Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Two antipopes of this name.

I. Cardinal Gregory Conti, elected in opposition to Innocent II in the middle of March, 1138, by the partisans of the Pierleoni family, as successor to Anacletus II. At the end of two months, however, Gregory submitted on 29 May to Innocent and renounced his office.

II. Octavius, Cardinal of St. Cecilia, d. at Lucca, 20 April, 1164. He was elected 7 Sept., 1159, by a small minority of the cardinals (four or five), the clergy of St. Peter's, and the Roman populace, while at the same time the majority of the college of cardinals elected the chancellor Rolando who assumed the title of Alexander III. Octavian belonged to one of the most powerful Roman families (Counts of Tusculum), had been cardinal since 1138, and was very popular on account of his liberality, accessibility, and splendour of living. He was considered a great friend of the Germans, and rested his hopes on the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. Yet it is not to be assumed that the emperor had desired his election; Rolando was certainly not agreeable to him, yet neither was it to his interest to have an antipope. As a matter of fact the emperor was at first neutral and called upon the bishops not to take sides; the decision, the emperor said, should be reserved for the action of the Church. As the chief protector of the Church, therefore, he convoked a synod at Pavia (February, 1160). It decided, as was to be expected, for Victor, and pronounced an anathema upon Alexander, while Alexander on his side excommunicated the emperor. The attempt to secure Victor's recognition was never completely successful in Germany, where Bishop Eberhard of Salzburg was his principal opponent. France and England sided with Alexander; Spain, Hungary, Ireland, and Norway followed their example. King Louis VII of France wavered, indeed, once more in 1162, but the disastrous meeting with the emperor at Saint-Jean-de- Losne had as its result that the king held firmly to the obedience of Alexander. During the years 1162-65 Alexander lived in France, and from 1163 the pope exerted himself to gain more of Germany for his cause. All uncertainty came to and end at the death of Victor IV. His successor was Paschal III.


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 49:2, 8-10
2 Gather round, sons of Jacob, and listen; listen to ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 72:3-4, 7-8, 17
3 Mountains and hills, bring peace to the people! ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 1:1-17
1 Roll of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 17th, 2014 Image

St. Olympias
December 17: Olympias born into a wealthy noble Constantinople family. She ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter