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10 Worst Popes In History - Religion - Nairaland

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Know Your Popes / Top 10 Worst Popes In History / The 8 Most Evil Popes In Catholic History (2) (3) (4)

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10 Worst Popes In History by JMOI: 3:11pm On Sep 08, 2013
Disclaimer: This is not to embarrass or badmouth the Roman Catholics in the house or anywhere in the world. I hold you guys in high regard and I have the utmost respect for your popes, especially the one that is in power now, Pope Francis, who I consider to be the true leader of Christians allover the world, though I am an Anglican. But I thought it wise to put this short piece here after I accidentally came across it on the net while conducting an unrelated research. I believe than in every organisation or institution (of which the Catholic Church is the oldest in the world), there are the good guys and there are the bad guys. Even among the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ there was a bad apple. These are just the 10 popes considered to be the worst out of about 266 popes that have headed the church for nearly 2,000 years.


1. Stephen VI was Pope from 896 to 897. Fueled by his anger with Pope Formosus, his predecessor, he exhumed Formosus's rotting corpse and put "him" on trial, in the so-called "Cadaver Synod" in January, 897.

With the corpse propped up on a throne, a deacon was appointed to answer for the deceased pontiff, who was condemned for performing the functions of a bishop when he had been deposed and for receiving the pontificate while he was the bishop of Porto, among other revived charges that had been leveled against Formosus in the strife during the pontificate of John VIII.

The corpse was found guilty, stripped of its sacred vestments, deprived of three fingers of its right hand (the blessing fingers), clad in the garb of a layman, and quickly buried; it was then re-exhumed and thrown in the Tiber. All ordinations performed by Formosus were annulled.

The trial excited a tumult. Though the instigators of the deed may actually have been Formosus' enemies of the House of Spoleto (notably Guy IV of Spoleto), who had recovered their authority in Rome at the beginning of 897 by renouncing their broader claims in central Italy, the scandal ended in Stephen's imprisonment and his death by strangling that summer. Talk about bad Popes.


2. Pope Benedict IX: the Pope who sold the papacy

Pope Benedict IX
Benedict IX was Pope from 1032 to 1044, again in 1045, and finally from 1047 to 1048, the only man to have served as Pope for three discontinuous periods, and one of the most controversial Popes of all time. Benedict gave up his papacy for the first time in exchange for a large sum of money in 1044. He returned in 1045 to depose his replacement and reigned for one month, after which he left again, possibly to marry, and sold the papacy for a second time, to his Godfather (possibly for over 650 kg /1450 lb of gold). Two years later, Benedict retook Rome and reigned for an additional one year, until 1048. Poppo of Brixen (later to become Pope Damascus II) eventually forced him out of Rome. Benedict’s place and date of death are unknown, but some speculate that he made further attempts to regain the Papal Throne. St. Peter Damian described him as “feasting on immorality” and “a demon from hell in the disguise of a priest” in the Liber Gomorrhianus, a treatise on papal corruption and sex that accused Benedict IX of routine homosexuality and bestiality.


3. Pope Sergius III: ordered the murder of another pope and started the "pornocracy"

Sergius III was Pope from 897 to 911, and has been the only pope known to have ordered the murder of another pope and the only known to have fathered an illegitimate son who later became pope; his pontificate has been described as "dismal and disgraceful." The pontificate of Sergius III was remarkable for the rise of what papal historians call a "pornocracy," or rule of the harlots, a reversal of the natural order as they saw it, according to Liber pontificalis and a later chronicler who was also biased against Sergius III. This "pornocracy" was an age with women in power: Theodora, whom Liutprand characterized as a "shameless LovePeddler... [who] exercised power on the Roman citizenry like a man" and her daughter Marozia, the mother of Pope John XI (931–935) and reputed to be the mistress of Sergius III.


4. Pope John XII: raped female pilgrims and invoked pagan gods

Pope John XII
John XII was Pope from 955 to 964. On 963, Holy Roman Emperor Otto I summoned a council, levelling charges that John had ordained a deacon in a stable, consecrated a 10-year-old boy as bishop of Todi, converted the Lateran Palace into a brothel, raped female pilgrims in St. Peter's, stolen church offerings, drank toasts to the devil, and invoked the aid of Jove, Venus, and other pagan gods when playing dice. He was deposed, but returned as pope when Otto left Rome, maiming and mutilating all who had opposed him. On 964, he was apparently beaten by the husband of a woman with which he was having an affair, dying three days later without receiving confession or the sacraments.


