Pope Honorius II

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Pope Honorius II (died February 13, 1130), born Lamberto Scannabecchi,[1] was pope from December 21, 1124, to February 13, 1130. Although from a humble background, his obvious intellect and outstanding abilities saw him promoted through the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Attached to the Frangipani family of Rome, his election as Pope was contested by a rival candidate, Celestine II, and force was used to guarantee his election. His pontificate was concerned with ensuring that the privileges the Roman Church had obtained through the Concordat of Worms were preserved and if possible extended. He was the first pope to confirm the election of the Holy Roman Emperor. Distrustful of the traditional Benedictine order, he favoured new monastic orders, such as the Augustinians and the Cistercians, and sought to exercise more control over the larger monastic centres of Monte Cassino and Cluny Abbey. He also approved the new military order of the Knights Templar in 1128. He failed to prevent Roger II of Sicily extending his power in southern Italy, and was unable to stop Louis VI of France from interfering in the affairs of the French church. Like his predecessors, he managed the wide-ranging affairs of the church through Papal Legates. With his death in 1130, the Church was again thrown into confusion with the election of two rival popes, Innocent II and Anacletus II.

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Early Life

Lamberto came from a simple rural background, hailing from Fiagnano in Casalfiumanese commune, near Imola in present day Italy.[1] Entering into an ecclesiastical career, he soon became archdeacon of Bologna,[1] where his abilities eventually saw him attract the attention of Pope Urban II (1088–1099),[2] who presumably appointed him cardinal priest of the Titulus St. Praxedis in 1099. His successor, Pope Paschal II (1099–1118) made Lamberto a Canon of the Lateran[3] before elevating him to the position of cardinal bishop of Ostia in 1117.[1] Lamberto was one of the cardinals who accompanied Pope Gelasius II in exile in 1118–19, and was at his bedside when Gelasius died.[2]

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