Pope Benedict IX was not exactly beloved. St. Peter Damian, for one, called him a "demon from hell in the disguise of a priest." In his third book of Dialogues, Pope Victor III wrote of Benedict IX as having a "life as a pope so vile, so foul, so execrable, that I shudder to think of it." No wonder Benedict IX decided to stick it to all of them, resigning in 1045 and becoming the first man in history to sell the papacy. The buyer: the priest John Gratian (Pope Gregory VI). Benedict IX later refused to face charges of simony and was excommunicated.
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