Pope John XI

Pope John XI

Infobox Pope
English name=John XI

term_start=March, 931
term_end=December, 935
predecessor=Stephen VII
successor=Leo VII
birthplace=Rome, Italy
dead=dead|death_date=December, 935
deathplace=Rome, Italy

John XI (910?–December, 935) was Pope from March, 931 to December, 935.


The parentage of John XI is still a matter of dispute. According to Liutprand of Cremona ("Antapodosis", ii. c. 48) and the "Liber Pontificalis," he was the natural son of Pope Sergius III (904–911), ("Johannes, natione Romanus ex patre Sergio papa," "Liber Pont." ed. Duchesne, II, 243). Ferdinand Gregorovius, [Citation
last = Gregorovius
first = Ferdinand
authorlink = Ferdinand Gregorovius
title = The History of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages
publisher = George Bell & Sons
year = 1903
location = London
pages = 254
edition = 2nd
volume = III
url = http://books.google.com/books?id=tLk4AAAAIAAJ&printsec=titlepage#PPA254,M1
accessdate= 2008-01-06.
] Ernst Dümmler, Thomas Greenwood ("Cathedra Petri: A Political History of the great Latin Patriarchate"), Philip Schaff, and Rudolf Baxmann [Citation
last = Baxmann
first = Rudolf
title = Die Politik der Päpste von Gregor I. bis Gregor VII
year = 1869
location = Elberfeld
pages = 58–125.
volume = II
] agree with Liutprand that Pope Sergius III fathered Pope John XI by Marozia. If that is true, John XI would be the only known illegitimate son of a Pope to have become Pope himself. (Silverius was the legitimate son of Pope Hormisdas). On the other hand, Horace Kinder Mann, [ "Sergius at once declared the ordinations conferred by Formosus null; but that he put his two predecessors to death, and by illicit relations with Marozia had a son, who was afterwards John XI, must be regarded as highly doubtful. These assertions are only made by bitter or ill-informed adversaries, and are inconsistent with what is said of him by respectable contemporaries [such as Flodoard] ." Citation
last = Mann
first = Horace Kinder
title = Sergius III
work = The Catholic Encyclopedia
publisher = Robert Appleton Company
year = 1912
location = New York
volume = XIII
url = http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13729a.htm
accessdate= 2008-01-06.
] Reginald L. Poole, [cite journal
last = Poole
first = Reginald L.
title = Benedict IX and Gregory VI
journal = Proceedings of the British Academy
volume = 8
pages = 230
year = 1917
] Peter Llewelyn ("Rome in the Dark Ages"), Karl Josef von Hefele, August Friedrich Gfrörer, [Citation
last = Gfrörer
first = August Friedrich
title = Allgemeine Kirchengeschichte
publisher = A. Krabbe
location = Stuttgart
pages = 1133–1275
volume = III
url = http://www.archive.org/details/a5831149p103gfrouoft
accessdate = 2008-01-06.
] Ludovico Antonio Muratori, and Francis Patrick Kenrick [Citation
last = Kenrick
first = Francis Patrick
authorlink = Francis Kenrick
title = The Primacy of the Apostolic See Vindicated
publisher = John Murphy & Co.
year = 1855
location = Baltimore
pages = 418
url = http://books.google.com/books?id=EXFCAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA418
accessdate= 2008-01-06.
] maintain that Pope John XI was sired by Alberic I of Spoleto, Count of Tusculum.


His mother was the Roman ruler at the time, resulting in his appointment to the Chair of Peter. Marozia was thus allegedly able to exert complete control over the Pope.

At the overthrow of Marozia, John XI reportedly became subject to the control of Alberic II (932-954), his younger brother. The only control left to the Pope was the exercise of his purely spiritual duties. All other jurisdiction was exercised through Alberic II. This was not only the case in secular, but also in ecclesiastical affairs.

It was at the insistence of Alberic II that the pallium was given to Theophylactus, Patriarch of Constantinople (935), and also to Artold, Archbishop of Reims (933). It was John XI who sat in the Chair of Peter during what some traditional Catholic sources consider its deepest humiliation, but it was also he who granted many privileges to the Congregation of Cluny, which was later on a powerful agent of Church reform.

ee also



* [http://womenshistory.about.com/library/bio/blbio_marozia.htm Marozia]

External links

* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=8824003 John XI at Find-A-Grave]
* [http://www.documentacatholicaomnia.eu/01_01_0931-0935-_Ioannes_XI.html Opera Omnia by Migne Patrologia Latina with analytical indexes]

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