Born: c. 816 (Italy)
Died: April 4, 896
Pope: October 6, 891 - April 4, 896 (4 years)
Pope Formosus (whose name means "good looking") was unusually controversial - although many of the problems occurred after his death. Six months after he had died, his successor Stephen VI had his body dug up and put on trial; found guilty, it was stripped of the papal vestments and the fingers used by Formosus to bless others were removed. The body was drug through the streets and dumped in the Tiber river. Pope Sergius III later confirmed the decisions reached by this "Cadaver Synod," but Pope John XI reinstated Formosus about 40 years after his posthumous deposition.
Also Known As: none
Alternate Spellings: none
Common Misspellings: none
Popes and the Papacy: History, Doctrines, News About Popes
The pope may be the most visible and famous symbol of the Catholic Church. It is the office of the papacy and the assumed link back to the original apostles that differentiates Roman Catholicism from other Christian denominations. The office of the papacy is rather complicated and, much to the chagrin of believers, comes with a rather checkered past.
Pope John Paul II: Biography, History, and Policies
John Paul II has been one of the longest-lived and most influential popes in the history of the Catholic Church. For good or for ill, his policies and personality have helped shape not only the current character of Catholicism but also the direction Catholicism will take for generations to come. Because of that, it's important to take the time to carefully consider what his policies have been and how they have affected Catholics around the world.
Electing the Next Pope: Index of Resources on Papal Elections
Every human is mortal, and that includes popes. Some live and reign for extraordinarily long times while others only serve for a few days, but in the end all die and a new pope must be elected. How are papal elections run? A papal election is a process that is shrouded in secrecy; the details of any one election are supposed to be kept hidden, but general information is known.
Book Reviews: Roman Catholic Popes, Papacy, History
Who or what is the pope? The title pope stems from the Greek word papas, which simply means "father." Early in Christian history it was used as a formal title expressing affectionate respect for any bishop and sometimes even priests. Today it continues to be used in Eastern Orthodox churches for the patriarch of Alexandria.