During the time that Ariberto held sway in Milan, the papacy had degenerated to some of the lowest standards yet seen, under the notorious Pope Benedict IX. The nephew of two of his predecessors, Benedict IX essentially inherited the papacy while still a very young man, and seems to have considered it something of a family heirloom.
Described as entirely unsuited to be Pope, Benedict led an extremely dissolute life, and was accused in an official church treatise by St. Peter Damian of not only corruption and homosexuality, but also ongoing bestiality. In the same treatise, he was also described as “feasting on immorality” and as “a demon from hell in the disguise of a priest.”
His dubious personal qualifications notwithstanding, Benedict IX managed to hold the papacy for most of the period from 1032 to 1048, with brief interruptions for the naming of an antipope, the sale of the papacy to his godfather (perhaps to enable Benedict to marry), reneging on the deal and trying to take the papacy back, and the German Emperor’s finally stepping into the mess to name a German as the new Pope—who promptly died, enabling Benedict to re-take the papal palace by military force. Benedict did not leave until he was militarily driven out by one Popo of Brixen, who then succeeded him under the name of Pope Damasus II.