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Antipope Anacletus II
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Antipope Anacletus II

Anacletus II, born Pietro Pierloni, (died January 25 1138) was an Antipope that ruled between 1131 to his death, in a schism against the contested hasty election of Pope Innocent II.

Pietro was born in a powerful Roman family and, as second son, was destined to the church. He studied in Paris and entered the Benedictine Abbey of Cluny. Later he was to Rome and occupied several important positions. On 1130, Pope Honorius II was dying and Pietro was determined to succeed him, even if it meant huge bribery. Despite support of most noble families and the city's inhabitants, Pietro's political enemies could not condone with his ambitions and forced Cardinal Gregory Papareschi to stand for election. He was elected as Pope Innocent II, but the Pierloni faction did not accept the result and proclaimed him as Anacletus II. Both men were consecrated as popes in February 23, beginning the schism.

Both popes remained in Rome and Anacletus tried to win the population for his side by spending enormous amounts of his fortune in gifts and exuberant parties. European governants, specially Lothar II, Holy Roman Emperor, supported Innocent II, leaving Anacletus with few patrons. The most important of these were a duke William X of Aquitaine who decided for the antipope against the will of its own bishops and the influential support of King Roger of Sicily. Despite the fact, Innocent II was forced to leave the city and live in Pisa, while Anacletus II occupied Rome. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux was Innocent's most eloquent supporter and convinced all the supporters of Anacletus to join Innocent II's side after the death of Anacletus II. Nevertheless the schism only finished with Anacletus' death in 1138. After this, Innocent returned to Rome and ruled without opposition. Innocent II quickly convened the Second Lateran Council in 1139 and resolidified the church's teachings against usary, clerical marriage, etc.

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