Pope John II, the Fifty-Sixth Pope (Successors of Peter – Part 56)

Pope John II, the Fifty-Sixth Pope (Successors of Peter – Part 56)

The Church witnessed undue influences during the demise of Pope Boniface II, even in electing the Successor to Peter’s Throne. However the Church withstood such influences guided by the Holy Spirit.

Following the passing of John II's predecessor, a two-month period of sede vacante ensued, during which the Church found itself without a Pontiff to lead the Church. This situation led to various controversies within both the clergy and the laity.

During this time, the practice of simony became widespread. Simony entails the unethical act of selling sacred church offices, positions, and sacred items. In due course, Gothic King Athalaric officially endorsed a decree that explicitly prohibited the practice of simony in the context of papal elections.

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On January 2, 533, Mercuius, an elderly priest, was elected as the Fifty-Sixth Pope of the Catholic Church, adopting the name John. Pope John II adopted his papal name because he believed his birth name inappropriately promoted paganism.

Pope John II maintained cordial relations with the Gothic King Athalaric of Italy and Justin I, Emperor of the Eastern Empire.

In AD523 the Emperor had issued a decree recognising the first four universal councils of the Church and ensuing doctrines of the church, including the teaching that one person of the Holy Trinity endured suffering in flesh. However, the teaching was dismissed as erroneous during the time of Pope Hormisdas. Pope John II, through a synod, officially declared the said teachings as Canonical.

The emperor Justin recognized Peter's successor, the Pope, as the head of all the Churches around the world.

Pope John II attained eternal rest on the 8th of May, A.D. 535
-edit&transl. SM

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