The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church

Biographical Dictionary
Vigilius (537-555)
540 (I)

(1) 1. SEBASTIANO (?-608)

Birth. (No date or place found).

Education. He was eruditissimo (most erudite), dottissimo (most learned), and experienced handling affairs (1).

Cardinalate. Deacon cardinalis of the Holy Roman Church in 540 (2). He was sent to Dalmatia and to Prevalitana province as economous and curator to administer the patrimony of the Church; tempted by avarice, he started to intrigue in secular affairs and to do illicit and uncanonical contracts in the city of Salona; severely reprimanded by Pope Vigilius, he amended his conduct; he occupied the post for two years. Accompanied by several bishops, he went to greet Pope Vigilius, while he was on his way to Constantinople; the pope resent him to Dalmatia, where he was well received. Instigated by the African bishops, because of the controversy of the Three Chapters, he rebelled against the pope and with him also turned against the pontiff the subdeacon, the defensori and the notaries of the Roman Church, provoking a schism. In response, Pope Vigilius excluded them from the ecclesiastical communion and deprived Deacon Sebastiano of his rank. At the request of several bishops, the pope reinstated him. Later, in view of his repentance, he was called to Constantinople and named apocrisiarius of the Holy Roman Church, becoming a defender of the rights of the papacy. Together with Bishop Dacio of Milan, he opposed the edict of the emperor concerning the Three Chapters. He consulted Deacon Fulgentius Ferrandus of Carthage, canonist and theologian, several times concerning different serious affairs although the latter had condemned Pope Vigilius. He was called back to Rome by Pope Boniface IV and died shortly after.

Death. 608, Rome. Buried at an unknown place.

Bibliography. Cardella, Lorenzo. Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Stamperia Pagliarini, 1792, I, pt. 1, 12-14; Chacón, Alfonso. Vitæ, et res gestæ Pontificum Romanorum : et S.R.E. Cardinalium ab initio nascentis Ecclesiae usque ad Clementem IX P. O. M. Alphonsi Ciaconii Ord. Praed. & aliorum opera descriptæ : cum uberrimis notis. Ab Augustino Oldoino, Soc. Jesu recognitae, et ad quatuor tomos ingenti ubique rerum accessione productae. Additis Pontificum recentiorum imaginibus, & Cardinalium insignibus, plurimisque aeneis figuris, cum indicibus locupletissimis. Romæ : P. et A. De Rubeis, 1677, I, col. 383-384; Cristofori, Francesco. Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa. Rome : Tipografia de Propaganda Fide, 1888, p. 283; "Essai de liste générale des cardinaux. Les cardinaux des 10 premiers siècles". Annuaire Pontifical Catholique 1926. Paris : Maison de la Bonne Presse, 1927, p. 141, no. 1.

(1) Cardella, Memorie storiche de' cardinali della Santa Romana Chiesa, I, pt. 1, 12.
(2) Cristofori, Cronotasi dei cardinali di Santa Romana Chiesa, p. 283, says that he was named in 553.

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