John XII

John XII,

c.937–964, pope (955–64), a Roman (count of Tusculum) named Octavian; successor of Agapetus II and predecessor of either Leo VIII or Benedict V. His father, Alberic, secured John's election before the latter was 20 years old. John's life was notoriously immoral and his pontificate a disgrace. He called on Otto IOtto I
or Otto the Great,
912–73, Holy Roman emperor (962–73) and German king (936–73), son and successor of Henry I of Germany. He is often regarded as the founder of the Holy Roman Empire.
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 to help him against Berengar II of Italy. John crowned (962) Otto the first German emperor, and the two, in the famous Privilegium Ottonis, pledged loyalty to each other. Disliking the emperor's new influence in papal affairs, John sided with Berengar's party against Otto. In retaliation, Otto invaded Rome and called a synod that deposed John and elected Leo VIII as pope. John was restored by Roman insurrectionists shortly before he was mysteriously murdered. Scholars differ on the legitimacy of Leo VIII's reign, as they do on the brief pontificate of Benedict V, elected upon John's death and deposed by Otto shortly thereafter, again in favor of Leo. Leo died in 965.
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John XII was 18 when he became Pope and the "Patrologia Latina", a collection of writings of church leaders, says he made a pretty bad job of the role - invoking demons, murdering and mutilating men, committing arson and gambling.
In the course of teaching church history in a seminary, I have more than once witnessed a collective blush as we cover the foibles of the 18-year-old Pope John XII or the infamous Rodrigo Borgia, Pope Alexander VI.
8 There have been six Popes during the reign - Pius XII, John XII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
Norwich does not shy away from the controversial popes of the early centuries, including the possibility of a female pope (alternately known as Pope Joan or Agnes) in the first century, and Pope John XII who was the exemplar of debauchery.
10 Leicester In 962 Otto I (912-973), Duke of Saxony, King of Germany and King of Italy, was crowned Holy Roman Emperor (sire of this gelding) by Pope John XII.
One could also perhaps find the notion of hocket, deplored by John XII, in Dante's Paradiso as well.
Among others, the deposition of Pope John XII in 964 served as a precedent for a council's authority over a pope.
Before the Lechfeld battle he had already had himself crowned King of the Lombards and married their widowed queen, and in 962 Pope John XII crowned him Holy Roman Emperor in Rome.
If the reigning pope, John XII, was validly deposed by a Roman council in 963, then Leo VIII is a legitimate pope and Benedict V is an antipope.
Another exception occurred 400 years later when John XII (955-964) changed his name from Octavianus, also because of the name's pagan origins.