5. Pope Leo X: sold indulgences, killed cardinals

Pope Leo X
Leo X was Pope from 1513 to his death in 1521. He is known primarily for the sale of indulgences to reconstruct St. Peter's Basilica and his challenging of Martin Luther's 95 theses.

According to Alexandre Dumas, "under his pontificate, Christianity assumed a pagan character, which, passing from art into manners, gives to this epoch a strange complexion. Crimes for the moment disappeared, to give place to vices; but to charming vices, vices in good taste, such as those indulged in by Alcibiades and sung by Catullus." When he became Pope, Leo X is reported to have said to his brother Giuliano: “Since God has given us the papacy, let us enjoy it.”

His extravagance offended not only people like Martin Luther, but also some cardinals, who, led by Alfonso Petrucci of Siena, plotted an assassination attempt. Eventually, Pope Leo found out who these people were, and had them followed. The conspirators died of “food poisoning.” Some people argue that Leo X and his followers simply concocted the assassination charges in a moneymaking scheme to collect fines from the various wealthy cardinals Leo X detested.


6. Pope Alexander VI: nepotism, orgies and the rise of the Borgia family

Pope Alexander VI
Alexander VI was Pope from 1492 to 1503. He is the most controversial of the secular popes of the Renaissance, and his surname (Italianized as Borgia) became a byword for the debased standards of the papacy of that era. Originally Cardinal Borgia from Spain, Pope Alexander's claims to fame were taking over much of Italy by force with the help of his son Cesare (yes, his son), a racy relationship with his daughter Lucrezia (some say her son was his), and his affinity for throwing large parties, bordering on orgies, that usually culminated with little Unclad boys jumping out of large cakes.


7. Pope Innocent IV: introduced torture on the Inquisition

Pope Innocent IV
Innocent IV was Pope from 1243 to 1254. Certainly the Inquisition represents the darkest of Roman Church history, and it was Innocent IV who approved the use of torture to extract confessions of heresy. He aggressively applied the principle that “the end justifies the means.” It is shocking to learn about the deranged instruments of torture that were used on so many innocent people. One of the most famous people to suffer at the hands of Roman inquisitors was Galileo. The church condemned Galileo for claiming that the earth revolved around the sun.


8. Pope Urban VI: complained he did not hear enough screaming when his Cardinals were tortured

Pope Urban VI
Urban VI was Pope from 1378 to 1389. He was the first Pope of the Western Schism (which ultimately lead to three people claiming the Papal throne at the same time). Once elected, he was prone to outbursts of rage. The cardinals who elected him decided that they had made the wrong decision and they elected a new Pope in his place, so he took the name of Clement VII and started a second Papal court in Avignon, France. Later he would launch a program of violence against those he thought to have been conspiring against him, imprisoning people at will and mistreating them brutally. Later historians have considered seriously that he might have been insane.

The second election threw the Church into turmoil. There had been antipopes, rival claimants to the papacy, before, but most of them had been appointed by various rival factions; in this case, the legitimate leaders of the Church themselves had created both popes. The conflict quickly escalated from a church problem to a diplomatic crisis that divided Europe. Secular leaders had to choose which pope they would recognize. The schism was repaired forty years later when all three of the (then) reigning Popes abdicated together and a successor elected in the person of Pope Martin V.


9. Pope John XV: split the church's finances among his relatives

Pope John XV
John XV was Pope from 985 to 996. The Pope's venality and nepotism had made him very unpopular with the citizens, as he split the church's finances among his relatives and was described as "covetous of filthy lucre and corrupt in all his acts."


10. Pope Clement VII: his power-politicking with France, Spain, and Germany got Rome sacked

Pope Clement VII
Clement VII was Pope from 1523 to 1534. A member of the powerful Medici family, Clement VII possessed great political and diplomatic skills - but he lacked the understanding of the age necessary to cope with the political and religious changes he faced. His relationship with Emperor Charles V was so bad that, in May 1527, Charles invaded Italy and sacked Rome.

Imprisoned, Clement was forced into a humiliating compromise which forced him to give up a great deal of secular and religious power. Eventually, Clement became ill and never recovered. He died on September 25, 1534, hated by the people of Rome, who never forgave him for the destruction of 1527.

Culled from http://www.oddee.com
Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by Nobody: 3:20pm On Sep 08, 2013
The same reason I find it hard to accept that the pope is infallible.
Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by 247notire(m): 3:31pm On Sep 08, 2013
They were all bad guys.bt if any one waz bad,ppl then must have knwn just as we'll knw 2day if we hv a bad pope.
Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by italo: 3:41pm On Sep 08, 2013
Reyginus: The same reason I find it hard to accept that the pope is infallible.

