The son of Hormisdas, St. Silverius was nominated to succeed Agapetus I in 536 by King Theodahad of the Goths and was elected through his influence. Empress Theodora had wanted a pope more open to monothelitism and sent Belisarius to depose Silverius. Accused of conspiring with the Goths, Silverius was made a monk and exiled to Patara in early 537. When Silverius appealed his case to Justinian, he was allowed to return to Rome. Vigilius, who had become pope through Theodora’s influence, sent Silverius to the island of Palmaria, where he was persuaded to abdicate. Silverius died shortly thereafter. He may have starved, or he may have been murdered.
Pope Silverius (Italian: Silverio, died 20 June 537) was the head of the Catholic Church from 8 June 536 to his death in 537.
He was a legitimate son of Pope Hormisdas, born before his father entered the priesthood. Silverius was probably consecrated 8 June 536. He was a subdeacon when king Theodahad of the Ostrogoths forced his election and consecration. Jeffrey Richards interprets his low rank prior to becoming pope as an indication that Theodahad was eager to put a pro-Gothic candidate on the throne on the eve of the Gothic War and “had passed over the entire diaconate as untrustworthy”. The Liber Pontificalis alleges that Silverius had purchased his elevation from King Theodahad.
On 9 December 536, the Byzantine general Belisarius entered Rome with the approval of Pope Silverius. Theodahad’s successor Witiges gathered together an army and besieged Rome for several months, subjecting the city to privation and starvation. In the words of Richards, “What followed is as tangled a web of treachery and double-dealing as can be found anywhere in the papal annals. Several different versions of the course of events following the elevation of Silverius exist.” In outline, all accounts agree: Silverius was deposed by Belisarius in March 537 and sent into exile. Vigilius, who was in Constantinople as apocrisiarius or papal legate, was brought to Rome to replace him. They differ over the motivations of the parties involved.