Pope Innocent II

Innocent II, pope from 1130-1143, whose family name was Paparesci, his own baptismal name being Gregory, was probably one of the clergy in personal attendance on the antipope Clement III (Guibert of Ravenna). By Paschal II he was created cardinal-deacon. In this capacity, he accompanied Pope Gelasius II when driven into France; and by Pope Callixtus II, he was appointed on various important missions, such as on that to Worms for concluding the peace accord with the emperor in 1122 (see Concordat of Worms), and on that to France in 1123.

On February 14, 1130, he was hurriedly chosen to succeed Honorius II; soon afterwards an opposition asserted itself which issued in the counter-election of Pietro Pierleoni as Pope Anacletus II. Unable to maintain his position in Rome, Innocent took ship for Pisa, and thence sailed by Genoa to France, where the influence of Bernard of Clairvaux readily secured his cordial recognition by the clergy and the court; in October of the same year he was duly acknowledged by Lothar II of Germany and his bishops at the synod of Würzburg. In January 1131, he had also a favourable interview with Henry I of England; and in August 1132 Lothar undertook an expedition to Italy for the double purpose of being crowned by the pope, and of setting aside the antipope. The coronation ultimately took place in the Lateran church (June 4, 1133), but otherwise the expedition proved abortive. A second expedition by Lothar in 1136 was not more decisive in its results, and the protracted struggle between the rival pontiffs was terminated only by the death of Anacletus on January 25, 1138.

By the Second Lateran council of 1139, at which Roger II of Sicily, Innocent's most uncompromising foe, was excommunicated, peace was at last restored to the church. The remaining years of this pope's life were almost as barren of permanent results as the first had been; his efforts to undo the mischief wrought in Rome by the long schism were almost entirely neutralized by a struggle with the town of Tivoli in which he became involved, and by a quarrel with Louis VII of France, in the course of which that kingdom was laid under an interdict. Innocent died September 23, 1143 and was succeeded by Celestine II. The doctrinal questions in which he was called on to decide were those connected with the opinions of Peter Abelard and Arnold of Brescia.

Preceded by:
Pope Honorius II
List of popes Succeeded by:
Pope Celestine II


text from the 9th edition (1880) of an unnamed encyclopedia

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