Comment Blog

Alan Schreck:  As the ninth century ended, Islam was suppressing the Church in the East, and political stability and weak popes stifled the Western Church.  Clergy were controlled by secular rulers and lapsed into illiteracy and unfaithfulness to their vow of celibacy.  Even most of the monasteries had lost their fervor and became worldly or corrupt.  The decline of the Western society and the decline of the Church went hand in hand, since the two were interrelated in so many ways.

“Mass priests”

Council of Elvira (302)

Pope Siricius (386)

Council of Trullo (692)

Pope Saint Gregory the Great:  Pastoral Care

“above all, a teacher and director of souls”

Bishop Benno II of Osnabrück


Pope St. Gregory VII; Emperor Henry IV

Synod at Brixen

Pope Formosus

            Streptocarpus formosus

            Oporosis formosus

            Troodon formosus

            Sclaropagus formosus

Bishop of Portus

Popes John VIII and Marinus I

King Arnulf of Germany and Duke Guido of Spoleto

Deacon Sergius:  Castle Sant’Angelo

Pope Boniface VI’s 15 days

Pope Stephen VI:  Synod of the Cadaver


Romanus; Theodore II; John IX; Leo V

Christopher the Priest

Deacon Sergius:  Pope Sergius III

The Theophylactus Family


Daughters Theodora II and Marozia

Sergius III and Marozia – son John