Art and Culture/Popes
The Pope (from Latin: papa, Papa, father) is the Bishop of Rome and the spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church. He is believed by Catholics to fulfill this role as the Successor of Saint Peter, also making him Vicar of Christ. The office of the Pope is called the Papacy; his ecclesiastical jurisdiction is called the Holy See or Apostolic See. Early bishops occupying the See of Rome were designated Vicar of Peter.
The Pope is also Head of State of the independent sovereign State of the Vatican City, a city-state and nation entirely enclaved by the city of Rome. Before 1870 the Pope's temporal authority extended over a large area of central Italy: the territory of the Papal States. The Papacy retained sovereign authority over the Papal States until the Italian unification of 1870; a final political settlement with the Italian government was not reached until the Lateran Treaty of 1929.
Antipope – a person who makes a widely accepted claim to be the lawful Pope, in opposition to the Pope recognized by the Roman Catholic Church.
Papal Bull – a special kind of patent or charter issued by a Pope. It is named after the seal (bulla) that was appended to the end to authenticate it.
See – from the Latin word sedes, meaning ‘seat’.
A new pope is elected in the Sistine Chapel by the College of Cardinals. It needs a two-thirds majority. White smoke emerges from Vatican chimney. “Habemus Papam” (‘we have a pope’) – cardinal announces election of new pope.
Tiara – ‘triple crown’, a symbol of the papacy though unworn.
Sedes Gestatoria – the papal throne.
Castel Gandolfo – Pope’s summer residence.
Urbi et Orbi, literally ‘to the City [of Rome] and to the World,’ was a standard opening of Roman proclamations. Nowadays the term is used to denote a papal document that is addressed to the City of Rome and to the entire world. The blessing takes place at each Easter and Christmas celebration in Rome at St. Peter's Square.
The Pope is known as al-Baba in Arabic.
Chronology with details of selected Popes
Peter (33–64/67): first Pope. Apostle of Jesus Christ from whom he received the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, according to Matthew 16:18–19. Executed by crucifixion upside-down; feast day (Feast of Saints Peter and Paul) 29 June. recognised by the Roman Catholic Church as the first Bishop of Rome appointed by Christ.
Linus (64/67 – 76/79): second Pope
Anacletus (79 – 92): third Pope
Pius I (140/142 – 155): decreed Easter should always be a Sunday.
Hippolytus (217–235): seems to have headed a schismatic group as a rival Bishop of Rome. For that reason he is sometimes considered the first antipope (during the reigns of Callixtus I (217–222) Urban I (222–230) and Pontian (230–235).
Pontian (230 – 235): first Pope to abdicate after being exiled to Sardinia Under the persecution at the time of Emperor Maximinus Thrax (together with Hippolytus – see above).
Sixtus II (257-258): Sixtus was the first Papal name was the first to be used more than once. He was martyred during the persecution by Emperor Valerian.
Miltiades (311 – 314): first Pope after the end of the persecution of Christians through the Edict of Milan (313 AD) issued by Constantine the Great. He presided over the Lateran council of 313.
Sylvester I (314 – 335): First Council of Nicaea (325) which establishing uniform observance of the date of Easter and promulgation of the Nicene Creed. Arianism declared a heresy.
Julius I (337 – 352): credited with splitting the birth of Christ into two distinct celebrations: The Epiphany stayed on the traditional date, and the Nativity was added on 25 December.
Liberius (352 – 366): earliest Pope not to be canonized by Roman Catholic Church.
Damasus I (366 - 384): a patron of St Jerome, he commissioned the Vulgate translation of the Bible. The Council of Rome (382) issued a list of canonical books of the Bible.
Innocent I (401 – 417): in Rome during its sack by Alaric (410).
Leo I (460 – 461): convinced Attila the Hun to turn back his invasion of Italy.
Gelasius I (492 – 496): the last pope to have been born on the continent of Africa. The first pope called the "Vicar of Christ".
John II (533 – 535): the first pope not to use his personal name, which was Mercurius (a pagan god Mercury).
Silverius (536 – 537): he was a legitimate son of Pope Hormisdas (514 – 523), born before his father entered the priesthood.
Gregory I (590 – 604): was known as Gregory the Great. The first formally to employ the titles “Servus Servorum Dei” and “Pontifex Maximus”. He established the Gregorian chant. He is known as "the Father of Christian Worship" and his writings include “Commentary on Job”. Famous quote: “Non Angli sed Angeli” – "They are not Angles, but angels". Aphorism, summarizing words reported to have been spoken by Gregory when he first encountered pale-skinned English boys at a slave market, sparking his dispatch of St. Augustine of Canterbury to England to convert the English, according to Bede.
