1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Honorius
HONORIUS, the name of four popes and one antipope (Honorius II.; i.e. 2 below).
1. Honorius I., pope from 625 to 638, was of a noble Roman family, his father Petronius having been consul. He was very active in carrying on the work of Gregory the Great, especially in England; Bede (Hist. Eccl. ii. 17) gives a letter of his to King Edwin of Northumbria, in which he admonishes him diligently to study Gregory’s writings; and it was at Edwin’s request that Honorius conferred the pallium on the bishops of Canterbury and York (ib. ii. 18). He also admonished the Irish for not following the custom of the Catholic Church in the celebration of Easter (ib. ii. 19), and commissioned Birinus to preach Christianity in Wessex (ib. iii. 7). It is, however, in connexion with the Monothelite heresy that Honorius is most remembered, his attitude in this matter having acquired fresh importance during the controversy raised by the promulgation of the dogma of papal infallibility in 1870. In his efforts to consolidate the papal power in Italy, Honorius had been hampered by the schism of “the three chapters” in Istria and Venetia, a schism that was ended by the deposition in 628 of the schismatic patriarch Fortunatus of Aquileia-Grado and the elevation of a Roman sub-deacon to the patriarchate. It is suggested that help rendered to him in this matter by the emperor Heraclius, or by the Greek exarch, may have inclined the pope to take the emperor’s side in the Monothelite controversy, which broke out shortly afterwards in consequence of the formula proposed by the emperor with a view to reconciling the Monophysites and the Catholics. However that may be, he joined the patriarchs of Constantinople and Alexandria in supporting the doctrine of “one will” in Christ, and expounded this view forcibly, if somewhat obscurely, in two letters to the patriarch Sergius (Epist. 4 and 5 in Migne, Patrologia. Ser. Lat. Ixxx. 470, 474). For this he was, more than forty years after his death (October 638), anathematized by name along with the Monothelite heretics by the council of Constantinople (First Trullan) in 681; and this condemnation was subsequently confirmed by more than one pope, particularly by Leo II. See Hefele, Die Irrlehre des Honorius u. die vaticanische Lehre der Unfehlbarkeit (1871), who, however, modified his view in his Conciliengeschichte (1877). Honorius I. was succeeded by Severinus.
(W. A. P.)
2. Honorius II. (d. 1072), antipope, was the name taken by Peter Cadalus, who was born at Verona and became bishop of Parma in 1046. After the death of Pope Nicholas II. in July 1061 he was chosen pope by some German and Lombard bishops at Basel in opposition to Alexander II., who had been elected by the party led by Hildebrand, afterwards Pope Gregory VII. Taking the name of Honorius II., Cadalus was thus the representative of those who were opposed to reforms in the Church. Early in 1062 he advanced towards Rome, and though his supporters defeated the forces of his rival outside the city, he soon returned to Parma to await the decision of the advisers of the young German king, Henry IV., whose mother Agnes had supported his election. About this time, however, Agnes was deprived of her power, and the chief authority in Germany passed to Anno, archbishop of Cologne, who was hostile to Cadalus. Under these circumstances the antipope again marched towards Rome in 1063 and entered the city, but was soon forced to take refuge in the castle of St Angelo. The ensuing war between the rival popes lasted for about a year, and then Cadalus left Rome as a fugitive. Refusing to attend a council held at Mantua in May 1064, he was deposed, and he died in 1072, without having abandoned his claim to the papal chair.
3. Honorius II. (Lamberto Scannabecchi), pope from the 15th of December 1124 to the 13th of February 1130, a native of Fagnano near Imola, of considerable learning and great religious zeal, successively archdeacon at Bologna, cardinal-priest of Sta Prassede under Urban II., cardinal-bishop of Ostia and Velletri under Paschal II., shared the exile of Gelasius II. in France, and helped Calixtus II. to conclude the Concorda of Worms (1122), which settled the investiture contest. He owed his election in large measure to force employed by the Frangipani, but was consecrated with general consent on the 21st of December 1124. By means of a close alliance with that powerful family, he was enabled to maintain peace at Rome and the death of Emperor Henry V. (1125) further strengthened the papal position. He recognized the Saxon Lothair III. as king of the Romans and later as emperor, and excommunicated his rival, Conrad of Hohenstaufen. He sanctioned the Praemonstratensian order and that of the Knights Templars. He excommunicated Count William of Normandy for marriage in prohibited degree; brought to an end, through the influence of Bernard of Clairvaux, the struggle with Louis VI. of France and arranged with Henry I. for the reception of papal legates in England. He laid claim as feudal overlord to the Norman possessions in southern Italy (July 1127), and excommunicated the claimant, Duke Roger of Sicily, but was unable to prevent the foundation of the Neapolitan monarchy, for Duke Roger defeated the papal army and forced recognition in August 1128. Honorius appealed to Lothair for assistance, but died before it arrived. His successor was Innocent II.
4. Honorius III. (Cencio Savelli), pope from the 18th of July 1216 to the 18th of March 1227, a highly-educated and pious Roman, successively canon of Sta Maria Maggiore, cardinal-deacon of Sta Lucia in Silice, vice-chancellor, chamberlain and cardinal-priest of Sti Giovanni e Paolo, was the successor of Innocent III. He made peace with Frederick II., in accordance with which the emperor was crowned with his wife Constance in St Peter’s on the 22nd of November 1220, and swore to accord full liberty to the church and to undertake a crusade. Honorius was eager to carry out the decrees of the Lateran Council of 1215 against the Albigenses and to further the crusade proclaimed by his predecessor. He crowned Peter of Courtenay emperor of Byzantium in April 1217; espoused the cause of the young Henry III. of England against the barons; accepted the Isle of Man as a perpetual fief; arbitrated differences between Philip II. of France and James of Aragon; and made special ecclesiastical regulations for the Scandinavian countries. He sanctioned the Dominican order (22nd of November 1216), making St Dominic papal major-domo in 1218; approved the Franciscan order by bull of the 29th of November 1223; and authorized many of the tertiary orders. He maintained, on the whole, a tranquil rule at Rome; but Frederick II.’s refusal to interrupt his reforms in Sicily in order to go on the crusade gave the pope much trouble. Honorius died in 1227, before the emperor had fulfilled his oath, and was succeeded by Gregory IX.
5. Honorius IV. (Jacopo Savelli), pope from the 2nd of April 1285 to the 3rd of April 1287, a member of a prominent Roman family and grand-nephew of Honorius III., had studied at the university of Paris, been made cardinal-deacon of Sta Maria in Cosmedin, and succeeded Martin IV. Though aged and so crippled that he could not stand alone he displayed remarkable energy as pope. He maintained peace in the states of the Church and friendly relations with Rudolph of Habsburg, and his policy in the Sicilian question was more liberal than that of his predecessor. He showed special favours to the mendicant orders and formally sanctioned the Carmelites and Augustinian Eremites. He was the first pope to employ the great banking houses in northern Italy for the collection of papal dues. He died at Rome and was succeeded by Nicholas IV.