Talk:Pope Innocent III

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Innocent III and the Jews[edit]

Innocent III commanded that all Jews and so-called heretics sew labels on their clothing and be ghettoized in conquered territories. Though he may have publicly opposed the official church persecuting Jews (though certainly not Cathars), he certainly made sure that it was very easy for everyone else to both locate and identify them.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:52, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Innocent III, despite his dislike for heretics and Muslims, did not hate the Jews. In fact, he called upon his subordinates to respect the Jews and to refrain from disturbing them. So much for his supposed anti-Semitism...

........However, at the time, anti-semitism did not necessarily mean anti-jews. Before the 19th-20th Century, numerous cultures were globally considered "Semite" (Amharic, Arabic, Aramaic, Akkadian, Ge'ez, Hebrew, Phoenician, Maltese, Tigre and Tigrinya among others). Today's interpretation of the word is geared toward Jews after WWII. .....................

Innocent III has been recorded as saying: "The Jews' guilt of the crucifixion of Jesus consigned them to perpetual servitude, and, like Cain, they are to be wanderers and fugitives. The Jews will not dare to raise their necks, bowed under the yoke of perpetual slavery, against the reverence of the Christian faith." Which, is full of anti-Semitism.

From: Grayzel, S., The Church and the Jews in the XIIIth Century – A study of their relations during the years 1198-1254, based on the papal letters and the conciliar decrees of the period, (New York: Hermon Press, Revised Edition, 1966), 117. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Millertime8647 (talkcontribs) 00:15, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

It's not an anti-Semitism but anti-Judaism. It's not the same. Anti-semitism is a racist ideology virtually unknown to the people of the Middle Ages, including Innocent III. Jews were discriminated and sometime even persecuted at that time, but those of them who converted to Christianity became regular members of Christian society. Innocent III is a typical representative of this attitude - to persecute a Jewish religion, but not the people of Jewish ancestry. CarlosPn 23 Oct 2008 17:05 CET

 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:24, 19 December 2007 (UTC) 

I'm changing the statement about his anti-Semitism until someone can provide sources to prove that he harbored animosity against the Jews.

Pope Innocent III: Letter on the Jews

"We decree that no Christian shall use violence to compel the Jews to accept baptism. But if a Jew, of his own accord, because of a change in his faith, shall have taken refuge with Christians, after his wish has been made known, he may be made a Christian without any opposition. For anyone who has not of his own will sought Christian baptism cannot have the true Christian faith. No Christian shall do the Jews any personal injury, except in executing the judgments of a judge, or deprive them of their possessions, or change the rights and privileges which they have been accustomed to have. During the celebration of their festivals, no one shall disturb them by beating them with clubs or by throwing stones at them. No one shall compel them to render any services except those which they have been accustomed to render. And to prevent the baseness and avarice of wicked men we forbid anyone to deface or damage their cemeteries or to extort money from them by threatening to exhume the bodies of their dead...."

From: Oliver J. Thatcher, and Edgar Holmes McNeal, eds., A Source Book for Medieval History, (New York: Scribners, 1905), 212-213.

An event in this article is a January 8 selected anniversary

Which is a reason to make it much better than it was on that day, when the link attracted much more traffic to the page. Halcatalyst 21:15, 8 January 2006 (UTC) Please bear in mind Lotario De' Conti lived in the 12th and 13th centuries; accusing him of Anti-semitism is like accusing Paul of christian Heresy. One must not attempt to impose modern ideas on the past! Innocent was no worse than any other pope when it came to dealings with the jews, and was better than most. (talk) 17:05, 7 September 2009 (UTC)M Baumgartner

A cardinal deacon, but not a priest?[edit]

The article currently states: "He was just thirty-seven years of age, and although a deacon, not yet a priest." Is this actually true in this case, or a misunderstannding of "cardinal deacon"? Halcatalyst 21:22, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

The article should be corrected. As you say, he was at the time a cardinal deacon, and so only of low(est) ranking within the cardinal college.

There were lay cardinals (men who were not priests, only deacons or subdeacons) until 1899 and then in 1917 the Code of Canon Law made it mandatory that all cardinals be ordained priests or bishops. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:40, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Fourth lateran council[edit]

Fourth Latern council is also considered something of a milestone or even turning point in the history of anti-semitism or in Jewish Medieval history. I took the liberty of adding a sentence on that. -Sensemaker

I was amazed at the praise Innocent III gets in that Catholic Encyclopedia entry referred to in the article. It practically glosses over the attrocities committed during the Fourth Crusade and the "crusade" against the Cathars, and portrays the Pope as completely innnocent (no pun intended) in those events, despite the central role he played in them. I don't know the policy of wikipedia on the biases of linked-to articles, but wow. I guess the first link, which discusses his more dubious qualities more fully, balances it out though.-Andy

