Vigilius (vĭjĭlˈēəs) [key], pope (537–55), a Roman; successor of St. Silverius. Empress Theodora exiled Silverius and made Vigilius pope in the expectation that he would compromise with the Monophysites. After Silverius' death Vigilius' pontificate was legalized. Vigilius at first resisted coercion, refusing to condemn the Three Chapters in the quarrel over Monophysitism. Emperor Justinian forced him to come to Constantinople, where he eventually consented to their condemnation by the Second Council of Constantinople, provided that the canons of the Council of Chalcedon would not be thereby discredited. His action was intensely disliked in the West. He remained a virtual prisoner at Constantinople for eight years. He died on his way back to Rome. He was succeeded by Pelagius I.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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