Pope Benedict IX (Latin: Benedictus IX; c. 1012 – c. 1056), born Theophylactus of Tusculum in Rome, was pope on three occasions between October 1032 and July 1048. Aged approximately 20 at his first election, he is one of the youngest popes in history. He is the only man to have been pope on more than one occasion and the only man ever to have sold the papacy. While Benedict IX has an execrable reputation as pope, R.L. Poole suggests that some of the calumnies directed against him be understood in the context that they were perpetrated by virulent political enemies.

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  • Pope Benedict IX (Latin: Benedictus IX; c. 1012 – c. 1056), born Theophylactus of Tusculum in Rome, was pope on three occasions between October 1032 and July 1048. Aged approximately 20 at his first election, he is one of the youngest popes in history. He is the only man to have been pope on more than one occasion and the only man ever to have sold the papacy. Benedict was the nephew of his immediate predecessor, Pope John XIX. In October 1032, his father obtained his election through bribery. However, his reputed dissolute activities provoked a revolt on the part of the Romans. Benedict was driven out of Rome and Pope Sylvester III elected to succeed him. Some months later, Benedict and his supporters managed to expel Sylvester. Benedict then decided to abdicate in favor of his godfather, the Archpriest of St. John by the Latin Gate, provided he was reimbursed for his expenses. Gratian then became Pope Gregory VI. Benedict subsequently had second thoughts and returned, and attempted to depose Gregory. A number of prominent clergy appealed to Henry, King of the Germans to restore order. Henry and his forces crossed the Brenner Pass into Italy, where he summoned the Council of Sutri to decide the matter. Benedict, Sylvester, and Gregory were all deposed. Henry then nominated the bishop of Bamberg, Suidger von Morsleben, who was consecrated and became Pope Clement II in December 1046, thus clearing the way for Henry to be immediately crowned Holy Roman Emperor by a Pope recognized as legitimate. While Benedict IX has an execrable reputation as pope, R.L. Poole suggests that some of the calumnies directed against him be understood in the context that they were perpetrated by virulent political enemies. (en)
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  • Pope Benedict IX (Latin: Benedictus IX; c. 1012 – c. 1056), born Theophylactus of Tusculum in Rome, was pope on three occasions between October 1032 and July 1048. Aged approximately 20 at his first election, he is one of the youngest popes in history. He is the only man to have been pope on more than one occasion and the only man ever to have sold the papacy. While Benedict IX has an execrable reputation as pope, R.L. Poole suggests that some of the calumnies directed against him be understood in the context that they were perpetrated by virulent political enemies. (en)
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  • Pope Benedict IX (en)
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