though Emperor Louis II does get Benedict to treat Anastasius leniently.

Fortunately for Benedict's successors, the rift between the church and the state is deepened, with the church generally and the papacy specifically becoming increasingly free from political control.

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