Spirituality for Today – February 2015 – Volume 19, Issue 7

The 102nd Pope
Sergius II

An image of Pope Sergius, the 102nd PopePope Sergius II, the 102nd Pope

Pope Sergius II (844–847) – This is one pope for the Dark Ages. He was elected and consecrated as pope to the dismay of the Roman people who had elected a local deacon named John. It was the custom for the pope-elect to refrain from being consecrated as pope until the protocol of receiving the approval of the emperor as established in the Roman Constitution (824). Pope Sergius ignored that expectation and incurred the wrath of the Frankish emperor who sent an army that did some plundering in the Papal States. The matter was investigated and settled in Sergius' favor.

Pope Sergius was influenced by his brother Benedict to join together in a grand building spree – an "edifice complex?" They were not too particular in how they raised the money. Simony is the selling of Church offices to the one whose generosity to the Building Fund exceeded the others. Certainly, Pope Sergius II would be outdone by some future popes, but his pontificate was stained by corruption. If Pope Francis I were able to be whisked back in time to the court of Pope Sergius II, what an interesting meeting that would have been.

Pope Sergius II is buried in the Basilica of Saint Peter.

Habemus papam