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I wanted to share with you some excerpts from the life of this great servant of Christ - Innocent III (born Lotario de' Conti) - an inspiring model of leadership. A bold and skillful politician and a great churchman, able to defend the rights of the Church, to affirm the supremacy of the Papacy over the temporal princes and to relentlessly squash heretical dissent. In these depressing times of weakling churchmen who yield to political power, heresy and immorality, it's refreshing to read about the glorious past of Holy Mother Church and the great men Our Lord saw fit to rule her. If nothing else, these good examples help us to lift up our moral, keep the faith and be proud of our catholic history.

[Image: 150px-Innozenz3.jpg]

Catholic Encyclopedia Wrote:One of the greatest popes of the Middle Ages, son of Count Trasimund of Segni and nephew of Clement III, born 1160 or 1161 at Anagni, and died 16 June, 1216, at Perugia.

He received his early education at Rome, studied theology at Paris, jurisprudence at Bologna, and became a learned theologian and one of the greatest jurists of his time. Shortly after the death of Alexander III (30 Aug., 1181) Lotario returned to Rome and held various ecclesiastical offices during the short reigns of Lucius III, Urban III, Gregory VIII, and Clement III. Pope Gregory VIII ordained him subdeacon, and Clement III created him Cardinal-Deacon of St. George in Velabro and Sts. Sergius and Bacchus, in 1190. Later he became Cardinal-Priest of St. Pudentiana. During the pontificate of Celestine III (1191-1198), a member of the House of the Orsini, enemies of the counts of Segni, he lived in retirement, probably at Anagni, devoting himself chiefly to meditation and literary pursuits. Celestine III died 8 January, 1198. Previous to his death he had urged the College of Cardinals to elect Giovanni di Colonna as his successor; but Lotario de' Conti was elected pope, at Rome, on the very day on which Celestine III died. He accepted the tiara with reluctance and took the name of Innocent III. At the time of his accession to the papacy he was only thirty-seven years of age. The imperial throne had become vacant by the death of Henry VI in 1197, and no successor had as yet been elected. The tactful and energetic pope made good use of the opportunity offered him by this vacancy for the restoration of the papal power in Rome and in the States of the Church. The Prefect of Rome, who reigned over the city as the emperor's representative, and the senator who stood for the communal rights and privileges of Rome, swore allegiance to Innocent. When he had thus re-established the papal authority in Rome, he availed himself of every opportunity to put in practice his grand concept of the papacy. Italy was tired of being ruled by a host of German adventurers, and the pope experienced little difficulty in extending his political power over the peninsula.

[...]

There was scarcely a country in Europe over which Innocent III did not in some way or other assert the supremacy which he claimed for the papacy. He excommunicated Alfonso IX of Leon, for marrying a near relative, Berengaria, a daughter of Alfonso VIII, contrary to the laws of the Church, and effected their separation in 1204. For similar reasons he annulled, in 1208, the marriage of the crown-prince, Alfonso of Portugal, with Urraca, daughter of Alfonso of Castile. From Pedro II of Aragon he received that kingdom in vassalage and crowned him king at Rome in 1204. He prepared a crusade against the Moors and lived to see their power broken in Spain at the battle of Navas de Tolosa, in 1212. He protected the people of Norway against their tyrannical king, Sverri, and after the king's death arbitrated between the two claimants to the Norwegian throne. He mediated between King Emeric of Hungary and his rebellious brother Andrew, sent royal crown and sceptre to King Johannitius of Bulgaria and had his legate crown him king at Tirnovo, in 1204; he restored ecclesiastical discipline in Poland; arbitrated between the two claimants to the royal crown of Sweden; made partly successful attempts to reunite the Greek with the Latin Church and extended his beneficent influence practically over the whole Christian world. Like many preceding popes, Innocent had at heart the recovery of the Holy Land, and for this end undertook the Fourth Crusade. The Venetians had pledged themselves to transport the entire Christian army and to furnish the fleet with provisions for nine months, for 85,000 marks. When the crusaders were unable to pay the sum, the Venetians proposed to bear the financial expenses themselves on condition that the crusaders would first assist them in the conquest of the city of Zara. The crusaders yielded to their demands and the fleet started down the Adriatic on 8 October, 1202. Zara had scarcely been reduced when Alexius Comnenus arrived at the camp of the crusaders and pleaded for their help to replace his father, Isaac Angelus, on the throne of Constantinople from which he had been deposed by his cruel brother Alexius. In return he promised to reunite the Greek with the Latin Church, to add 10,000 soldiers to the ranks of the crusaders, and to contribute money and provisions to the crusade. The Venetians, who saw their own commercial advantage in the taking of Constantinople, induced the crusaders to yield to the prayers of Alexius, and Constantinople was taken by them in 1204. Isaac Angelus was restored to his throne but soon replaced by a usurper. The crusaders took Constantinople a second time on 12 April, 1204, and after a horrible pillage, Baldwin, Count of Flanders, was proclaimed emperor and the Greek Church was united with the Latin. The reunion, as well as the Latin empire in the East, did not last longer than two generations. When Pope Innocent learned that the Venetians had diverted the crusaders from their purpose of conquering the Holy Land he expressed his great dissatisfaction first at their conquest of Zara, and when they proceeded towards Constantinople he solemnly protested and finally excommunicated the Venetians who had caused the digression of the crusaders from their original purpose. Since, however, he could not undo what had been accomplished he did his utmost to destroy the Greek schism and latinize the Eastern Empire.

