Son of a consul and brother to a senator, Vigilius was born in Rome sometime before 500. He was with Pope Agapetus I when the pope died in Constantinople, and Vigilius accompanied the leaden coffin to Rome. When Pope Silverius was accused of treason and imprisoned in 537, Vigilius was elected to succeed him. In the controversy over the Three Chapters, Pope Vigilius took the position that the work alone deserved condemnation; the men who had written the chapters had died at peace with the church and should not be posthumously condemned. Because of his opposition to the emperor's wishes, Vigilius was exiled. At the 552 Synod of Constantinople, it came out that Vigilius had made secret arrangements with Empress Theodora to repudiate the Council of Chalcedon, and following that revelation, Vigilius condemned the Three Chapters and the men who penned them. He died in 555 of gallstones while he was returning to Rome.
Karen Rae Keck
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