who was the youngest popegreenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
who was the youngest pope in history
-- Matthew Hay (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 11, 2001
All over the Internet (and I mean, ALL over it), the myth is being sown by anti-Catholics that the youngest man ever elected pope was just eleven or twelve years old -- and he is sometimes named as Benedict IX.
The truth, however, is found in the Catholic Encyclopedia and in an article from a "Defending the Faith" site (by Fr. Joseph Brusher, S.J.), from which I have taken these excerpts:
[Source I] "The nephew of his two immediate predecessors, Benedict IX [became pope] when a mere youth, not, however, apparently of only twelve years of age ... but of about twenty (October, 1032)."
[Source II] "Benedict IX (reigned 1032 - 1045 AD)
"At the death of Pope John XIX, his brother Alberic decided to keep the papacy in the family by having his young son Theophylactus elected. Theophylactus, a young man probably about twenty years old, was a cleric. That was about his only qualification for the papacy. Unqualified by his youth, his upbringing, and his depravity, Benedict IX became one of the very few really disreputable popes ...
"... in 1045 he decided to abdicate.
"... According to one report, which it may be hoped is true, Benedict retired to the abbey of Grottaferrata, resigned all claim to the papacy, and spent his last years as a penitent. Scandalous as Benedict had been, he carried on the routine business of the papacy. And like the few other bad men who were popes, Benedict taught nothing but the pure doctrine of Christ, though by so doing he condemned and did not excuse his own evil life."
God bless you.
-- (email@example.com), May 11, 2001.
John XII was elected pope at the age of 18.
"Already in orders, he was hardly 18, and contemporary reports agree about his disinterest in spiritual things, addiction to boorish pleasures, and uninhibitedly debauched life. Gossipy tongues accused him of turning the Lateran Palace into a brothel".
Oxford Dictionary of Popes, OUP 1988.
-- MrMOB (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 20, 2002.