Pope Callixtus II

Pope Callixtus II was the 162nd pope and reigned for more than five years.

He was an important leader in the medieval church, and became pope in the year 1119AD.

During a time when the church and kings argued over who should choose bishops, Callixtus II worked hard to make peace.

Born as Guido of Burgundy, he came from a noble family and used his position to help the church gain more independence. This piece will look into how Pope Callixtus II helped end a big argument through the Concordat of Worms, his efforts to improve the church, and how he made a lasting mark on history.

Early Life

Born sometime around 1065, the future pope lived a life of wealth and convenience. Known as Guy of Burgundy, he was the son of William I who was the County of Burgundy. His family had the money necessary for him to receive the finest education possible.

The first historic records that show his name are from 1088 and show that he was the Archbishop of Vienne. Pope Paschal II appointed him a papal legate and sent him to France several times to settle disputes with Henry V. Guy then wrote several decrees that the pope authorized.

Papal Appointment

While most popes before him served as cardinals, Guy was only an archbishop. When Pope Gelasius II passed away mere days after becoming pope, cardinals selected Guy as his successor. Elected near the beginning of February, he was crowned a few weeks later. Due to the growing problems between Henry V and the Church, Celestine II named himself the official pope and ruled as an antipope. Though he had some support, the Church does not recognize him as a pope.

Papacy of Callixtus II

Pope Callixtus II is mainly known for calling the First Council of Lateran. This council outlawed certain acts and upheld others such as simony. It banned clergymen from accepting bribes or using bribes to award and receive positions within the Church. The council also issued new decrees that prohibited people from robbing graves or selling Church artifacts. During his last years as pope, Callixtus II began looking at ways to gain control of a region outside of Rome called the Roman Campagna.

Despite his efforts and hard work, the region remained separate from Rome and is now home to many different farms. Though he also attempted to resolve issues with Henry V, those talks fell through. Pope Callixtus II also looked for ways to resolve the See of Arles, which was an ancient dispute the existed for centuries. He passed away on December 13, 1124, after reigning for close to six years.

Concordat of Worms

The Concordat of Worms was an agreement made in 1122. It was like a big deal that ended a long fight between two powerful groups: the Church and the kings. For a long time, both the Church leaders, like the Pope, and the kings wanted to decide who would be the bishops, who are important leaders in the Church. This caused a lot of arguments and even fights.

So, they came up with a plan called the Concordat of Worms. This plan said that the Church would choose the bishops, but the kings could give them symbols of their worldly power, like rings or staffs. This meant both sides had a part in the process, and it helped stop the big fight. It was a way for them to share power and keep the peace.

List of Events in the life of Pope Callixtus II

1088AppointedArchbishop of Vienne, France
2 Feb 1119ElectedPope (Roma, Italy)
9 Feb 1119InstalledPope (Roma, Italy)
13 Dec 1124DiedPope (Roma, Italy)

Quick Facts About Pope Callixtus II

  • He was born circa 1065 in Quingey, which was part of the County of Burgundy and the Holy Roman Empire.
  • The future pope’s birth name was Guy de Burgundy or Guy of Burgundy.
  • He died on December 13, 1124
  • The pope was 72 when he died and passed away from natural causes.
  • His papacy began on February 1, 1119.
  • The papacy of Pope Callixtus II ended with his death in 1124.
  • Honorius II became the next pope following several days of rule by an antipope.

Interesting Facts About Pope Callixtus II

  • Raymond of Burgundy was the brother of Pope Callixtus II. Genealogical researchers can trace the pope’s family through his brother’s genetic line.

  • Callixtus II was pope from 1119 to 1124 and reigned for five years and 315 days.

  • Due to his position within the family line, Callixtus II has three brothers who were ahead of him to control the family fortune. He also had three older sisters as well as some younger siblings.

  • Sicut Judaeis was a papal bull issued by Callixtus II that ordered Christian to respect and treat Jewish people as their brothers. It stated that they faced excommunication if they violated the bull.

  • The Basilica of Saint Mary in Cosmedin is a church that the pope helped rebuild in his later years. It is still standing and open to the public.