Pope Innocent II

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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 years

Papareschi came from a Roman family, probably of the rione Trastevere.

Pope Paschal II (1099–1118) made him a cardinal deacon. In this capacity, he accompanied Pope Gelasius II (1118–19) when he was driven into France.[1] By Pope Calixtus II (1119–24) he was selected for various important and difficult missions, such as the one to Worms for concluding the Concordat of Worms, the peace accord with the emperor, in 1122, and the one 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.[2] 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; Pierleoni 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 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 Second Lateran council of 1139.

Anacletus had control of Rome, so Innocent II took ship for Pisa, and thence sailed by way of 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. Anacletus and his supporters being in secure control of the St. Peter's Basilica, the coronation ultimately took place in the Lateran Church (June 4, 1133), but otherwise the expedition proved abortive. At the investiture of Lothair as Emperor he gained the territories belonging to Matilda of Tuscany, in return for an annuity to be paid to the pope, in consequence of which the curial party based the contention that the Emperor was a vassal of the Papal see.[3]

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