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Leo VI - Another Unknown Pontiff

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Again, here is a pope about whom little is known. Leo was a Roman. His father Christopher, had been primicerius, i.e., a high official in the papal service in the time of John VIII. He seems to have supported that pontiff in his vigorous purge of disorderly elements in Rome.

Leo entered the ranks of the clergy and at the time of his election was attached to the Church of Santa Susanna. It would be very interesting to know the circumstances of his election. Since Marozia had overthrown Pope John X, it is highly probable that she had something to do with putting in Leo VI, but no documentary evidence describes the election. The only act of Leo VI which has come down to posterity is his approval of the decrees of the national synod held at Spalato in 926. He granted the pallium to the archbishop of Spalato and decreed that he was to have metropolitan jurisdiction over all Dalmatia. Leo VI seems to have been a good man. Certainly no historian has anything to say against him.

The thirteenth century writer Ptolemy of Lucca says "he exercised no tyranny and died in peace, and . . . according to most writers he was buried in St. Peter's." Leo's pontificate extended probably from June 928 to February 929. 

Excerpted from "Popes Through the Ages" by Joseph Brusher, S.J.

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