Monday, March 07, 2005

Pope's who have Resigned

An illuminating view of Church history...

From thefirstparish:

"Popes Who Resigned (reprinted from America Magazine, February 28, 2005)

Historical evidence for papal resignations is limited, especially if one eliminates resignations that may have been forced.

1. Clement I (92?-101). Epiphanius asserted that Clement gave up the pontificate to Linus for the sake of peace and became pope again after the death of Cletus.

2. Pontian (230-235). Allegedly resigned after being exiled to the mines of Sardinia during persecution of Maximinus Thrax.

3. Marcellinus (296-304). Abdicated or was deposed after complying with Diocletian?s order to offer sacrifice to pagan gods.

4. Martin I (649-655). Exiled by Emperor Constans II to the Crimea. Before he died, the clergy of Rome elected a successor, whom he appears to have approved.

5. Benedict V (964). After one month in office, he accepted deposition by Emperor Otto I.

6. Benedict IX (1032-45). Benedict resigned after selling the papacy to his godfather Gregory VI.

7. Gregory VI (1045-46). Deposed for simony by Henry III.

8. Celestine V (1294). A hermit, elected at age of 80 and overwhelmed by the office, resigned. He was imprisoned by his successor.

9. Gregory XII (1406-15). Resigned at request of Council of Constance to help end the Great Western Schism.
Source: Patrick Granfield, ?Papal Resignation? (The Jurist, winter and spring 1978) and J. N. D. Kelly, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes (1986). "