Antipope Clement III
This article is about the Antipope Clement III; see here for Pope Clement III
Pope Clement III
Pope Clement III , born Paulino Scolari, was elected Pope on December 19, 1187 and reigned until his death.-Cardinal:...


Guibert or Wibert of Ravenna (c. 1029 – 8 September 1100) was a cleric made antipope
An antipope is a person who opposes a legitimately elected or sitting Pope and makes a significantly accepted competing claim to be the Pope, the Bishop of Rome and leader of the Roman Catholic Church. At times between the 3rd and mid-15th century, antipopes were typically those supported by a...

 in 1080 due to perceived abuses of Pope Gregory VII
Pope Gregory VII
Pope St. Gregory VII , born Hildebrand of Sovana , was Pope from April 22, 1073, until his death. One of the great reforming popes, he is perhaps best known for the part he played in the Investiture Controversy, his dispute with Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor affirming the primacy of the papal...

 during the Investiture Controversy
Investiture Controversy
The Investiture Controversy or Investiture Contest was the most significant conflict between Church and state in medieval Europe. In the 11th and 12th centuries, a series of Popes challenged the authority of European monarchies over control of appointments, or investitures, of church officials such...

, a title that lasted to his death.

He was born in Parma
Parma is a city in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna famous for its ham, its cheese, its architecture and the fine countryside around it. This is the home of the University of Parma, one of the oldest universities in the world....

 with the name Giberto Giberti and had family connections to the Margrave
A margrave or margravine was a medieval hereditary nobleman with military responsibilities in a border province of a kingdom. Border provinces usually had more exposure to military incursions from the outside, compared to interior provinces, and thus a margrave usually had larger and more active...

s of Canossa
Canossa is a comune and castle town in Emilia-Romagna, famous as the site where Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV did penance in 1077, standing three days bare-headed in the snow, in order to reverse his excommunication by Pope Gregory VII...


Early life

A cleric, he was appointed to the Imperial chancellorship
An archchancellor or chief chancellor was a title given to the highest dignitary of the Holy Roman Empire, and also used occasionally during the Middle Ages to denote an official who supervised the work of chancellors or notaries....

 for Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 by the Empress Agnes in 1057, which position he held until 1063. In 1058 he participated in the election of Pope Nicholas II
Pope Nicholas II
Pope Nicholas II , born Gérard de Bourgogne, Pope from 1059 to July 1061, was at the time of his election the Bishop of Florence.-Antipope Benedict X:...

 but on his death in 1061, he combined with the Imperial and Transpadine Anti-Reform party to create Cadalous of Parma as Antipope Honorius II
Antipope Honorius II
Honorius II , born Pietro Cadalus, was an antipope from 1061 to 1072. He was born at Verona and became bishop of Parma in 1046. He died at Parma in 1072....

 against Pope Alexander II
Pope Alexander II
Pope Alexander II , born Anselmo da Baggio, was Pope from 1061 to 1073.He was born in Milan. As bishop of Lucca he had been an energetic coadjutor with Hildebrand of Sovana in endeavouring to suppress simony, and to enforce the celibacy of the clergy...

. However, owing to the campaigns of Godfrey III, Duke of Lower Lorraine
Godfrey III, Duke of Lower Lorraine
Godfrey III , called the Bearded, was the eldest son of Gothelo I, duke of Upper and Lower Lorraine. By inheritance, he was count of Verdun and he became margrave of Antwerp as a vassal of the duke of Lower Lorraine...

, Archbishop Anno
-People:*Anno II , Archbishop of Cologne from 1056–1075*Anno, a Japanese surname**Hideaki Anno , Japanese animation and video director**Masami Anno, Japanese voice actress...

 of Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

, and St. Peter Damian
Peter Damian
Saint Peter Damian, O.S.B. was a reforming monk in the circle of Pope Gregory VII and a cardinal. In 1823, he was declared a Doctor of the Church...

, the Church by-and-large rejected Honorius II and acknowledged Alexander II; probably as a result of these activities, the Empress Agnes dismissed him from the Imperial Chancellorship of Italy.

