(antipope mid-Mar.–29 May 1138: d. ?)
Born at Ceccano (prov. of Frosinone), Gregorio Conti became cardinal priest of SS. Apostoli in the first decade of Paschal II's pontificate. In 1111 he was one of the sixteen cardinals who confirmed under oath the privilege extorted from Paschal by Emperor Henry V (1106–25) under the treaty of Mammolo. In so doing he was acting under duress, for at the Lateran synod of Mar. 1112 he was among the pope's severest critics, collaborating with Gerard of Angoulême in preparing the formal condemnation of the privilege. This opposition cost him his title; but Callistus II restored him at the Lateran Council of 1123. With his unbending views it was inevitable that, at the double election of 1130, he should be among the cardinals opposing Innocent II and voting for Pietro Pierleoni (Anacletus II). When Roger II of Sicily (1095–1154) invited the rival popes to present their respective claims before him at Salerno in Nov. 1137, Gregory was one of three representing Anacletus. On the antipope's death on 25 Jan. 1138 his adherents, after seeking the permission of Roger II, elected Gregory as his successor with the style Victor IV. His reign, however, proved a meaningless interlude; no pontifical acts of his survive, and his already reduced following rapidly fell away, in part as a result of bribes offered by Innocent II. On 29 May 1138 he resigned owing to the intervention of Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153), who brought him and the other leading Anacletans to Innocent to make their submission. The pope pardoned them, promising to allow Victor and the other cardinals to retain their rank; but at the second Lateran council (Apr. 1139) he went back on his word and deposed Victor and the others, earning a severe rebuke from Bernard. Nothing is known of Gregory's subsequent life or of the date of his death.
LP ii. 383, iii. 138EThC 152 (O. Engels)Mansi xxi. 535MGConst I: 143, 573JW i. 919Watterich ii. 178, 248 ff.Bernard of Clairvaux, Epp. 213, 317 (PL 182: 378, 523)H. W. Klewitz, ‘Das Ende des Reformpapstums’, DA3 (1939), 376 f., 397F. J. Schmale, Studien zum Schisma des Jahres 1130 (Cologne, 1961), 60 f., 175 f.EC xii. 1543 (A. P. Frutaz)Seppelt iii. 184