"The Roman Church has never erred, nor will it err to all eternity. No one may be considered a Catholic Christian who does not agree with the Catholic Church. No book is authoritative unless it has received the papal sanction..."
-- From the Dictatus of Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085)
"How much we have profited by the legend of Christ"
-- Pope Leo X
Chapter VII. Crimes Of The PopesFrom: Crimes of Christianity by G W Foote and J M Wheeler
WE now give a rapid summary of the crimes and vices with which many of the popes disgraced the chair of St. Peter; and before we conclude, the reader will see that every villainy the imagination can conceive has been practised by the vicegerents of God. Peculation, theft, cruelty, murder, fornication, adultery, and incest, not to mention still darker crimes, have all been notoriously committed by the supreme rulers of Christendom, who sat in the seat of infallibility, and claimed universal jurisdiction over the thoughts and consciences of mankind.
The mere existence of St. Peter and his deeds being unrecoverable, the stories about him based on mere midrash, myth, dogmatism, and forgery, the alleged historical foundation of apostolic succession via St. Peter is nothing but a joke.From: The Legend of Saint Peter: A Contribution to the Mythology of Christianity by Arthur Drews (Die Petruslegende).
See also: The Myth of Petrine Papacy
- Chapter VII - Crimes of the Popes and Chapter VI - The Rise of the Papacy of the book Crimes of Christianity by G W Foote and J M Wheeler
- Papal Impropriety
- About Pope Alexander VI
- Christian Hall of Shame at The Christian Heritage. It has entries on 5th century Leo I, 11th century Gregory VII and Urban II, 12th century Innocent III, 15th century Innocent VIII, 19th century Leo XIII and 20th century Popes Pius XI and his successor Pius XII.
- Papal Trivia and a little more insight into the various Popes can be found at The Rise of the Papacy
- The Papacy, which goes through many of the Popes of history
- Papal Princes
- Lives Of The Popes by Richard McBrien
- Sex lives of the Popes by Nigel Cawthorne
- The Incredible Book of Vatican Facts and Papal Curiosities: A Treasury of Trivia by Nino Lo Bello
- Vicars of Christ by Peter De Rosa
From the Library Journal review: The book cannot be faulted historically or stylistically, though most of the information including the most sordid can be found in the standard Roman Catholic sources.Therefore Roman Catholic sources are other places where such unpleasant information on past Popes can be obtained.
- The Oxford Dictionary of Popes by J. N. D. Kelly, Michael Walsh
- A Testament of Christian Civilization by Joseph McCabe, historian and former Franciscan monk.
- A World Lit Only By Fire - The Medieval Mind and The Renaissance by William Manchester
- Victor 189-198 Friends with imperial palace's lewdest concubine
- Callistus 217-222 Was previously jailed for embezzling bank money
- Marcellinus 296-304 This "Saint and martyr" was a non-martyr who had renounced Christianity.
- Damasus I 366-383 Adulterer and Saint, introduced the first heresy bull
- Sixtus III 432-440 Tried for seducing a nun
- Leo I 440-461 "A warped, sadistic torturer" and Saint, who brutally tortured Manichaeans
- Gregory I 590-604 Greatest slave owner of his century, also burnt libraries, and was the first Pope to sell relics
- Honorius I 625-638 First pope branded a heretic
- Leo III 795-816 Created a spiritual cesspool
- Stephen VII (also VI) 896-897 Mad pope who tried the corpse of his papal predecessor
- Sergius III 904-911 Murderer and paedophile who created a papal "pornocracy"
- John X 914-928 Murdered by lover's daughter
- John XI 931-935 Illegitimate son of Sergius III who spent his time with "beastly lewd women".
- John XII 955-963 Pope who created a "Lateran brothel". Convicted of incest, adultery and murder
- Benedict V 964-964 "The most iniquitous of all monsters" wrote Church historian Gilbert (later Pope Sylvester II)
- John XIII 965-972 A sadist and adulterer, killed by an enraged husband when caught in the act of adultery
- Benedict VI 973-974 Strangled "for his wickedness" by a priest
- Boniface VII 974-985 "A horrid monster" wrote Church historian Gilbert who later became Pope Sylvester II
- John XVI 998-1001 Wicked antipope who bought the throne
- John XVIII 1003-1003 Poisoned within seven months
- Benedict VIII 1012-1024 Adulterer, rapist and murderer who had assassinated his predecessor.
