c. 816–896, pope (891–96),
probably a Roman; successor of Stephen VI. Under Pope
Nicholas I he
had been bishop in Bulgaria, where he pursued a rigorous Romanizing campaign.
Recalled to his diocese of Porto, he became influential in the church. He was
excommunicated by Pope
John VIII for
leading the party that opposed John's coronation of Charles the Bald. Later, he
was restored and was subsequently elected pope. Involved in the dispute over the
imperial power, he sided against the dukes of Spoleto, whose growing power was
menacing the papacy. However, he was forced to crown Guido, duke of Spoleto, and
his son Lambert. Formosus encouraged the German claimant,
invade Italy and crowned (896) him emperor. After Formosus' death, the Spoletos
came into power. He was succeeded by Boniface VI. Formosus' grave was
desecrated, and his pontificate declared invalid. In 897 he was reinterred, and
Pope John XI validated his acts.
Excerpted from "Popes
Through the Ages" by Joseph Brusher, S.J.
Edited: December 03, 2006 -
Webmaster, 2005 - 2006