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Marinus II - Under The Thumb

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Marinus IIMarinus II was another one of Prince Alberic's candidates for the papacy and another good man. Marinus was a Roman. At the time of his election to the papacy he was the priest of the Church of St. Ciriacus. He was elected Pope in October, 942.

Like all of Alberic's popes, Marinus got along well with the dictator, and seemingly allowed him to run the Papal States without any attempt at interference. In spiritual matters, Marinus worked to promote good order and discipline among the clergy and granted privileges to monasteries. He continued the legation of Frederick, archbishop of Mainz, in Germany. Frederick had been appointed by Pope Leo VII as papal vicar for all Germany with full power to root out abuses among the clergy.

In Italy Pope Marinus protected the Benedictine monks from a greedy bishop. Sicus, bishop of Capua, took from the monks a church which an earlier bishop of Capua had given them. Sicus then gave the church as a benefice to a deacon who seems to have been a boon companion of the bishop. When Marinus got word of this, he not only ordered Bishop Sicus to restore the church to the monks, but he forbade him to associate any longer with the deacon. Though not too much is known about Marinus II, what is known indicates that he was a spiritual man, a man with a strong sense of responsibility for the Church, and a lover of the poor. It is said that St. Ulric, famous archbishop of Augsburg, came to Rome at this time and had a visit with Pope Marinus II. Marinus II died in the spring of 946.  

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


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