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Innocent II

Innocent II

Innocent II, d. 1143, pope (1130-43), a Roman named Gregorio Papareschi; successor of Honorius II. He was created cardinal by Paschal II. On the death of Honorius II, a faction of the cardinals elected him pope. However, the others elected Cardinal Pietro Pierleoni as Anacletus II, and Innocent had to leave Rome. He was soon recognized in France at the instance of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, and in 1131, Holy Roman Emperor Lothair II, England, and Spain submitted to him. Roger II of Sicily adhered to Anacletus. In 1137, Lothair attacked Rome, but Anacletus retained part of the city. On Anacletus' death (1138), an antipope Victor IV was elected, but he soon resigned. Innocent convened the Second Lateran Council (1139). Innocent, at the behest of St. Bernard, condemned the teachings of Peter Abelard and of Arnold of Brescia. He was succeeded by Celestine II.

Pope Innocent II (died September 24, 1143), born Gregorio Papareschi, was Pope from 1130 to 1143, and was probably one of the clergy in personal attendance on the antipope Clement III (Guibert of Ravenna).

Early life

He was born in Rome.


Pope Paschal II (1099–1118) made him a Cardinal Deacon. In this capacity, he accompanied Pope Gelasius II (1118–19) when driven into France; and by Pope Calixtus II (1119–24), he was appointed on various important missions, such as on that to Worms for concluding the peace accord with the Emperor in 1122 (see Concordat of Worms), and on that to France in 1123.


In 1130, as Pope Honorius II lay dying, the cardinals decided to entrust the election to a commission of eight men, led by papal chancellor Haimeric, who had his candidate Cardinal Gregory Papareschi hastily elected as Pope Innocent II. He was consecrated on February 14, the day after Honorius' death. The other cardinals announced that Innocent had not been canonically elected and chose Cardinal Pietro Pierleoni, a Roman whose family were the enemy of Haimeric's supporters, the Frangipani, who took the name Pope Anacletus II. Anacletus' mixed group of supporters were powerful enough to take control of Rome while Innocent was forced to flee North; based on a simple majority of the entire college of cardinals, Anacletus was the canonically elected Pope, and Innocent was the anti-Pope. However, the majority of the cardinal bishops supported Innocent, which according to the legislation of Pope Nicholas II (in the famous decree of 1059) pre-empted the choice of the majority of the cardinal priests and cardinal deacons. This rule was changed by the II Lateran Council in 1139.

Anacletus had control of Rome, so Innocent II took ship for Pisa, and thence sailed by Genoa to France, where the influence of Bernard of Clairvaux readily secured his cordial recognition by the clergy and the court; in October of the same year he was duly acknowledged by Lothar III of Germany and his bishops at the synod of Würzburg. In January 1131, he had also a favourable interview with Henry I of England (1100–35); and in August 1132 Lothar III undertook an expedition to Italy for the double purpose of setting aside Anacletus as antipope and of being crowned by Innocent. The coronation ultimately took place in the Lateran church (June 4, 1133), but otherwise the expedition proved abortive. A second expedition by Lothar III in 1136 was not more decisive in its results, and the protracted struggle between the rival pontiffs was terminated only by the death of Anacletus II on January 25, 1138.

Second Lateran Council

By the Second Lateran council of 1139, at which Roger II of Sicily (1130–54), Innocent II's most uncompromising foe, was excommunicated, peace was at last restored to the Church. Aside from the complete rebuilding of the ancient Sta. Maria in Trastevere, which boldly features Ionic capitals from former colonnades in the Baths of Caracalla and other richly detailed spolia from Roman monuments, the remaining years of this Pope's life were almost as barren of permanent political results as the first had been; his efforts to undo the mischief wrought in Rome by the long schism were almost entirely neutralized by a struggle with the town of Tivoli in which he became involved, and by a quarrel with Louis VII of France (1137–80), in the course of which that kingdom was laid under an interdict.

Treaty of Mignano

In 1143, Innocent refused to recognise the Treaty of Mignano with Roger of Sicily, who sent Robert of Selby to march on papal Benevento. Mignano was recognised. Innocent II died on September 24, 1143 and was succeeded by Pope Celestine II (1143–44). The doctrinal questions in which he was called on to decide were those connected with the opinions of Pierre Abélard and Arnold of Brescia.

In 1143, as the pope lay dying, the Commune of Rome, to resist papal power, began delibrations that officially reinstated the Roman Senate the following year. The Pope was interred in a porphyry sarcophagus that contemporary tradition asserted had been the Emperor Hadrian's.


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