Pope Clement II Suidger was born from an aristocratic Saxon family and the second German to become Pope in 1046 AD. He was the son of Count Konrad of Morsleben and Hornburg by a woman named Amulrad. Little is known about his early life apart from this tidbit of family background. Clement started a life of dedication to the Catholic Church when he served as a chaplain of the archbishop of Hamburg and then as a canon (priest) of Saint Stephen’s at Halberstadt. In 1040, he was confirmed as the Bishop of Bamberg and elected as pope on December 25, 1046, where he is recorded on the Bible Timeline with World History.
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He adopted the name Clement II, and the coronation of Henry III, as well as his wife Agnes, was held soon after Clement’s election. One of his first acts as pope was to condemn the practice of selling church offices known as simony in the Council of Rome that was convened in 1047. The punishment was a bit lenient as those who were caught only needed to do penance for forty days. This was the start of reforms that would be carried out by the popes who succeeded Clement II. He also confirmed the privileges of the Fulda monastery, the monastery of Holy Trinity in Vendome, and the Bamberg Cathedral (he kept the bishopric of Bamberg even while he served as pope).
Some months after his election, Clement accompanied Henry III to Southern Italy for an inspection of the emperor’s territories. They were welcomed everywhere they went except for the Duchy of Benevento. They turned back and headed north, but Clement fell ill while granting land to the monastery of Saint Thomas on the 24th of September, 1047. Benedict of Tusculum was rumored to have ordered the poisoning of Clement II, but it was also possible that he died because he contracted malaria (Roman fever). Before his death, he wrote to Henry III (who was, by then, in Germany) and requested for his body to be transported to his homeland in the event of his death. Clement died on the 9th of October, 1047. His body was later buried in the Bamberg Cathedral—the only pope whose remains were interred in Germany.
Picture By Artaud de Montor (1772–1849) – http://archive.org/details/thelivesandtimes00montuoft, Public Domain, Link
Kollmorgen, Gregor. “Catholic Bamberg: The Vestments of Pope Clement II and Other Treasures from the Diocesan Museum.” New Liturgical Movement:. Accessed October 19, 2016. http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2009/05/catholic-bamberg-vestments-of-pope.html#.WAc3leh97IU.
Mann, Horace K. The Lives of the Popes in the Early Middle Ages. 5, The Popes in the Days of Feudal Anarchy: Formosus to Damasus II., 891-1048. Vol. 4. B. Herder, 1910.
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