|Papacy began||March 931|
|Papacy ended||December 935|
|Born||Rome, Papal States|
Rome, Papal States
Pope John XI (Latin: Ioannes XI; died December 935) was the bishop of Rome and nominal ruler of the Papal States from March 931 to his death. The true ruler of Rome at the time was his mother, Marozia, followed by his brother Alberic II. The period is known as Saeculum obscurum.
John was the son of Marozia, the most powerful woman in Rome and wife of Alberic I of Spoleto. According to Liutprand of Cremona and the Liber Pontificalis, John's father was not Alberic but Marozia's lover Pope Sergius III. Ferdinand Gregorovius, Ernst Dümmler, Thomas Greenwood, Philip Schaff, and Rudolf Baxmann accept Liutprand's account. Horace Kinder Mann considers this story "highly doubtful", highlighting Liutprand's bias. Reginald L. Poole, Peter Llewelyn, Karl Josef von Hefele, August Friedrich Gfrörer, Ludovico Antonio Muratori, and Francis Patrick Kenrick also maintain that Pope John XI was sired by Alberic I of Spoleto.
Marozia was the de facto ruler of Rome at the time, and procured John's appointment to the papacy. This period is known as Saeculum obscurum. After the overthrow of Marozia around 932, John XI fell under the control of his brother Alberic II. The only authority left to John was the exercise of his purely spiritual duties. All other jurisdiction was exercised through Alberic II. This was not only the case in secular, but also in ecclesiastical affairs.
At the insistence of Alberic II, the pallium was given to Patriarch Theophylactus of Constantinople (935), and also to Archbishop Artold of Reims (933). It was John XI who sat in the Chair of Peter during what some traditional Catholic sources consider its deepest humiliation, but it was also he who granted many privileges to the Congregation of Cluny, which was later on a powerful agent of Church reform.
|Catholic Church titles|