Guibert laid low for the next nine years, but apparently continued to cultivate his contacts within the German court, for in 1072, Emperor Henry IV
Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Henry IV was King of the Romans from 1056 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1084 until his forced abdication in 1105. He was the third emperor of the Salian dynasty and one of the most powerful and important figures of the 11th century...

 named him Archbishop of the vacant see of Ravenna
Ravenna is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and the second largest comune in Italy by land area, although, at , it is little more than half the size of the largest comune, Rome...

. And, although Pope Alexander II was reluctant to confirm this appointment, he was prevailed by Hildebrand to do so, perhaps as a compromise for peace. Guibert then took an oath of allegiance to the Holy Father and his successors and was installed at Ravenna in 1073.

Quarrels with Pope Gregory

Shortly after Pope Alexander II died Hildebrand was proclaimed the next pope, being installed as Pope Gregory VII on 29 April 1073. Guibert attended the first Lent
In the Christian tradition, Lent is the period of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer – through prayer, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial – for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and...

en Synod
A synod historically is a council of a church, usually convened to decide an issue of doctrine, administration or application. In modern usage, the word often refers to the governing body of a particular church, whether its members are meeting or not...

s of Pope Gregory in March 1074 in Rome at which important laws were passed against simony
Simony is the act of paying for sacraments and consequently for holy offices or for positions in the hierarchy of a church, named after Simon Magus , who appears in the Acts of the Apostles 8:9-24...

 and the incontinence of the clergy, but soon emerged as one of the most visible leaders of opposition to the Gregorian reforms.

Having attended Gregory's first Lenten Synods, Guibert refused to attend the next, the Lenten Synod of 1075, although he was bound by oath to obey the summons to attend it. By his absence he made manifest his opposition to Gregory VII, who now suspended him for his refusal to attend the synod.

The main cause of the quarrel was Pope Gregory's insistence of ending clerical concubinage
Concubinage is the state of a woman or man in an ongoing, usually matrimonially oriented, relationship with somebody to whom they cannot be married, often because of a difference in social status or economic condition.-Concubinage:...

 and simony
Simony is the act of paying for sacraments and consequently for holy offices or for positions in the hierarchy of a church, named after Simon Magus , who appears in the Acts of the Apostles 8:9-24...

 and of ejecting from the ministry refractory bishops and priests who continued to keep their concubines.

It was in this same year that Emperor Henry IV began his open war on Gregory. At the synod of Worms
Synod of Worms
The Synod of Worms was an ecclesiastical synod convened by the Emperor Henry IV in January 1076, at Worms, Germany. It was intended to agree a condemnation of Pope Gregory VII, and Henry's success in achieving this outcome marked the beginning of the Investiture Controversy.Of the 38 German...

 in January, 1076, a resolution was adopted deposing Gregory, and in this decision the simoniacal bishops of Transpadine Italy joined. Among these must have been Guibert, for he shared in the sentence of excommunication and interdiction which Gregory VII pronounced against the guilty Transpadine bishops at the Lenten Synod of 1076.

Shortly after, in April 1076, bishops and abbots of the Transpadine anti-reform party convened at Pavia
Pavia , the ancient Ticinum, is a town and comune of south-western Lombardy, northern Italy, 35 km south of Milan on the lower Ticino river near its confluence with the Po. It is the capital of the province of Pavia. It has a population of c. 71,000...

 under the presidency of Guibert and proclaimed the excommunication of Gregory VII; a messenger, bearing a most offensive personal letter from Henry, was dispatched with the Pavian reply to the pope. In response, Gregory was compelled to resort to still stronger measures with regard to Guibert; he excommunicated Guibert by name at the Lenten Synod of February, 1078, and with him his main accomplice Archbishop Tebaldo of Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...


On account of the action of Henry's 1076 Synod of Worms against Gregory, the latter was compelled to lay Henry IV under excommunication.

Reign as Antipope

During the next four years, the emperor and the pope reconciled but then quarreled again, and, facing a rebellion among the German nobles, Emperor Henry threatened to depose Pope Gregory. Carrying out his threats, Henry summoned his German and Transpadine partisans to a Synod at Brixen
Brixen is the name of two cities in the Alps:*Brixen, South Tyrol, Italy*Brixen im Thale, Tyrol, AustriaBrixen may also refer to:*Bishopric of Brixen, the former north-Italian state....

 in June, 1080, which drew up a new decree purporting to depose Pope Gregory VII, and which Henry himself also signed, and then proceeded to elect Guibert, the excommunicated simoniacal Archbishop of Ravenna, as antipope in opposition to Pope Gregory; Guibert took the name Clement III. Henry at once recognized Guibert as pope, swearing that he would lead him to Rome, and there receive from his hands the imperial crown.