Boniface IV (608 - 615): first pope to bear the same name as his immediate predecessor.
Adeodatus I (615 – 618): also called Deodatus I. He was the first pope to use lead seals (bullae) on papal documents, which in time came to be called "papal bulls".
Honorius I (625 – 638): brought the Irish Easter celebrations in line with the rest of the Catholic Church. More than forty years after his death, he was named a heretic and anathematized by the Third Council of Constantinople (First Trullan) in 680 because he favoured Monothelitism.
Theodore I (642 – 649): although considered a Greek, he was born in Jerusalem and is the last pope from Palestine. He planned the Lateran Council of 649 but died before it could open.
Martin I (649 – 655): He was the only pope during the Byzantine Papacy whose election was not approved by a “iussio” from Constantinople. Very energetic in publishing the decrees of the Lateran Council of 649, he was abducted on the orders of Emperor Constans II, died at Cherson and is the last pope considered to be a martyr.
Gregory III (731 – 741): born in Syria, he was the last non-European Pope until the election of Pope Francis in 2013.
Pope-elect Stephen II was a Roman priest elected pope in 752 to succeed Zachary; he died of a stroke a few days later, before being ordained a bishop - the Vatican sanctioned his addition in the sixteenth century; removed in 1961. He is no longer considered a pope by the Catholic Church. The numbering of Pope Stephens is therefore open to dispute
Leo III (795 – 816): crowned Charlemagne Imperator Augustus on Christmas Day, 800, thereby initiating what would become the office of Holy Roman Emperor requiring the imprimatur of the pope for its legitimacy.
Pope Joan is the name of a legendary female Pope who supposedly reigned for less than three years in the 850s, between the Papacies of Leo IV (847–855) and Benedict III (855–858). Pope Joan is regarded by most modern historians as fictitious.
Formosus (891 – 896): after his death his remains were exhumed and put on trial in the notorious Cadaver Synod.
Cadaver Synod (897): a trial conducted by the successor, Pope Stephen (VI) VII, to Formosus's successor, Pope Boniface VI. Stephen accused Formosus of perjury and of having acceded to the papacy illegally. At the end of the trial, Formosus was pronounced guilty and his papacy retroactively declared null. The corpse had three fingers of its right hand cut off – those used in life for blessings, formally invalidating all of Formosus's acts and ordinations (including, ironically, Stephen’s own). The body was eventually thrown into the River Tiber.
Sergius III (904 – 911): reputedly ordered the murder of his two immediate predecessors, Leo V and Christopher, and was the only pope to have allegedly fathered an illegitimate son who later became pope (John XI). He was the first pope to be depicted with the Papal Tiara.
Saeculum obscurum (Latin: the Dark Age): the period in the history of the Papacy during the first half of the 10th century, beginning with the installation of Pope Sergius III in 904 and lasting for sixty years until the death of Pope John XII in 964. During this period, the Popes were influenced strongly by a powerful and corrupt aristocratic family, the Theophylacti, and their relatives.
John XII (955 – 964): possibly aged c. 18 (exact age is uncertain) at the time of his accession (youngest pope?). He issued his directives under his birth-name of Octavianus, while in all matters relating to the Church, he issued papal bulls and other material under his pontifical name of John.
Benedict V (22 May - 23 June 964): in opposition to Pope Leo VIII. He was overthrown by emperor Otto I.
Leo VIII (23 June 964 – 965): an antipope from 963 to 964, in opposition to Pope John XII and Pope Benedict V. He was an appointee of the Holy Roman Emperor, Otto I.
Benedict VI (973 – 974): led by Crescentius the Elder and the Cardinal-Deacon Franco Ferrucci, Benedict was imprisoned in the Castel Sant'Angelo, and Ferrucci was then proclaimed as the new pope, taking the name Boniface VII. Boniface ordered a priest named Stephen to murder Benedict whilst he was in prison, strangling him to death.
Boniface VII (an antipope 974 (see above) and 984 – 985): fled to Constantinople in 974 and returned in 984 when he removed Pope John XIV (983 – 984) and had him put in prison, where he died. After a brief rule from 984 to 985, he died under suspicious circumstances, after which his body was dragged through the streets, stripped naked and left beneath Marcus Aurelius’s statue in front of the Lateran Palace.
