Death of Pope Sergius I Hot

Death of Pope Sergius I

Pope Sergius I

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Pope Sergius I dies. Originally elected pope to end the schism created by the rivalry between Antipope Paschal and Antipope Theodore. When he is consecrated in December, Sergius I puts an end to the last disputed sede vacante (papal vacancy) during the Byzantine Papacy.

Like his predecessor Martin I, Sergius I came into serious conflict with the Byzantine Emperor over theological issues: he refused to accept and sign the canons of the Quinisext Council (also known as the Trullan Council), even though he tried to otherwise support unity between the eastern and western churches.

Among the canons which Pope Sergius I could not accept were findings that placed the patriarch of Constantinople on the same level as the pope, as well as decisions which would allow married men to retain their wives after becoming priests.

Emperor Justinian II ordered his arrest, just as his predecessor Emperor Constans II ordered the arrest of Martin I. This time, however, the emperor's exarch (governor) in Italy is more sympathetic to the pope and thus ensures that Sergius I isn't arrested and sent as a prisoner back to Constantinople.

Eventually Pope Sergius I will be widely remembered for having introduced the singing of Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) into the Mass.

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