- Benedict IX 1032-1048 "Disgrace to Chair of Peter" -- Catholic Encyclopedia
- Sylvester III 1045-1045 Pope who had bribed his way into the papacy and was excommunicated
- Gregory VI 1045-1046 Found guilty of simony and was deposed
- Leo IX 1049-1054 A gay supporter (although this is a good thing, it isn't for a Catholic Pope)
- Gregory VII 1073-1085 With his mistress by his side, ordered priests to abandon their wives and become celibate. User and maker of fraudulent documents and Saint
- Victor III 1086-1087 Slept his way into the papacy. Beatified but not sainted yet
- Urban II 1088-1099 Saint Urban launched the First Crusade and introduced sex taxes for priests who had mistresses
- Anacletus 1130-1138 Incestuous Pope known for raping nuns
- Celestine II 1143-1144 "A brutal sadist"
- Celestine III 1191-1198 Denounced as a heretic by 16th century Pope Adrian VI
- Innocent III 1198-1216 Greedy Pope, launched the 30-year war (Crusades against heretics)
- Gregory IX 1227-1241 Launched the Inquisition
- Innocent IV 1243-1254 Nepotist who first approved torture
- Alexander IV 1254-1261 Officially sanctioned torture
- Nicholas III 1277-1280 Nepotist who profited from the Inquisition
- Boniface VIII 1294-1303 "One record of evil", whose body Pope Clement V had dug up and burnt as a heretic
- Clement V 1305-1314 Nepotist who persecuted the Templars
- John XXII 1316-1334 World's richest man, who extended the sex taxes to celibate clergy
- Benedict XII 1334-1342 Horrid to laity and clergy, a liar, drunkard and inquisitor
- Clement VI 1342-1352 Lived in extravagance with his mistress while people died of the Plague
- Urban VI 1378-1389 Warmonger who resorted to bribery and was poisoned
- Boniface IX 1389-1404 Simonist, nepotist and murderer
- Benedict XIII 1394-1417 Gave dispensation to England's Richard II (29) to marry the 7 year old daughter of the King of France.
- Alexander V 1406-1410 Glutton who died by poisoning
- John XXIII (the first) 1410-1415 Pleaded guilty to murder, adultery and incest
- Pius II 1458-1464 Wrote erotic novels before becoming Pope and as Pontiff had children
- Paul II 1464-1471 Paedophile
- Sixtus IV 1471-1484 This incestuous Pope was a nepotist who launched the Second Inquisition and had children
- Innocent VIII 1484-1492 "Golden age of Bastards" (16 children), launched persecutions against Waldensians and witches.
- Alexander VI 1492-1503 History's most notorious pope: incestuous, adulterous and murderous
- Julius II 1503-1513 Paedophile, who also had 3 children
- Leo X 1513-1521 Openly admitted Christ to be "a legend"
- Clement VII 1523-1534 Pope who bought the papacy and once had 8000 people (including children) slaughtered
- Paul III 1534-1549 Incestuous murderer, most vicious Papal persecutor of Protestants.
- Julius III 1550-1555 Incestuous paedophile
- Paul IV 1555-1559 Master torturer, nepotist and banner of books
- Urban VIII 1623-1644 The enemy of science, had Rome's Parthenon pillaged for parts
- Pius VII 1800-1823 Condemned Bible societies as destroying "the very foundation of religion".
- Pius IX 1846-1878 Anti-semite who was opposed to civil rights, beatified by John Paul II
- Pius XII 1939-1958 Hitler's Pope, whom John Paul II had intended to beatify
Why the recent Popes haven't been as vile as the earlier ones:
Since the Reformation the popes have been obliged to live more decently, or at least to conceal their vices instead of flaunting them before the world.From: Chapter VII Crimes of the Popes
-- Crimes of Christianity, by G W Foote and J M Wheeler
Popes and anti-Semitism
Popes have traditionally supported anti-Jewish acts and beliefs. Pope Paul IV in the sixteenth century established the Roman ghetto (another Catholic invention). For more than two centuries afterward, Catholics humiliated the Roman Jews and degraded them at the annual carnival. In the same century, Pope Gregory XIII instituted enforced Christian sermons insulting Judaism. [Cornwell, p. 299].Link
In a Papal custom Popes performed an anti-Jewish ceremony on their way to the basilica of St. John Lateran. Here the Pontiff would receive a copy of the Pentateuch from the hand of Rome's rabbi. The Pope then returned the text upside down with twenty pieces of gold, proclaiming that, while he respected the Law of Moses, he disapproved of the hard hearts of the Jewish race. [Cornwell, p. 27]
Anti-Semitism was, of course, not denounced until after the defeat of Nazism and WWII. See the section Vatican and Fascism in the 20th century.
See also: The Myth of Papal Infallibility, about the doctrine of Papal Infallibility that was introduced as recently as 1870.