Wikipedia itself aims at a Neutral Point of View. The world's a messy place, and sites reached via external links may often have no such aim (or, if they have, fail to achieve it). If a site is really useless or totally misleading, the link would be best deleted, but I doubt if that's true in this case. Caveat surfer. Andrew Dalby 13:02, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Although, to be fair, Innocent had little or no part in the Fourth Crusade other than calling for it: he wrote a letter or a decretal or a Bull or something decrying the sacking of Constantinople. Artiste-extraordinaire 11:13, 31 March 2007 (UTC)
Innocent certainly didn't order the Fourth Crusade to attack Constantinople, but he seemes delighted that they did. Installing a Latin Patriarch meant that he practically tried to force the East to be re-united to the West. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:41, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Lateran IV is also considered something of a landmark because of its ban on the use of the ordeal. I just added a sentence to that effect. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:53, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Confessor of Pope Innocent III[edit]

Who can tell me more about the monk Renerius, his confessor? (See de:Dialogus miraculorum VII.6) --Reiner Stoppok 20:49, 28 January 2007 (UTC)


This is a particularly favorable article bordering on non-neutrality. The tone is downright reverent. If one is Roman Catholic, one might, as the author of this article seems to, view Innocent III as the pinnacle of the golden age of Catholic power. If one is not Catholic, one might view Innocent III as one of the greatest usurpers of secular power by religious authorities in European history. The article does not reflect this tension.Valkyryn 09:59, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

In particular, the sections "Encroachment in Empire's Affairs" and "Feudal Power over Europe" contain a reasonably detailed discussion of Innocent III's justifications for his actions, but contain little to no discussion of the justifications of his opponents. Valkyryn 21:10, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

It would be great for you, then, to post his opponents' justifications: I look-forward to a re-write. I kind-of stumbled upon this article: very interesting. As to the "usurper of secular powers", though the RCC is a "religious authority" it's also a world power, so it's no more vicious than other kings fighting one another...I do not appreciate their claimant on who goes to heaven etc. or the fact the pope calls himself "THE Holy Father" (Jesus: "call no man father but your father in heaven") and many many other things...however there are some laudatory actions Innocent took (at least reviewing this article). Whether or not we like it the Popes have often played crucial roles in world history, including roles which helped stabilize (and often destabilize) political and social environments. Thus there is reason for the article have content that islaudatory: any criticisms would necessarily be moral and ethical appeals and within the framework would be those like "my kingdom is not of this world" (Jesus) etc...and I don't know if those working on the article want to go there or not and do so tactfully and carefully. It's already useful for info though. : ) infinitelink —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:11, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

I thought the tone was fairly neutral. The cathar crusades and suppression of heresy of his reign was particularly brutal, however he was hardly alone in that. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:59, 5 April 2009 (UTC) To talk of encroaching on secular power is anachronistic; the church considered itself fully justified in meddling in any matter that affected the souls of men; Innocent himself asserted this right most forcefully, as did Alexander III and Hadrian before him. (talk) 17:09, 7 September 2009 (UTC)M Baumgartner

Two years later, I read the original neutrality complaint as too high on the "reverence" scale and, I suppose lacking in irreverence. If there was interest on the part of the editor in providing text from reliable sources that the subject was one of the greatest usurpers of secular power by religious authorities in European history, it is not evident in the editing history. I recommend removing the POV tag for lack of interest in discussing the problem or edits to correct the alleged problem. Note that the word usurp itself is POV. patsw (talk) 23:49, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
To restore neutrality, this article needs to be purged of ALL web-links. We should rely on reliable, third-party, published sources. The Catholic Encyclopedia is in no way third party in relation to Innocent III or any other pope. --Kansas Bear (talk) 16:11, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Date of death[edit]

Some sources say he died 16 July 1216. -- JackofOz (talk) 07:07, 7 June 2008 (UTC)


The Franciscans receiving the statutes of the Order from Pope Innocent III, by Giotto, 1295-1300.

Here is a nice image of the Franciscans receiving the statutes of the Order from Pope Innocent III, by Giotto, taken by me in Le Louvre. Thank you to insert it in the article. PHG (talk) 18:39, 16 July 2008 (UTC)


The dream of Innocent III in which he saw Francis of Assisi rescuing the Church, by Giotto, 1295-1300.

Also, the dream of Innocent III in which he saw Francis of Assisi rescuing the Church. Giotto, 1295-1300, taken by me in Le Louvre. Cheers PHG (talk) 18:48, 16 July 2008 (UTC)


When dead, he appeared burning to Saint Lutgardis, explaining that he was expected to remain in purgatory for a few centuries asking for some assistance. The reason was three faults of him. I'm very much interested in what faults? Joculatory I would speculate: "evil", "worse", "worst", but really:

What three faults? Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 19:09, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
What is the narrative that contains this assertion?--Wetman (talk) 03:33, 8 January 2013 (UTC)
I found a text here (by a Fr. and everything) that connects the story to Robert Bellarmine, meaning the story probably originates from the late 16th century. I think we shouldn't believe it as authentic, but rather like an allegorical story symbolizing a general sentiment towards one of the popes in his time, or before. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 20:00, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Crownings of Eastern Orthodox and Armenian kings: Innocent III and the Christian East[edit]

It would be approppriate to add a section on the coronations of Eastern Christian kings as an attempt to widen Papal authority. Just as John of England became a vassal of Innocent III (or as the Aragonese monarchs were traditionally vassals of the Holy see), the Pope tried a somewhat similar approach to Levon or Leo I of Cilician Armenia (crowned by a papal legate in 1199, soon after Innocent's papal election) and Kaloyan of Bulgaria (crowned by a papal legate in 1203, just before the end of the Fourth Crusade). The coronation of Stephen Nemanich of Serbia (by a papal legate in 1217, immediately after the death of the Pope) and even that of Danilo Romanovich of Ruthenia (or of Galicia, by a papal legate, as late as 1253) can also be considered as resulting from the personal political efforts and legacy of Innocent III in the East. Especially Kaloyan of Bulgaria (and probably his successor Boril, too) were involved in Innocent's political plans. In his correspondence Kaloyan declared himself 'a servant of St Peter's and of Your Holiness' even before 1203, while Boril started a Church council and a prosecution of Bogomil heretics in 1211, when the Albigensian Crusade against 'those of Bulgaria' in Toulouse was ongoing. The complicated but not only hostile relations between Bulgaria and the Latin Empire in Constantinople in 1208-1216 could also be a part of the efforts of Innocent. After the end of a war between the Crusaders and Bulgaria, there followed at least two political marriages: in 1208-1210 a daughter of Kaloyan (or of Boril) became wife to Emperor Henry while a daughter of the Emperor was married to Despot Alexius Slav, cousin of Boril.

Glishev (talk) 12:01, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

Thank you DMacks[edit]

For deleting a chunk of text here rather than actually answering a serious question. I will repeat again, why is the section on the Vatican Secret Archives actually there? It has no context for Innocent III particularly. If this question is not answered within the week, I will either delete it or merge it with the Vatican Secret Archives article, whichever is more suitable. BTW even though it is sourced material, none of its four refs are WP:RELEVANT to Innocent. Cheers. Basket Feudalist 15:45, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

The Vatican Library and The Vatican Secret Archives[edit]

The Vatican Secret Archives (Latin: Archivum Secretum Vaticanum), located in Vatican City, is the central repository for all of the acts promulgated by the Holy See. The Pope, having primal incumbency until death, owns the archives until the next appointed Papal successor. The archives also contain the state papers, correspondence, papal account books,[1] and many other documents which the church has accumulated over the centuries. In the 17th century, under the orders of Pope Paul V, the Secret Archives were separated from the Vatican Library, where scholars had some very limited access to them, and remained absolutely closed to outsiders until 1881, when Pope Leo XIII opened them to researchers, more than a thousand of whom now examine its documents each year.[2]

The use of the word "secret" in the title "Vatican Secret Archives" does not denote the modern meaning of confidentiality. Instead, it indicates that the archives are the Pope's personal property, not belonging to those of any particular department of the Roman Curia or the Holy See. The word "secret" was generally used in this sense as also reflected in phrases such as "secret servants", "secret cupbearer", "secret carver", much like an esteemed position of honor and regard comparable to a VIP.[3]

According to the website of the Archives, the oldest surviving document dates back to the end of the eighth century. "Transfers and political upheavals nearly caused the total loss of all the archival material preceding Innocent III."[4] From 1198 onwards, more complete archives exist, though documentation is scant before the 13th century. Since that time, the documentation includes items such as Henry VIII of England's request for a marriage annulment,[5] and letters from Michelangelo.

30 september edit!?[edit]

Can anyone knowledgeable enough check the wording of this (rather ideological) remark?Super48paul (talk) 15:06, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ See Pastor, History of the Popes, vol. III, 31.
  2. ^ Table of Admittances to the Vatican Secret Archives in the Last Years (Archived May 6, 2011 at the Wayback Machine)
  3. ^ The Title "Vatican Secret Archives"
  4. ^ The Vatican Secret Archives: The Past, Vatican website
  5. ^ The Letter That Changed the Course of History