Pope John XV (??? − March 996) was pope of the Roman Catholic Church from August 985 to his death in 996.


John XV
Papacy beganAugust 985
Papacy endedMarch 996
PredecessorJohn XIV
SuccessorGregory V
Personal details
Birth nameJohn
Rome, Papal States
DiedMarch 996
Rome, Papal States, Holy Roman Empire

He was born in Rome, Papal States and died in March 996 in Rome, Papal States, Holy Roman Empire.

During his time as pope, there was a dispute that arose over the deposition in 991 of Arnulf, Archbishop of Reims. Arnulf was made archbishop of Reims in 988 by Hugh Capet of France. Arnulf was the nephew of the King's bitter rival, Charles of Lorraine and considered Arnulf a turncoat. He demanded his deposition by John XV. Hugh Capet captured both Charles and Archbishop Arnulf and convoked a synod at Reims in June 991. He deposed Arnulf and chose as his successor Abbot Gerbert of Aurillac who would later be known as Pope Silvester II.

At the synod, Arnulf, Bishop of Orléans accused John XV:

"Are any bold enough to maintain that the priests of the Lord all over the world are to take their law from monsters of guilt like these—men branded with ignominy, illiterate men, and ignorant alike of things human and divine? If, holy fathers, we are bound to weigh in the balance the lives, the morals, and the attainments of the humblest candidate for the priestly office, how much more ought we to look to the fitness of him who aspires to be the Lord and Master of all priests! Yet how would it fare with us, if it should happen that the man the most deficient in all these virtues, unworthy of the lowest place in the priesthood, should be chosen to fill the highest place of all? What would you say of such a one, when you see him sitting upon the throne glittering in purple and gold? Must he not be the "Antichrist, sitting in the temple of God and showing himself as God"?[1]

References change

  1. Schaff, Philip; Schley Schaff, David. History of the Christian Church.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
John XIV
Succeeded by
Gregory V