Innocent was also a zealous protector of the true Faith and a strenuous opponent of heresy. His chief activity was turned against the Albigenses who had become so numerous and aggressive that they were no longer satisfied with being adherents of heretical doctrines but even endeavoured to spread their heresy by force. [...] The culminating point in the glorious reign of Innocent was his convocation of the Fourth Lateran Council, which he solemnly opened on 15 November, 1215. It was by far the most important council of the Middle Ages. Besides deciding on a general crusade to the Holy Land, it issued seventy reformatory decrees, the first of which was a creed (Firmiter credimus), against the Albigenses and Waldenses, in which the term "transubstantiation" received its first ecclesiastical sanction.

[...]

The labours of Innocent in the inner government of the Church appear to be of a very subordinate character when they are put beside his great politico-ecclesiastical achievements which brought the papacy to the zenith of its power. Still they are worthy of memory and have contributed their share to the glory of his pontificate. During his reign the two great founders of the mendicant orders, St. Dominic and St. Francis, laid before him their scheme of reforming the world. Innocent was not blind to the vices of luxury and indolence which had infected many of the clergy and part of the laity. In Dominic and Francis he recognized two mighty adversaries of these vices and he sanctioned their projects with words of encouragement. The lesser religious orders which he approved are the Hospitallers of the Holy Ghost on 23 April, 1198, the Trinitarians on 17 December, 1198, and the Humiliati, in June, 1201. In 1209 he commissioned the Cistercian monk, Christian, afterwards bishop, with the conversion of the heathen Prussians. At Rome he built the famous hospital Santo Spirito in Sassia, which became the model of all future city hospitals and exists to the present time.

[...]

Innocent died at Perugia, while travelling through Italy in the interests of the crusade which had been decided upon at the Lateran Council. He was buried in the cathedral of Perugia where his body remained until Leo XIII, a great admirer of Innocent, had it transferred to the Lateran in December, 1891.

You can read the whole article here: http://www1000.newadvent.org/cathen/08013a.htm. I highly recommend it.
In the wikipedia article, we can read this interesting story:

Quote:Innocent III was believed to be in Purgatory as the same day he died, he appeared to St. Lutgarda in her monastery at Aywieres, in Brabant. Engulfed in flames, he declared to her, “I am Pope Innocent”. He continued to explain that he was in Purgatory for three faults which had caused him to arrive in this state. Innocent asked St. Lutgarda to come to his assistance saying, “Alas! It is terrible; and will last for centuries if you do not come to my assistance. In the name of Mary, who has obtained for me the favor of appealing to you, help me!” At that moment he disappeared and St. Lutgarda informed her sisters of what she had seen.
(10-19-2010, 06:33 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: [ -> ]In the wikipedia article, we can read this interesting story:

Quote:Innocent III was believed to be in Purgatory as the same day he died, he appeared to St. Lutgarda in her monastery at Aywieres, in Brabant. Engulfed in flames, he declared to her, “I am Pope Innocent”. He continued to explain that he was in Purgatory for three faults which had caused him to arrive in this state. Innocent asked St. Lutgarda to come to his assistance saying, “Alas! It is terrible; and will last for centuries if you do not come to my assistance. In the name of Mary, who has obtained for me the favor of appealing to you, help me!” At that moment he disappeared and St. Lutgarda informed her sisters of what she had seen.

