Detail of a heavily restored contemporary mosaic depicting Felix
|Papacy began||12 July 526|
|Papacy ended||22 September 530|
|Born||Samnium, Ostrogothic Kingdom|
|Died||22 September 530 (aged 40)|
|Feast day||30 January|
|Other popes named Felix|
Felix came from Samnium, the son of Castorius. He was elected after a gap of nearly two months after the death of John I, who had died in prison in Ravenna, having completed a diplomatic mission to Constantinople on behalf of the Ostrogoth King Theodoric the Great. The papal electors acceded to the king's demands and chose Felix as pope. Felix's favor in the eyes of the king allowed him to press for greater benefits for the Church.
Felix built the Santi Cosma e Damiano in the Imperial forums on land donated by Queen Amalasuntha, and consecrated no fewer than thirty-nine bishops, during his short pontificate of four years. During Felix's pontificate, an imperial edict was passed granting that cases against clergy should be dealt with by the pope or a designated ecclesiastical court. Violation of this ruling would result in a fine, which proceeds were designated for the poor. Felix also defined church teaching on grace and free will in response to a request of Faustus of Riez, in Gaul, on opposing Semi-Pelagianism.
Felix attempted to designate his own successor: Pope Boniface II. The reaction of the Senate was to forbid the discussion of a pope's successor during his lifetime or to accept such a nomination. The majority of the clergy reacted to Felix's activity by nominating Dioscorus as Pope. Only a minority supported Boniface. His feast day is celebrated on 30 January.
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|Wikisource has the text of the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia article Pope St. Felix IV.|
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