Cistercian Abbot Eugene III Elected Pope

Cistercian Abbot Eugene III Elected Pope

Pope Eugene III
Source: Wikipedia

Eugene III is elected pope. It is thought that Eugene III is only chosen as pope because no one else wants the job, but his close relationship with Bernard of Clairvaux probably helped. Eugene III originally entered Cistercian Order because of Bernard's influence and the two always remained close - but Bernard apparently didn't agree that Eugene was well suited to the office of pope.

A Cistercian abbot, Pope Eugene III became particularly well known for the failure of the Second Crusade which he himself had originally called for in a bull sent to French King, Louis VII, and which he vigorously supported with the help of Bernard of Clairvaux.

Eugene III had political problems due to the great popularity of Arnold of Brescia. Arnold was a fierce opponent of the temporal power wielded by the popes, arguing that the position should be one of purely religious and spiritual authority. In 1148 Eugene finally excommunicated Arnold for his heretical views and entered into a pact with Frederick of Barbarossa, Western emperor, in order to rid Rome of Arnold and his followers.

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