Well, I hope (and pray) he's made it out by now. Anyways, excellent read!
(10-19-2010, 08:48 PM)Gman Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-19-2010, 06:33 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: [ -> ]In the wikipedia article, we can read this interesting story:

Quote:Innocent III was believed to be in Purgatory as the same day he died, he appeared to St. Lutgarda in her monastery at Aywieres, in Brabant. Engulfed in flames, he declared to her, “I am Pope Innocent”. He continued to explain that he was in Purgatory for three faults which had caused him to arrive in this state. Innocent asked St. Lutgarda to come to his assistance saying, “Alas! It is terrible; and will last for centuries if you do not come to my assistance. In the name of Mary, who has obtained for me the favor of appealing to you, help me!” At that moment he disappeared and St. Lutgarda informed her sisters of what she had seen.

Well, I hope (and pray) he's made it out by now. Anyways, excellent read!

May God will it!

Did you read the whole article? He was quite an inspiring character.
and he was only 37 when elected. Why is he not a saint yet? I hope he's out of purgatory
(10-19-2010, 09:37 PM)randomtradguy Wrote: [ -> ]Why is he not a saint yet?

John Paul II is blocking the way.
(10-19-2010, 06:33 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: [ -> ]In the wikipedia article, we can read this interesting story:

Quote:Innocent III was believed to be in Purgatory as the same day he died, he appeared to St. Lutgarda in her monastery at Aywieres, in Brabant. Engulfed in flames, he declared to her, “I am Pope Innocent”. He continued to explain that he was in Purgatory for three faults which had caused him to arrive in this state. Innocent asked St. Lutgarda to come to his assistance saying, “Alas! It is terrible; and will last for centuries if you do not come to my assistance. In the name of Mary, who has obtained for me the favor of appealing to you, help me!” At that moment he disappeared and St. Lutgarda informed her sisters of what she had seen.

If Innocent III was going to Purgatory for centuries, I am totally screwed.
(10-19-2010, 09:45 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-19-2010, 09:37 PM)randomtradguy Wrote: [ -> ]Why is he not a saint yet?

John Paul II is blocking the way.

and what about all the other popes in between Innocent III and John Paul II?  Just out of curosity.


(10-19-2010, 10:34 PM)cgraye Wrote: [ -> ]If Innocent III was going to Purgatory for centuries, I am totally screwed.

Yep, that is why you get the plenary indulgence when you can. 
(10-19-2010, 10:44 PM)AntoniusMaximus Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-19-2010, 09:45 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-19-2010, 09:37 PM)randomtradguy Wrote: [ -> ]Why is he not a saint yet?

John Paul II is blocking the way.

and what about all the other popes in between Innocent III and John Paul II?  Just out of curosity.


(10-19-2010, 10:34 PM)cgraye Wrote: [ -> ]If Innocent III was going to Purgatory for centuries, I am totally screwed.

Yep, that is why you get the plenary indulgence when you can. 

And All Souls Day is coming up on Nov. 2 - a plenary indulgence can be gained (applicable only to the souls in purgatory) by visiting a church and reciting the Our Father and the Creed along with the usual dispositions (be in a state of grace, complete detachment from sin, penance, Eucharist, pray for the intentions of the Supreme Pontiff)
(10-19-2010, 09:45 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: [ -> ]
(10-19-2010, 09:37 PM)randomtradguy Wrote: [ -> ]Why is he not a saint yet?

I think it's generally not a good idea to canonize non-martyr popes. I like Innocent III, and I think he was a good pope and a shrewd politician, but I don't particularly think he deserves the honor of canonization.
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