Pope Innocent II ( la, Innocentius II; died 23 September 1143), born Gregorio Papareschi, was head of the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide . As the world's old ...

Catholic Church
and ruler of the
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from 14 February 1130 to his death in 1143. His election as
pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, Rome, chief pastor of the worldwide Catholic Church, and head of state o ...

was controversial and the first eight years of his reign were marked by a struggle for recognition against the supporters of Anacletus II. He reached an understanding with King Lothair III of Germany who supported him against Anacletus and whom he crowned as Holy Roman emperor. Innocent went on to preside over the Second Lateran council.

Early years

Gregorio Papareschi came from a Roman family, probably of the ''rione'' Trastevere. He was probably one of the clergy in personal attendance on the Antipope Clement III (Guibert of Ravenna). Pope Urban II made Papareschi a cardinal deacon in 1088. In this capacity, he accompanied Pope Gelasius II when he was driven into France. He was selected by Pope Callixtus II for various important and difficult missions, such as the one to Worms, Germany, Worms for the conclusion of the Concordat of Worms, the peace accord made with Holy Roman Emperor Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor, Henry V in 1122, and also the one that made peace with King Louis VI of France in 1123.

Election as Pope

In 1130, as Pope Honorius II lay dying, the cardinals decided to entrust the election to a commission of eight men led by papal chancellor Haimeric, who had his candidate Cardinal Gregorio Papareschi hastily elected as Pope Innocent II. He was consecrated on 14 February, the day after Honorius' death. The other cardinals announced that Innocent had not been canonically elected and chose Anacletus II, a Roman whose family were the enemy of Haimeric's supporters, the Frangipani. Anacletus' mixed group of supporters were powerful enough to take control of Rome while Innocent was forced to flee north. Based on a simple majority of the entire college of cardinals, Anacletus was the canonically elected pope, and Innocent was the antipope. However, the In Nomine Domini, legislation of Pope Nicholas II pre-empted the choice of the majority of the cardinal priests and cardinal deacons. This rule was changed by the Second Council of the Lateran, Second Lateran council of 1139.


Anacletus had control of Rome, so Innocent II took ship for Pisa, and thence sailed by way of Genoa to France, where the influence of Bernard of Clairvaux readily secured his cordial recognition by the clergy and the court. In October of the same year he was duly acknowledged by King Lothair III of Germany and his bishops at the synod of Würzburg. In January 1131, he had also a favourable interview with Henry I of England, and in August 1132 Lothar III undertook an expedition to Italy for the double purpose of setting aside Anacletus as antipope and of being crowned by Innocent. Anacletus and his supporters being in secure control of St. Peter's Basilica, the coronation ultimately took place in the Lateran Church (4 June 1133), but otherwise the expedition proved abortive. At the investiture of Lothair as emperor he gained the territories belonging to Matilda of Tuscany in return for an annuity to be paid to the pope, in consequence of which the curial party based the contention that the emperor was a vassal of the papacy. A second expedition by Lothar III in 1136 was not more decisive in its results, and the protracted struggle between the rival pontiffs was terminated only by the death of Anacletus II on 25 January 1138. Innocent took as cardinal-nephew first his nephew, Gregorio Papareschi (cardinal), Gregorio Papareschi, whom he made cardinal in 1134, and then his brother Pietro Papareschi, whom he made cardinal in 1142. Another nephew, Cinzio Papareschi (died 1182), was also a cardinal, raised to the cardinalate in 1158, after Innocent's death.

Second Lateran Council

By the Second Council of the Lateran, Second Lateran council of 1139, at which King Roger II of Sicily, Innocent II's most uncompromising foe, was excommunicated, peace was at last restored to the Church. Aside from the complete rebuilding of the ancient church of Santa Maria in Trastevere, which boldly features Ionic capitals from former colonnades in the Baths of Caracalla and other richly detailed ''spolia'' from Roman monuments, the remaining years of this Pope's life were almost as barren of permanent political results as the first had been. His efforts to undo the mischief wrought in Rome by the long schism were almost entirely neutralized by a quarrel with his erstwhile supporter, Louis VII of France over the candidate for archbishop of Bourges, in the course of which that kingdom was laid under an interdict to press for the papal candidate, and by a struggle with the town of Tivoli, Italy, Tivoli in which he became involved. As a result, Roman factions that wished Tivoli annihilated took up arms against Innocent. It was also in 1139 that, in the ''Omne Datum Optimum'', Innocent II declared that the Knights Templar—a religious and military organization then twenty-one years old—should in the future be answerable only to the papacy. This was a keystone in the Templars' ever increasing power and wealth, and ironically helped to bring about their violent suppression in October 1307. Can. 29 of the Second Lateran Council under Pope Innocent II in 1139 banned the use of crossbows, as well as slings and bows, against Christians.The sources are collected in Hefele, Histoire des conciles d'apres les documents originaux, trans. and continued by H. Leclerq 1907–52., 5/1, 721–722; but see also, Bernhardi Jahrbuecher der deutschen Geschichte, I Leipzig 1883, 154–160:

Treaty of Mignano

On 22 July 1139, at Galluccio, Roger II's son Roger III of Apulia ambushed the papal troops with a thousand knights and captured Innocent. On 25 July 1139, Innocent was forced to acknowledge the kingship and possessions of Roger with the Treaty of Mignano. In 1143, Innocent refused to recognise the Treaty of Mignano with Roger of Sicily, who sent Robert of Selby to march on papal Benevento. The terms agreed upon at Mignano were then recognised. Innocent II died on 24 September 1143 and was succeeded by Pope Celestine II. The doctrinal questions which he was called on to decide were those that condemned the opinions of Pierre Abélard and of Arnold of Brescia. In 1143, as the pope lay dying, the Commune of Rome, to resist papal power, began deliberations that officially reinstated the Roman Senate the following year. The pope was interred in a porphyry sarcophagus that contemporary tradition asserted had been the Emperor Hadrian's.

See also

*Bull of Gniezno *List of popes *Cardinals created by Innocent II


{{DEFAULTSORT:Innocent 02 Pope Innocent II, 1143 deaths Clergy from Rome Italian popes 12th-century Italian cardinals Burials at Santa Maria in Trastevere Year of birth unknown Popes 12th-century popes House of Papareschi Cardinals created by Pope Urban II