Just let me correct an impression that is false.

Infallibility doesnt mean the Pope cannot sin. Everyone sins.

Infallibility means he cannot teach error to the Church.
Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by Nobody: 3:48pm On Sep 08, 2013
italo:

Just let me correct an impression that is false.

Infallibility doesnt mean the Pope cannot sin. Everyone sins.

Infallibility means he cannot teach error to the Church.
Exactly why I am having the problem. My problem with is, how can a corrupt entity teach what is not corrupted?
Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by italo: 4:02pm On Sep 08, 2013
Reyginus: Exactly why I am having the problem. My problem with is, how can a corrupt entity teach what is not corrupted?

The same way the apostles (sinners) taught what was not corrupted...

...and the "corrupt entity" put together an incorrupt Bible.

By the guidance of the Holy Spirit promised them by Jesus.
Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by JMOI: 4:03pm On Sep 08, 2013
The popes are not infallible, in fact no one is. Moses wasn't, Elijah wasn't, Abraham wasn't, St. Peter wasn't. Only Jesus Christ is.
Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by italo: 4:07pm On Sep 08, 2013
JMOI: The popes are not infallible, in fact no one is. Moses wasn't, Elijah wasn't, Abraham wasn't, St. Peter wasn't. Only Jesus Christ is.

If Peter was fallible (could teach error) then you are saying the Bible probably contains error.
Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by Nobody: 4:07pm On Sep 08, 2013
italo:

The same way the apostles (sinners) taught what was not corrupted...

...and the "corrupt entity" put together an incorrupt Bible.

By the guidance of the Holy Spirit promised them by Jesus.
No, I don't think they were on the same scale. I'm wondering how the holy spirit operates within an entity harbouring the above sins.
As for the apostles, I can make a case that their sins weren't as enormous.
Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by JMOI: 4:08pm On Sep 08, 2013
According to Catholic traditions, the pope is only infallible when he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church".
Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by JMOI: 4:14pm On Sep 08, 2013
italo:

If Peter was fallible (could teach error) then you are saying the Bible probably contains error.

I didn't say that he was teaching error. Infallibility means that someone can do no wrong. Peter, as we all know, lied and denied Jesus Christ three times before realizing the implications of what he had done. So he cannot be said to have been infallible. Everyone makes mistakes once in a while. If the pope is infallible why does he have advisors?
Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by Nobody: 4:23pm On Sep 08, 2013
JMOI: I didn't say that he was teaching error. Infallibility means that someone can do no wrong. Peter, as we all know, lied and denied Jesus Christ three times before realizing the implications of what he had done. So he cannot be said to have been infallible. Everyone makes mistakes once in a while. If the pope is infallible why does he have advisors?
You are trying to kill your point in the same statement you made it.
Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by mumumugu(m): 4:24pm On Sep 08, 2013
Why is pope francis not here,? The gay supporter
Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by Enigma(m): 5:02pm On Sep 08, 2013
A few points:

1. Let us just say that the history of papacy is erm "very interesting": surprising that this detail is lost on some people ignorantly shouting "apostolic succession".

2. The impression often given by some Roman Catholics is that the "pope" is "infallible" and seemingly on all matters of doctrine when in fact Roman Catholic documents and teaching indicate that even the "pope" is actually fallible on matters of doctrine.

3. For hundreds of years the head of the Roman Catholic Church was not even called or titled "pope"!

4. It was in fact the Eastern Orthodox people who first came up with the title "pope" and they were calling their patriarchs "pope" before the Roman Catholics first borrowed it and then took it over - at least most prominently.

5. The title "pope" is no better than "Daddy G.O.", "Papa" etc; in fact "pope" really means "papa".

smiley
Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by italo: 5:09pm On Sep 08, 2013
Reyginus: No, I don't think they were on the same scale. I'm wondering how the holy spirit operates within an entity harbouring the above sins.
As for the apostles, I can make a case that their sins weren't as enormous.

What enormity of sin qualifies one to be "corrupt" and incapable of teaching "what is not corrupt?"

And what sins dont make you "corrupt?"
Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by italo: 5:10pm On Sep 08, 2013
JMOI: I didn't say that he was teaching error. Infallibility means that someone can do no wrong. Peter, as we all know, lied and denied Jesus Christ three times before realizing the implications of what he had done. So he cannot be said to have been infallible. Everyone makes mistakes once in a while. If the pope is infallible why does he have advisors?

