Antipope Gregory VI
- This article is about the Antipope Gregory VI. For the article on Pope Gregory VI or John Gratian, also sometimes reckoned an antipope, see Pope Gregory VI.
On the death of Pope Sergius IV in June, 1012, "a certain Gregory" opposed the party of the Theophylae (which elected Pope Benedict VIII against him), and got himself made Pope, seemingly by a small faction. Gregory VI was the first to claim to be Pope as successor to Pope Sergius, and that Benedict VIII's claim was subsequent.
Promptly expelled from Rome, Gregory made his way to Germany, and craved the support of the Emperor St. Henry II (25 Dec., 1012). That monarch, however, after promising him that his case should be carefully examined in accordance with canon law and Roman custom, took away from him the papal insignia which he was wearing, and bade him cease to act as Pope in the meanwhile. After this, history knows the "certain Gregory" no more.
Of Benedict VIII, the Catholic Encyclopedia says:
- "...he was, though a layman, imposed on the chair of Peter by force, on May 18, 1012. Nevertheless, dislodging a rival, he became a good and strong ruler...."