Spirituality for Today – November 2014 – Volume 19, Issue 4

The 99th Pope
Eugenius II

An image of Pope Eugenius II, the 99th PopePope Eugenius II, the 99th Pope

Pope Eugenius II (824 – 827) – After the contentious and fatal affairs occurring during the reign of the previous holder of the Chair of Peter, there came a Benedictine monk, Wala, who was held in high regard by the emperor and who navigated the troubled waters between the nobility and the clergy/laity of Rome to influence the election of Eugenius as the next pope.

Pope Eugenius won favor with the emperor in assuring him that the Papal States were subject to the emperor and that all citizens would swear an oath of allegiance to him. These agreements were codified in a document known as the Roman Constitution which the pope confirmed and approved as ratified by a synod held at the Lateran. In a number of areas of secular concern, the papacy bowed to the emperor.

In matters ecclesiastical, however, the papacy asserted its primacy. Many canons regarding the discipline of clergy and laity within the Frankish Church were promulgated by Rome and Pope Eugenius stood his ground in opposition to the emperor's request that he seek a compromise with the East regarding the issue of iconoclasm. More pressure was brought to bear by the emperor, but the pope would not budge and the emperor demurred.

Another concern of the pope was the missionary effort among the Danes. He gave his blessing and support to Ansgar and his colleagues as they went on their missionary trek to the Danish people.

Pope Eugenius was buried in the Basilica of Saint Peter.

Habemus papam