Spirituality for Today – August 2012 – Volume 17, Issue 1

The 72nd Pope
Pope John IV

An image of Pope John IV, the 72nd PopePope John IV, the 72nd Pope

Pope John IV (640-642) – The issue of the Ecthesis (imperial affirmation of Emperor Heraclius of Monothelitism, Jesus possessed only a divine and not a human will) would reach its head during the reign of Pope John. He called a synod to condemn Monothelitism as heretical and called upon the new emperor, Constantine III to repudiate the decree. Pope John was from Dalmatia (Croatia). He addressed the needs of the Church in his native land, especially regarding the freeing of Dalmatian slaves taken through conquest.

Five months would pass before Pope John IV received imperial confirmation of his election. A document sent to certain Church leaders in Ireland regarding the celebration of Easter and addressing the heresy of Pelagianism (divine grace is not needed to achieve salvation) was signed by two priests designated as "vicegerents of the Apostolic See" with Pope-elect John as a secondary signatory. This indicates that election to the papacy in itself does not establish one as pope unless he is a bishop already. This also is the current policy of the Church.

Pope John IV is buried in the Basilica of Saint Peter.

Habemus papam