You are wrong about "infallibility." I addressed that earlier.
Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by vedaxcool(m): 5:14pm On Sep 08, 2013
Well truth be told, the Roman catholic church has quite an interesting history, when you r bored just go to wiki and u will read a whole pack filled of drama, thriller and sometimes horror! It reminds that the catholic church despite being one of the oldest best run organisation also have its period of nadir and the extent to which human frailty can bring the best and sometimes bad results!
Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by vedaxcool(m): 5:18pm On Sep 08, 2013
Op do us a favor and place top 10 best pope! Or catholics here can also do such a thread! When we treated to a guided tour on error we should also be treated to a guided tour of good!
Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by italo: 5:23pm On Sep 08, 2013
Ours is a Church of Saints...but also sinners.

There are however, some people who make us believe that they belong to a "church" which has no sin or sinner.

Well...we'll just have to give them the benefit of the doubt, wont we?
Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by italo: 5:29pm On Sep 08, 2013
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Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by Nobody: 5:42pm On Sep 08, 2013
JMOI:

8. Pope Urban VI: complained he did not hear enough screaming when his Cardinals were tortured.


grin grin grin
Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by Nobody: 10:07pm On Sep 08, 2013
italo:

What enormity of sin qualifies one to be "corrupt" and incapable of teaching "what is not corrupt?"

And what sins dont make you "corrupt?"
Let me cut it out now. In the life of the apostles there were evidence of the presence of the holy spirit. They were never habitual sinners and when they fall short of the glory of God, they take time out to ask for forgiveness and correct immediately whatever led to the poisoning of their character.
They never stretched the grace of God in their lifes to an extent the spirit of God had to depart from them.
Now, take the popes above and make an unbiased comparism.
Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by italo: 6:20am On Sep 09, 2013
@ Reyginus,

You think a corrupted entity cannot teach what is incorrupt.

All the apostles were sinners. So I want to know if there are sins that dont corrupt.

Tell me those sins.
Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by lacum: 6:34am On Sep 09, 2013
Enigma: A few points:

1. Let us just say that the history of papacy is erm "very interesting": surprising that this detail is lost on some people ignorantly shouting "apostolic succession".

2. The impression often given by some Roman Catholics is that the "pope" is "infallible" and seemingly on all matters of doctrine when in fact Roman Catholic documents and teaching indicate that even the "pope" is actually fallible on matters of doctrine.

3. For hundreds of years the head of the Roman Catholic Church was not even called or titled "pope"!

4. It was in fact the Eastern Orthodox people who first came up with the title "pope" and they were calling their patriarchs "pope" before the Roman Catholics first borrowed it and then took it over - at least most prominently.

5. The title "pope" is no better than "Daddy G.O.", "Papa" etc; in fact "pope" really means "papa".

smiley
cant u c dat ur confused? i have bin reading about ur hatred on d catholic church but all u have bin saying hold no water. if i am u i will keep quiet and listen to others comment. jmoi have said it all, dat d pope is fallible like any other man xcept in matters of doctrine and dat is undastandable to anybody because of d promises if jesus to his church

1 Like

Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by lacum: 6:46am On Sep 09, 2013
Reyginus: Let me cut it out now. In the life of the apostles there were evidence of the presence of the holy spirit. They were never habitual sinners and when they fall short of the glory of God, they take time out to ask for forgiveness and correct immediately whatever led to the poisoning of their character.
They never stretched the grace of God in their lifes to an extent the spirit of God had to depart from them.
Now, take the popes above and make an unbiased comparism.
ur only assuming dat d holy spirit left dos popes because they sinned but u never assumed d spirit left d apostles who sinned as well. d article didnt say they never repented and even if they didnt, d church is d church of God not d popes, so He will continue to protect it from false teachings even when his popes are down. lastly d article never mentioned dat dose popes taught anything against God
Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by italo: 8:18am On Sep 09, 2013
@ Reyginus, it seems that you need some Bible lessons on the role and meaning of authority in doctrine.

Read what Jesus said in Matt 23:2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach."

Also John 11:49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”

51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one.

I'd advise you to read and meditate on those passages, instead of replying me hastily.
Re: 10 Worst Popes In History by urahara(m): 12:53am On Feb 15
vedaxcool:
Well truth be told, the Roman catholic church has quite an interesting history, when you r bored just go to wiki and u will read a whole pack filled of drama, thriller and sometimes horror! It reminds that the catholic church despite being one of the oldest best run organisation also have its period of nadir and the extent to which human frailty can bring the best and sometimes bad results!


grin grin grin

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