Considered an incompetent pope, Pope John XIX’s reign is one that’s marked with controversy. He was the 144th man to lead the Church. However, he was never a part of the church beforehand. He was elected after the death of his predecessor, who happened to be his brother.

 

Background and History with the Church

Before becoming Pope John XIX, he was known as Romanus. He is one of three sons of Gregory I. His father was the Count of Tusculum, making Romanus a part of the notorious Tusculani family.

This family took over as the rulers of Rome after the fall of the Crescentii family.

Romanus did not work for the Church in any capacity. He wasn’t an ordained priest at all. Instead, he was a consul and senator.

 

Papacy

When Benedict VIII died, Romanus was elected to take over the papacy. He then took the name John XIX. His election was controversial because John XIX had no experience with the Church prior to his election. To overcome this, he was immediately ordained in all orders. He was accused of using bribery to get the election.

His reputation as pope was not a good one. Many believed he was greedy and immoral. His reliability was also questioned.

This all came to a head with this recognition of the patriarch of Constantinople. He was allegedly paid to recognize the patriarch. Roman outcry forced him to withdraw that recognition.

 

Quick Facts About Pope John XIX

  • The future Pope John XIX was born sometime in 975.
  • Upon birth, he was given the name Romanus. He took the name “John” after becoming pope.
  • Pope John XIX died on October 6th, 1032. He was 57 years old.
  • Historians are unsure of how Pope John XIX died. There were rumors that he was killed by an angry mob of peasants. However, there are no records to prove that.
  • The reign of Pope John XIX started on May 14th, 2024.
  • Pope John XIX’s papacy ended with his death on October 6th, 1032
  • Pope John XIX was succeeded by Pope Benedict IX.

 

Interesting Facts About Pope John XIX

  • He was the brother of his predecessor, Pope Benedict VIII
  • Before he was chosen to lead the Church, he had no prior experience. He wasn’t even an ordained priest.
  • Pope John XIX was part of the powerful Counts of Tusculum, who influenced the Church for generations.
  • The Pope is related in some way to five different popes from the 10th and 11th centuries.
  • He was a fan and patron of Guido of Arezzo, the inventor of modern music staff notation.