John XII

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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.
References in periodicals archive ?
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.
However, the complete secular takeover of papal authority was not totally secured until Holy Roman Emperor Otto I forcibly replaced an unaccommodating Pope John XII with a more compliant Leo VIII in AD 963.
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.