List of popes

List of popes

While the term "Pope" (Latin: "papa" "father'") is used in several Churches to denote their high spiritual leaders ("e.g." Coptic Pope), this title in English usage can by itself refer to the head of the Catholic Church. The title itself has been used officially by the head of the Catholic Church since the tenure of Pope Siricius, although it has been first used by the Copts centuries earlier.

Hermannus Contractus may have been the first historian to number the popes continuously. His list ends in 1049 with Pope Leo IX as number 154; on that basis, the current Pope Benedict XVI would be the 267th pope.

This article comprises lists of Popes of the Catholic Church.

There is no official list of popes, however the "Annuario Pontificio", published every year by the Vatican, contains a list that is generally considered to be the most authoritative. Its list is the one given here. The "Annuario Pontificio" list gives Benedict XVI as the 265th pope of Rome.

Several changes have been made in the list during the 20th century. Antipope Christopher was considered legitimate for a long time. Pope-elect Stephen was considered legitimate under the name "Stephen II" until the 1961 edition and erased then. Although these changes are no longer controversial, a number of modern lists still include this "first Pope Stephen II". It is probable that this is because they are based on the 1913 edition of the Catholic Encyclopaedia, which is in the public domain.

The Latin "Episcopus Romanus" translates as "Bishop of Rome".

Chronological list of popes

1st-5th Centuries

1st Century

4th Century

7th Century

10th Century

13th Century

16th-20th Centuries

16th Century

19th Century

Ages of popes

Youngest popes

The data to determine the age and dates of birth of the youngest Popes is frequently unavailable, as Popes have generally been elected at older ages in modern times. The youngest Pope was probably either Pope Benedict IX (who became Pope at an unknown age between 11 and 20) or Pope John XII (who was 18 at the beginning of his papacy).

Religious Orders

33 popes have been members of religious orders. These have included:
* 16 Benedictines (Gregory I, Boniface IV, Adeodatus II, Leo IV, John IX, Leo VII, Stephen IX, Gregory VII, Victor III, Urban II, Gelasius II, Celestine IV, Nicholas III, Celestine V, Urban V, and Pius VII)
* 5 Dominicans (Innocent V, Benedict XI, Nicholas V, Pius V, and Benedict XIII)
* 4 Cistercians (Paschal II, Eugene III, Gregory X, and Benedict XII)
* 3 Franciscans (Nicholas IV, Sixtus IV, and Julius II)
* 2 Augustinians (Adrian IV and Eugene IV)
* 2 Conventual Franciscans (Sixtus V and Clement XIV)
* and 1 Camaldolese (Gregory XVI)

Notes on numbering of popes

A number of anomalies in the list given above need further explanation:
* Felix II (356-357), Boniface VII (974, 984-985), John XVI (997-998), Benedict X (1058-1059) and Alexander V (1409-1410) are not listed because they are considered antipopes.
*The numbering of popes named Felix has been amended to omit antipope Felix II. However, most lists still call the last two Felixes Felix III and Felix IV. Additionally, there was an antipope Felix V.
* There has never been a pope John XX as a result of confusion of the numbering system in the 11th century.
* Pope-elect Stephen, who died before being consecrated, has not been on the Vatican's official list of popes since 1961, but appears on lists dating from before 1960. The numbering of following popes called "Stephen" are nowadays given as Pope Stephen II to Pope Stephen IX, rather than Stephen III to Stephen X.
* When Simon de Brion became pope in 1281, he chose to be called "Martin". At that time, Marinus I and Marinus II were mistakenly considered to be Martin II and Martin III respectively, and so, erroneously, Simon de Brion became Pope Martin IV.
* Pope Donus II, said to have reigned about 974, never existed. The belief resulted from the confusion of the title "dominus" (lord) with a proper name. (Pope Joan also probably never existed; however, legends about her may have originated from stories about the pornocracy.)
* The status of Antipope John XXIII was uncertain for hundreds of years, and was finally settled in 1958 when Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli announced his own name as John XXIII. Baldassare Cossa, who was Antipope John XXIII, served as a Cardinal of the reunited church before his death in 1419 and his remains are found in the Battistero di San Giovanni (Florence).

ee also

* List of antipopes
* Liber Pontificalis
* List of sexually active popes
* List of popes by length of reign
* Prophecy of the Popes
* List of German popes
* List of French popes
* African popes
* Links between popes
* Graphical list of popes


*John N.D. Kelly, "The Oxford Dictionary of Popes", Oxford University Press, 1986.
*AA.VV., "Enciclopedia dei Papi", Istituto dell'Enciclopedia italiana, 2000.
*Pontificia Amministrazione della Patriarcale Basilica di San Paolo, "I Papi. Venti secoli di storia", Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2002.

External links

* []
* [ Catholic Encyclopedia]
* [ Giga-Catholic Information]
* [ Popes & Anti-Popes]

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