John XVIII of Rome

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Pope John XVIII was the Pope of the Church of Rome from 1003 to 1009. His election to the see of Rome came through the influence of the head of the Crescentius family, John Crescentius III, who controlled Rome at the time.


The son of a Roman priest named Leo, John was born with the name Phasianus at Rapagnano, near Ascoli Piceno. Little else is known of his early life including the date of his birth. He was consecrated pope on December 25, 1003.

During an era that suffered with continual strife, Pope John occupied his time mainly dealing with details of ecclesiastical administration. He re-established See of Merseburg, established the Diocese of Bamberg that served as a base for missionary activity among the Slavs, and conferred the pallium on the Archbishops Meingaudus of Trier and Elphege of Canterbury.

Pope John asserted the authority of the papal see when Archbishop Letericus of Sens and Bishop Fulco of Orleans refused to allow the Abbot Goslin of Fleury to make use of the privileges granted him by Rome and tried to make him burn the papal charters. John notified the emperor of the situation and then called both hierarchs to his tribunal under threat of ecclesiastical censures for the entire kingdom.

Pope John is said to have abdicated and retired to a monastery near St. Paul's near Rome as a monk shortly before his death in June 1009.

Succession box:
John XVIII of Rome
Preceded by:
Pope of Rome
Succeeded by:
Sergius IV
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