John of Crema

John Of Crema, a cardinal who flourished in the first half of the 12th century, is celebrated for his exertions in behalf of the cause of pope Calixtus II against his adversary Burdin, and especially for his activity in the English Church, whither he was sent by pope Honorius II, in 1126, to enforce the laws of celibacy on the English clergy. How successful he was in this mission may be best judged from the sudden termination of his stay on the English continent. Not only did the English clergy violently oppose the cardinal's efforts, but he was even entrapped into a snare that must have considerably annoyed the eminent Roman Catholic ecclesiastic. Says Lea (Hist. Sacerdotal Celib. p. 293; compare Inett,. Hist. Eng. Ch. 2, chap. 8), the cardinal, "after fiercely denouncing the concubines of priests, and expatiating on the burning shame that the body of Christ should be made by one who had just left the side of a harlot, he was that very night surprised in the company of a courtesan, though he had on the same day celebrated mass." Although instrumental, after his return to Rome, in the election of pope Innocent II (1130), the latter afterwards forsook him, and John for a time espoused the cause of the rival pope, Anacletus, returning, of course, again to obedience to Innocent II as soon as he had learned that by such an act only he could advance his own interests. The time of his death is not known, to us.

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