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Popes of the 12th Century, Part 1

History of the Roman Catholic Papacy and Church


Below is a list of all of the popes who reigned during the twelfth century. The first number is which pope they were. This is followed by their chosen name, the starting and ending dates of their reigns, and finally the number of years they were pope. Follow the links to read short biographies of each pope and learn about what they did, what they believed, and what impact they had on the course of the Roman Catholic Church.


161. Paschal II: August 13, 1099 - January 21, 1118 (18 years)
Paschal II's mark in history lies primarily with his involvement in the Investiture Conflict with various European rulers. Although he managed to reach an accord with Henry I of England and Philip I of France, matters were not nearly so peaceful with Henry IV and Henry V of the Holy Roman Empire.

162. Gelasius II: January 24, 1118 - January 29, 1119 (1 year)
Pope Gelasius II was elected unanimously, but that didn't help him with the fact that German emperor Henry V was still furious with Gelasius' predecessor over his intransigence over the conflict about lay investiture.

163. Callistus II: February 1, 1119 - December 13, 1124 (5 years)
Callistus II is best known for having finally settled the Investiture Controversy with Henry V. The two reached a mutal agreement with the Concordat of Worms.

164. Honorius II: December 21, 1124 - February 13, 1130 (5 years)
Pope Honorius II was elected in unusual circumstances. Celestine II had actually been elected validly, but the aristocratic Frangipani family objected and prevented Celestine from being consecrated, thus keeping him from becoming a genuine pope.

165. Innocent II: February 14, 1130 - September 24, 1143 (13 years, 7 months)
Pope Innocent II's election was marred by the fact that he was chosen by only a minority of cardinals - most had opted for Pietro Pierleoni, who took the name Anacletus II.

166. Celestine II: September 25, 1143 - March 8, 1144 (5 months)
Once a student of Peter Abelard, Pope Celestine II's most important action was to provide absolution to King Louis VII of France and remove the interdict under which France had suffered for the previous three years.

167. Lucius II: March 12, 1144 - February 15, 1145 (11 months)
Pope Lucius II was involved in serious political struggles with Roger of Sicily. Lucius refused to accept Roger's demands regarding the division of political and religious power, but Lucius was eventually forced to concede by Roger's superior force of arms.

168. Blessed Eugene III: February 15, 1145 - July 8, 1153 (8 years)
A Cistercian abbot, Pope Eugene III became particularly well known for the failure of the Second Crusade which he himself had originally called for In a bull sent to French King, Louis VII, and which he vigorously supported with the help of Bernard of Clairvaux.

169. Anastasius IV: July 8, 1153 - December 3, 1154 (1 year)
A local man with close connections to politicians and aristocrats, Anastasius IV was an old man when he was unanimously elected.

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