Benedict VII (born in Rome, the son of David, and previously Bishop of Sutri; died July 10, 983) belonged to the noble family of the counts of Tusculum. He was elected by the Roman clergy and people under the influence of Sicco, imperial envoy of Emperor Otto II (973–983). He governed Rome quietly for nearly nine years, a somewhat rare thing in those days. Benedict VII's date of birth is not known with certainty. Benedict VII was related to Prince Alberic II (932–954), and connected to the Crescenti family. He succeeded to the papacy as a compromise candidate, to replace antipope Boniface VII (974, 984–985). Boniface VII was excommunicated and unsuccessfully attempted to retake the papacy.
Benedict VII promoted monasticism and ecclesiastical reform along with Emperor Otto II. He also consecrated the priest James, who had been sent to him by the people of Carthage "to help the wretched province of Africa." Benedict VII visited the city of Orvieto with his nephew, Filippo Alberici, who later settled there and became Consul of the city state in 1016. The Alberici family live there to this day. In March 981, he presided over a synod in St Peter's that prohibited simony. In September 981, Benedict VII convened a Lateran Synod.