Pope JOHN VIII

[Pope John VIII]
Profile
Son of Gundus. Archdeacon in Rome. 107th pope.

Supported the missionary work of Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius, and approved the use of Slavonic language in the liturgy. Strongly opposed the work of Saint Ignatius of Constantinople in Bulgaria. When Ignatius died, John recognized Photius as patriarch and called the council (879-880) that briefly reconciled differences between East and West. He did much to root out corruption in the church in Rome, excommunicated corrupt nobility, and was one of the strongest popes of the 9th century, though he was forced to bribe Saracens to keep them out of Rome.

John was deeply involved in imperial politics. He crowned Charles the Bald as emperor, and excommunicated the future Pope Formosus for opposing him. When Charles lost power, John favored Charles the Fat, who became Emperor Charles III. The first pope to be killed in office for non-religious reasons.
Born
at Rome, Italy in the early 9th century
Papal Ascension
14 December 872
Died
poisoned and beaten to death by a relative on 16 December 882 at Rome, Italy as part of an attempt to inherit some of John's property
Additional Information
Ecole Glossary, by Karen Rae Keck
Catholic Encyclopedia
New Catholic Dictionary
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