World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Antipope Christopher

Article Id: WHEBN0000439665
Reproduction Date:

Title: Antipope Christopher  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Pope Leo V, Pope Sergius III, Antipopes, 904, Antipope
Collection: 10Th-Century Archbishops, 10Th-Century Italian People, 904 Deaths, Antipopes, Year of Birth Unknown
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Antipope Christopher

Antipope Christopher

Christopher held the (anti) papacy from October 903 to January 904. Although he was listed as a legitimate Pope in most modern lists of Popes until the first half of the 20th century, the apparently uncanonical method by which he obtained the papacy led to his being removed from the quasi-official roster of popes, the Annuario pontificio. As such, he is now considered an antipope by the Catholic Church.


  • Life and Reign 1
  • Dethroning 2
  • Legitimacy 3
  • Notes 4
  • External links 5

Life and Reign

Little is known about the life of Christopher; the lack of reliable, consistent sources make it difficult to establish a concise biography. It is believed that he was a Roman, and that his father's name was Leo. He was cardinal-priest of the title of St. Damasus when he became Pope. His predecessor, Leo V, was deposed and imprisoned, most likely around October 903. As it is believed that Leo died in prison, Christopher may be regarded as Pope after his death. However, the account of Auxilius of Naples says that Sergius III murdered both Leo V and Christopher. An eleventh-century Greek document[1] says that Christopher was the first pope to state that the Holy Ghost proceeded "from the Father and from the Son." However, the document claims that Christopher made this profession to Sergius, Patriarch of Constantinople. At that time, however, Nicholas Mystikos was Patriarch of Constantinople, making the account historically suspect.


Christopher was driven from the (anti)papacy by Pope Sergius III (904–911). Hermannus Contractus contends that Christopher was compelled to end his days as a monk.[2] However, the historian Eugenius Vulgarius says he was strangled in prison.[3]


Some hold that Christopher was a legitimate pope, regardless of the illegitimate means by which he appears to have ascended to the throne. His name is included in all major catalogues of the popes through the early twentieth century.[4] His portrait figures among the other likenesses of the popes in the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls in Rome, and among the frescoes of tenth-century popes painted in the thirteenth century on the walls of the ancient church of San Pietro a Grado, outside Pisa. He was, moreover, acknowledged as pope by his successors. For example, in confirming the privileges of the Abbey of Corbie in France, Leo IX mentioned the preceding grants of Benedict and Christopher.[5] This privilege is the only one of Christopher's acts which is extant.[6] However, he has not been considered a legitimate pope since the first half of the 20th century and has been erased from the Annuario pontificio's list of popes.


  1. ^ Mon. Græca ad Photium pertinent., p. 160, ed. Joseph Hergenröther, Ratisbon, 1869.
  2. ^ Chronicle of Hermannus Contractus, ad an. 904.
  3. ^ Ernst Dümmler, Auxilius und Vulgarius (Leipzig, 1866), 160, 135.
  4. ^ Liber Pontificalis, II, ed. Duchesne; Watterich, Pontificum Romanorum Vitae, I; and Origines de l'Église romaine, I, par les membres de la communauté de Solesmes, Paris, 1836.
  5. ^ Philipp Jaffé, Regesta RR. Pont., I, n. 4212.
  6. ^ Philipp Jaffé, Regesta RR. Pont., 3532, 2d ed.

  • Catholic Encyclopedia: Pope Christopher

External links


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.