Spirituality for Today – December 2015 – Volume 20, Issue 5

The 112th Pope
Boniface VI

An image of Pope Boniface, the 112th PopePope Boniface VI, the 112th Pope

Poe Boniface VI (896) – Pope Boniface served as pope after only fifteen days. Severe gout and its complications were the cause. His reign was among the shortest in history. Another unsavory fact about Boniface was that he was twice defrocked for immorality: once when he was a sub–deacon and once as a priest. His re–instatement was not documented. In 898, Pope John IX convened a synod to make sure that such an act would never be repeated.

One cannot deny that the history of the papacy contains enough stories of unusual and colorful individuals who have been named Bishop of Rome. The fortunes of these men illuminate the various theological and political environments within which the pope would have to guide the Church. The Holy Spirit has overseen the Church throughout the ages and we pray a prayer of thanksgiving that the Holy Spirit has protected it and will continue to do so.

Pope Boniface is buried in the portico of the Basilica of Saint Peter.

Habemus papam