Sergius III, Pope of Rome
The scion of a noble Roman family, Sergius III (d. 911) was made a deacon
by Stephen V/VI and a bishop by Formosus. Sergius was present at Stephen
VI/VII's condemnation of Formosus and accepted demotion to deacon. Stephen
VI/VII later ordained Sergius a second time. In 897, Sergius was elected
to the papacy, but Lambert of Spoleto, who opposed the election, exiled
him. With the help of the Duke of Spoleto, Sergius marched on Rome in 904
and ousted Christopher, who had been installed as pope (or anti-pope).
Sergius dated his reign from the time of his election, rather than from
the time of his regaining the throne. Sergius allowed the fourth marriage
of Emperor Leo VI, although the Patriarch of Constantinople had forbidden
it. Sergius decreed that all clergy ordained by Formosus were not real
clergy and any clergy ordained by someone whom Formosus had ordained was
not real. Auxilius, a Frankish priest, erupted in pamphlets of protest.
A favorite of Theophylact and his wife Theodora, Sergius is supposed to
have been the father of John XI, the son of Marozia, Theophylact's
Karen Rae Keck
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