The antipope failed to secure recognition outside of Henry's dominions and was widely understood as being merely his puppet and quite devoid of personal initiative.

With Rudolph of Swabia, leader of the rebellious nobles, having fallen mortally wounded at the Battle of Mersburg in 1080, Henry could concentrate all his forces against Gregory. In 1081 he marched on Rome, but failed to force his way into the city, which he finally accomplished only in 1084.

Gregory thereupon retired into the citadel of Sant' Angelo, and refused to entertain Henry's overtures, although the latter promised to hand over Guibert as a prisoner, if the Pope would only consent to crown him emperor.

Gregory, however, insisted as a necessary preliminary that Henry should appear before a council and do penance. The emperor, while pretending to submit to these terms, tried hard to prevent the meeting of the bishops. A small number however assembled, and, in accordance with their wishes, Gregory again excommunicated Henry.

The latter on receipt of this news again entered Rome on 21 March 1084, and succeeded in gaining possession of the greater part of the city and besieged the Pope in the Castle of Sant' Angelo, while, on 24 March, Guibert was enthroned as pope in the church of St. John Lateran as Clement III, and on 31 March Guibert crowned Henry IV emperor at St. Peter's.

However, when the news was brought that Gregory's Norman
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 ally, Robert Guiscard
Robert Guiscard
Robert d'Hauteville, known as Guiscard, Duke of Apulia and Calabria, from Latin Viscardus and Old French Viscart, often rendered the Resourceful, the Cunning, the Wily, the Fox, or the Weasel was a Norman adventurer conspicuous in the conquest of southern Italy and Sicily...

, Duke of Apulia and Calabria, was hastening to his aid, Henry fled Rome with Guibert and, in revenge for Matilda's staunch support for Gregory and the reform party, ravaged her possessions in Tuscany
Tuscany is a region in Italy. It has an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.75 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence ....


The Pope was liberated, but, the people becoming incensed by the excesses of his Norman allies, he was compelled to leave Rome. Disappointed and sorrowing he withdrew to Monte Cassino
Monte Cassino
Monte Cassino is a rocky hill about southeast of Rome, Italy, c. to the west of the town of Cassino and altitude. St. Benedict of Nursia established his first monastery, the source of the Benedictine Order, here around 529. It was the site of Battle of Monte Cassino in 1944...

, and later to the castle of Salerno
Salerno is a city and comune in Campania and is the capital of the province of the same name. It is located on the Gulf of Salerno on the Tyrrhenian Sea....

 by the sea, in 1084, where he died in the following year, 25 May 1085.

Three days before his death he withdrew all the censures of excommunication that he had pronounced, except those against the two chief offenders Henry and Guibert. His last words were:
"I have loved justice and hated iniquity, therefore I die in exile."

The German episcopate stood divided. While anti-simonical bishops held a Synod in Quedlinburg
Quedlinburg is a town located north of the Harz mountains, in the district of Harz in the west of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. In 1994 the medieval court and the old town was set on the UNESCO world heritage list....

, at which they denounced and condemned Guibert, partisans of Henry held a rival Synod at Mainz
Mainz under the Holy Roman Empire, and previously was a Roman fort city which commanded the west bank of the Rhine and formed part of the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire...

 in 1085, where they approved the deposition of Gregory and the elevation of Guibert.

This conflict continued even after the death of Gregory, during the entire reigns of whose successors, Pope Victor III
Pope Victor III
Pope Blessed Victor III , born Daufer , Latinised Dauferius, was the Pope as the successor of Pope Gregory VII, yet his pontificate is far less impressive in history than his time as Desiderius, the great Abbot of Monte Cassino.-Early life and abbacy:He was born in 1026 or 1027 of a non-regnant...

, Pope Urban II
Pope Urban II
Pope Urban II , born Otho de Lagery , was Pope from 12 March 1088 until his death on July 29 1099...

