Spirituality for Today – Winter 2022 – Volume 26, Issue 2

The 144th Pope
John XIX

Pope John XIX (1024–1032) –The newly dominant Tusculan family favored the election of John. He is the only pope to succeed his brother as pope. Rumors spread that he acquired the papacy through bribery. It is also believed that he might have bestowed an indulgence for alms. In the year 1027, Conrad II was crowned in Saint Peter’s as emperor. The new emperor was indifferent to the commitment of previous emperors to papal privileges and protection. Conrad II disrespected the pope and pressured him to favor loyal subjects for ecclesiastical office. Emperors and patriarchs of the Eastern Church regularly sought increased authority over the Eastern Church from the pope. Apparently influenced by lavish presents from Constantinople, the pope is thought to be leaning in their favor, but Western bishops convinced him to oppose any such move. Pope John was active in guiding the administrative concerns of many bishops and monarchs in Europe. The pope did support the reformist abbey of Cluny and stood his ground against critical bishops. Unfortunately, his relationship with the Eastern Church diminished undoing the good work of his predecessor. The unsavory beliefs surrounding John’s emergence as pope kept his favorability among many Romans in question. At his death, he was buried in the basilica of Saint Peter

Habemus papam