Why no pope John XX?


#1

I’m familiar with all the urban folklore of Pope Joan being Pope John XX, and I know its all a bunch of burnt incense.

But seriously, why was there no pope John XX? Why did John XXI take that name instead of the 20th?

Josh


#2

The Catholic Encyclopedia says that he was really John XX, but doesn’t explain why he was called XXI. It doesn’t mean there is one pope left unaccounted for, I’m sure. But, I don’t know who would know why or where you’d find that information. Sorry, that’s all I could find. :frowning:


#3

[quote=threej_lc]I’m familiar with all the urban folklore of Pope Joan being Pope John XX, and I know its all a bunch of burnt incense.

But seriously, why was there no pope John XX? Why did John XXI take that name instead of the 20th?

Josh
[/quote]

britannica.com/eb/article?tocId=9043770
A confusion in the numbering of popes named John after John XIV resulted because Marianus Scotus and other 11th-century historians mistakenly believed that there had been a pope named John between antipope Boniface VII and the true John XV. Therefore they mistakenly numbered the real popes John XV to XIX as John XVI to XX.


#4

Yeah, we already looked it up in new advent. John the XXI was really John the XX, but he decided to take the former name. Odd.


#5

[quote=Genesis315]britannica.com/eb/article?tocId=9043770
A confusion in the numbering of popes named John after John XIV resulted because Marianus Scotus and other 11th-century historians mistakenly believed that there had been a pope named John between antipope Boniface VII and the true John XV. Therefore they mistakenly numbered the real popes John XV to XIX as John XVI to XX.
[/quote]

Thanks a bunch!


#6

After the death of John XV, a relative of the emperor was elected pope as Gregory V. However, powerful poltical forces led by one Crescentius installed a man styled John XVI as pope on the Romans. This naturally provoked Emperor Otto III, who returned to Rome with Pope Gregory. Crescentius was excommunicated and then executed by the Emperor. John XVI had fled but was captured and deposed. As a penalty for being the stooge of Crescentius, he was deprived of his sight and his ears and nose were mutilated. He actually lived on for several years and is believed to have died in a monastery. Later the family of Crescentius gained control of Rome and John XVII was one of the popes elected under their influence. Obviously, it would have been dangerous for John XVII to overlook the unfortunate antipope, John XVI. This confusion also affected the numbering of Popes John XVIII (XIX) and John XIX (XX).

There is also no Pope John XX. When the Portuguese John XXI was elected more than 240 years after John XIX, the confusion stemming from the John XVI situation persisted and John XIX was construed as having been John XX.


#7

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