THE POPE RESPONDS (Illustration) Awesome Radio - Narrated Stories Biographies Civil Rights Famous Historical Events Law and Politics Medieval Times Social Studies World History Ethics

This contemporary illustration—a fresco depicting Pope Innocent III, circa 1219—purports to show the likeness of the Pope who opposed the barons during their quarrels with King John of England. The fresco is located at the cloister Sacro Speco (at the Monastery of St. Benedict in Subiaco, located east of Rome) and was created by an unknown 13th-century artist. Innocent III was born as “Lotario de’ Conti” and lived between 1198 and 1216. The fresco was created about three years after his death. Image online via Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain. Click on the image for a better view.


Pope Innocent III was shocked. It wasn't merely John's concessions that upset the pontiff. It was the audacity of the nobility who had used force to get what they wanted.

And there was something else: King John had "given" England to the Pope as a fiefdom in 1213. Although that action had been opposed by the barons and the English Church - especially Stephen Langton, then Archbishop of Canterbury - Innocent III considered King John to be his vassal.

The Pope thought he should have been consulted before the "Great Charter" was signed.

He promptly excommunicated every baron who signed the Magna Carta.

He then declared the "Great Charter" null and void.

0 Question or Comment?
click to read or comment
2 Questions 2 Ponder
click to read and respond
0 It's Awesome!
vote for your favorite

Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jul 01, 2000

Updated Last Revision: Oct 09, 2017

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"THE POPE RESPONDS" AwesomeStories.com. Jul 01, 2000. May 31, 2020.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips