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Pope Sergius II

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Sergius II
Papacy began January 844
Papacy ended 24 January 847
Predecessor Gregory IV
Successor Leo IV
Personal details
Birth name ???
Born ???
Rome, Papal States
Died 24 January 847(847-01-24)
Other Popes named Sergius

Pope Sergius II was Pope from January 844 – 24 January 847.

On the death of Gregory IV, the archdeacon John was proclaimed pope by popular acclamation, while the nobility elected Sergius, a Roman of noble birth. The opposition was suppressed, with Sergius intervening to save John's life. Sergius was then consecrated immediately by the nobles (or the bishops)[citation needed], without seeking the ratification of the Frankish court.

The Holy Roman Emperor Lothair I, however, disapproved of this abandonment of the Constitutio Romana of 824, which included a statute that no pope should be consecrated until his election had the approval of the Frankish emperor. He sent an army under his son Louis, the recently appointed Viceroy of Italy, to re-establish his authority. The Church and the Emperor reached an accommodation, with Louis being crowned king of Lombardy by Sergius, although the Pope did not accede to all the demands made upon him.

Sergius contributed to urban redevelopment in Rome, relying on what some consider to be dubious means of gaining money. Simony is said to have flourished during the reign of Sergius II[citation needed].

During his pontificate Rome was ravaged, and the churches of St. Peter and St. Paul were sacked by Saracens, who also assaulted Porto and Ostia in August 846. Sergius died while negotiating between two patriarchs and was succeeded by Pope Leo IV.

Representations in popular culture

Pope Sergius was portrayed by John Goodman in the 2009 film, Pope Joan.



  • Cheetham, Nicolas, Keepers of the Keys, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1983. ISBN 0-684-17863-X

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Gregory IV
Succeeded by
Leo IV