Pope Innocent II (Latin: Innocentius II; died 24 September 1143), born Gregorio Papareschi, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 14 February 1130 to his death in 1143. His election as pope 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.

Innocent II
Bishop of Rome
Excerpt from a mosaic in the Roman church Santa Maria in Trastevere, built by Innocent II
ChurchCatholic Church
Papacy began14 February 1130
Papacy ended24 September 1143
PredecessorHonorius II
SuccessorCelestine II
Ordination22 February 1130
Consecration23 February 1130
by Giovanni Vitale
Created cardinal1088
by Urban II
Personal details
Gregorio Papareschi

Died(1143-09-24)24 September 1143
Rome, Papal States
Other popes named Innocent

Early years


Gregorio Papareschi came from a Roman family,[1] probably of the rione Trastevere. Formerly a Cluniac monk,[2] he was made cardinal deacon of Sant'Angelo in 1116 by Pope Paschal II.[3] Gregorio was selected by Pope Callixtus II for various important and difficult missions, such as the one to Worms for the conclusion of the Concordat of Worms, the peace accord made with Holy Roman Emperor Henry V in 1122,[3] and also the one that made peace with King Louis VI of France in 1123. In 1124, he became a close advisor to Pope Honorius II.[3]

Election as Pope


On the evening of 13 February 1130, Pope Honorius II died,[4] and Gregorio was hastily elected as Pope Innocent II by a commission of six cardinals led by papal chancellor Haimeric.[5] He was consecrated on 14 February, the following day.[5] 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.[6] Anacletus' mixed group of supporters were powerful enough to take control of Rome while Innocent was forced to flee north.[6]



Struggle against the Antipope


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.[7][8] In October of 1130, he was duly acknowledged by King Lothair III of Germany and his bishops at the synod of Würzburg.[9][10] In January 1131, he also had a favourable interview with Henry I of England at Chartres.[11]

In August 1132, Lothar III undertook an expedition to Italy to set aside Anacletus as antipope and be crowned by Innocent. Anacletus and his supporters being in secure control of St. Peter's Basilica, the coronation ultimately took place in the Lateran Basilica (4 June 1133), but otherwise the expedition proved abortive. Innocent II invested Lothair as emperor and the territories belonging to Matilda of Tuscany in return for an annuity of 100 pounds of silver paid to the pope.[12] After Lothar's hasty departure from Rome, Innocent fled to Pisa.[13]

In May 1135, Innocent convened the council of Pisa, which was attended by over one hundred clerics and abbots.[14] Innocent II had the council declare antipope Anacletus II and his supporters excommunicated.[14] The second expedition by Lothar III in 1136 was no 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.

Second Lateran Council


At the Second Lateran council of April 1139, King Roger II of Sicily, Innocent II's most uncompromising foe, was excommunicated.[15] 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.[16]

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.[17] On 25 July 1139, Innocent was forced to acknowledge the kingship and possessions of Roger with the Treaty of Mignano.[18]

Involvement with Outremer


In his papal bull Omne Datum Optimum from March 1139, Innocent II had 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.[19] That same year he sent Alberic of Ostia to examine the conduct of the Latin Patriarch of Antioch establish ties with the Armenian Catholicos.[20][21] The consequent Latin synod in Antioch, attended also by the Armenian Catholicos Gregory III marked the symbolic beginning of Armenian-Latin high-level clerical contacts and according to Armenian sources Innocent sent Gregory a letter of greeting with a staff and pallium.[22] On 25 September 1141 he wrote Catholicos Gregory III another long letter in which he asked him to cooperate with the Church of Rome and end the schism which was achieved at the end of the century.[23][24]



Innocent II died on 24 September 1143[25] and was succeeded by Pope Celestine II.[26]



In 1134, Innocent elevated as cardinal-nephew his nephew, Gregorio Papareschi. He did the same for his brother Pietro Papareschi, whom he made cardinal in 1142. Another nephew, Cinthio Capellus (died 1182), was also a cardinal, raised to the cardinalate in 1158, after Innocent's death.[27]

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,[28] the remaining years of Innocent's life were almost as barren of permanent political results as the first had been. In the Lateran palace, he had a portrait painted depicting Lothar's oath to preserve the privileges of the city of Rome.[29] Innocent's 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,[30] and by a struggle with the town of Tivoli in which he became involved. As a result, Roman factions that wished Tivoli annihilated took up arms against Innocent.

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.[31] The pope was interred in a porphyry sarcophagus that contemporary tradition asserted had been the Emperor Hadrian's.

See also



  1. ^ Robinson 1990, p. 72.
  2. ^ Aurell 2020, p. 176.
  3. ^ a b c Duggan 2016, p. 272.
  4. ^ Schwaiger 2002, p. 732.
  5. ^ a b Robinson 1990, p. 75.
  6. ^ a b Robinson 1995, p. 373.
  7. ^ Robinson 1990, p. 361.
  8. ^ Somerville 1970, p. 101.
  9. ^ Clark 2016, p. 11.
  10. ^ Lees 1998, p. 34.
  11. ^ Truax 2017, p. 27.
  12. ^ Robinson 1990, p. 246.
  13. ^ Somerville 1970, p. 100-101.
  14. ^ a b Robinson 1990, p. 138.
  15. ^ Houben 2002, p. 70.
  16. ^ Schroeder 1937, p. 195-213.
  17. ^ Rogers 1997, p. 118.
  18. ^ Pacaut 2002, p. 784.
  19. ^ Bagni 2020, p. 6.
  20. ^ Jotischky 2018, p. 343.
  21. ^ Phillips 2007, p. 41.
  22. ^ Clapp & Dadoyan 2017, p. 218.
  23. ^ Lapina & Morton 2017, p. 195.
  24. ^ Ryan 2001, p. 57.
  25. ^ Robinson 1990, p. 525.
  26. ^ Robinson 1990, p. 206.
  27. ^ Duggan 2000, p. 277.
  28. ^ Kinney 1986, p. 379-397.
  29. ^ Morris 1989, p. 187.
  30. ^ Montaubin 2016, p. 147.
  31. ^ Cotts 2012, p. 31.


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Further reading


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Pope
Succeeded by