, and Pope Paschal II
Pope Paschal II
Pope Paschal II , born Ranierius, was Pope from August 13, 1099, until his death. A monk of the Cluniac order, he was created cardinal priest of the Titulus S...

, Guibert figured as the antipope of Henry and his party.

Victor III, who was elected after a prolonged vacancy caused by the critical position of the Church in Rome, was compelled, eight days after his coronation in St. Peter's on 3 May 1087, to fly from Rome before the partisans of Guibert. The latter were in turn assailed by the troops of Countess Matilda, and entrenched themselves in the Pantheon.

The succeeding pope, Urban II (1088–1099), was at one time master of Rome, but he was afterwards driven from the city by the adherents of Guibert, and sought refuge in Lower Italy and in France.

In June, 1089, at a Synod held in Rome, the antipope declared invalid the decree of excommunication launched against Henry, and various charges were made against the supporters of the legitimate pope.

Still, the years which followed brought to Urban ever-increasing prestige, while Henry IV's power and influence were more and more on the wane.

The greater part of the city of Rome was captured by an army of crusaders under Count Hugh of Vermandois
Hugh of Vermandois
Hugh I , called Magnus or the Great, was a younger son of Henry I of France and Anne of Kiev and younger brother of Philip I. He was in his own right Count of Vermandois, but an ineffectual leader and soldier, great only in his boasting...

, brother of the King of France. The party of Guibert retained only the Castle of Sant' Angelo, and even this in 1098 fell into the hands of Vermandois.

Guibert's influence, after Henry IV's withdrawal from Italy, was virtually confined to Ravenna and a few other districts of Northern Italy.

In 1099, he repaired to Albano
Albano Laziale
Albano Laziale is a comune in the province of Rome, on the Alban Hills, in Latium, central Italy. It is also a suburb of Rome, which is 25 km distant. It is bounded by other communes of Castel Gandolfo, Rocca di Papa, Ariccia and Ardea. Located in the Castelli Romani area of Lazio...

 after the accession of Paschal II (1099–1118), hoping again to become master of Rome, but he was compelled to withdraw. He reached Civita Castellana
Civita Castellana
Civita Castellana is a town and comune in the province of Viterbo, 65 km north of Rome.Mount Soracte lies about 10 km to the south-east.-History:...

, where he died 8 September 1100. His followers, it is true, elected a successor to Guibert, the Antipope Theodoric
Antipope Theodoric
Theodoric was an antipope in 1100 and 1101.Antipope Clement III died on September 8, 1100. His followers in Rome met secretly at night in St. Peter's Basilica, where they elected and enthroned Cardinal Teodorico, the Bishop of Albano, who then went by the name of Theodoric...

, who, however, was not a serious threat to the true popes.

The elevation of Guibert has to be seen in the wider context of the time: there had been several antipopes in the recent past, there were political struggles within the empire, and the Investiture Controversy had an effect.

Clement was notoriously regarded as the champion of the simoniacal and anti-celibacy
Celibacy is a personal commitment to avoiding sexual relations, in particular a vow from marriage. Typically celibacy involves avoiding all romantic relationships of any kind. An individual may choose celibacy for religious reasons, such as is the case for priests in some religions, for reasons of...

 and pro-clerical concubinage party, although he went through the motions of legislating against these abuses, and, through the leeway he granted the cardinals supporting him, contributed to the development of the College of Cardinals
College of Cardinals
The College of Cardinals is the body of all cardinals of the Catholic Church.A function of the college is to advise the pope about church matters when he summons them to an ordinary consistory. It also convenes on the death or abdication of a pope as a papal conclave to elect a successor...


See also

  • Concordat of Worms
    Concordat of Worms
    The Concordat of Worms, sometimes called the Pactum Calixtinum by papal historians, was an agreement between Pope Calixtus II and Holy Roman Emperor Henry V on September 23, 1122 near the city of Worms...

  • First Council of the Lateran
    First Council of the Lateran
    The Council of 1123 is reckoned in the series of Ecumenical councils by the Catholic Church. It was convoked by Pope Calixtus II in December, 1122, immediately after the Concordat of Worms...

  • Other popes named Clement: Pope Clement
    Pope Clement
    There have been fourteen popes named Clement.*Pope Clement I saint, *Pope Clement II *Pope Clement III *Pope Clement IV...

External links

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