John XIV (983 - 984) (see above): by the 13th century, clerical authorities in the Vatican came to wrongly believe that there were two John XIVs and began to double-count John XIV accordingly. This led to a pope calling himself John XXI, instead of John XX, in 1276.
John XV (985 - 996): in 993, he was the first pope to proclaim a saint. At the request of the German ruler, he canonized Bishop Ulrich of Augsburg on 31 January 993. Before that time, saint cults had been local and spontaneous.
Gregory V (996 – 999): first German pope.
Sylvester II (999 – 1003): first French pope.
Sylvester III (20 January - 10 February 1045): Pope Benedict IX was driven from Rome in September 1044 and Sylvester III was elected in January 1045. Benedict IX issued an excommunication of the new Pope and within three months returned to Rome and expelled his rival. Though some consider him to have been an antipope, Sylvester III continues to be listed as an official Pope (1045) in Vatican lists. A similar situation applies to Pope Gregory VI (1045–1046).
Benedict IX (Pope on three occasions between October 1032 and July 1048): aged approximately 20 at his first election, he is one of the youngest popes in history. He is the only man to have been Pope on more than one occasion and the only man ever to have sold the papacy. Benedict is usually recognized as having had three terms as pope:
· the first lasting from his election to his expulsion in favour of Sylvester III (October 1032 – September 1044)
· the second from his return to his selling the papacy to Gregory VI (April – May 1045)
· the third from his return after the death of Clement II to the advent of Damasus II (November 1047 – July 1048)
Leo IX (1049 – 1054): his citing of the Donation of Constantine in a letter to the Patriarch of Constantinople brought about the Great Schism between the Catholic and Orthodox churches. In 1054, mutual excommunications of Leo IX and Patriarch of Constantinople Michael I Cerularius began the East–West Schism. The anathematisations were rescinded by Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras in 1965.
Nicholas II (1059 – 1061): in 1059 the College of Cardinals was designated the sole body of pope electors in the document “In nomine Domini” (Papal conclave).
Alexander II (1061 – 1073): authorized the Norman conquest of England
Gregory VII (1073 – 1085): declared the term ‘Pope’ to be reserved for the Bishop of Rome.
Investiture Controversy: began as a power struggle between Pope Gregory VII (1072–85) and Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor (1056–1106). A brief but significant struggle over investiture also occurred between Henry I of England and Pope Paschal II in the years 1103 to 1107. The conflict ended in 1122, when Emperor Henry V and Pope Calixtus II agreed on the Concordat of Worms. It differentiated between the royal and spiritual powers and gave the emperors a limited role in selecting bishops.
Walk to Canossa: sometimes called the Humiliation of Canossa, refers to the trek of Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV from Speyer to Canossa Castle in Emilia Romagna to obtain the revocation of the excommunication imposed on him by the Pope Gregory VII. He was forced to humiliate himself on his knees waiting for three days and three nights, before the entrance gate of the castle, while a blizzard raged in January 1077.
Urban II (1088 – 1099): preached at Clermont in 1095 and initiated the first crusade.
Callixtus II (1119 – 1124): opened the First Council of the Lateran.
Honorius II (1124 – 1130): approved the new military order of the Knights Templar in 1128.
Innocent II (1130 – 1143): convened the Second Council of the Lateran in 1139.
Eugene III (1145 – 1153): the first Cistercian to become Pope. He initiated the Second Crusade.
Adrian IV (Nicolas Breakspear) (1154 – 1159): first and to date only English pope.
Alexander III (1159 – 1181): laid the foundation stone for Notre-Dame de Paris and opened the Third Council of the Lateran.
Gregory VIII (25 October - 17 December 1187, 57 days): issued the papal bull “Audita tremendi” calling for the Third Crusade.
Innocent III (1198 – 1216): convened the Fourth Council of the Lateran in 1215. Initiated the Fourth Crusade but later distanced himself from it and threatened participants with excommunication when it became clear that the leadership abandoned a focus on conquest of the Holy Land and instead intended to sack Christian cities.
Honorius III (1216 – 1227): the Fifth Crusade was endorsed by the Fourth Lateran Council and Honorius started preparations for the crusade to begin in 1217.
Gregory IX (1227 – 1241): known for instituting the Papal Inquisition in 1233, a mechanism that severely punished people accused of heresy. He endorsed the Northern Crusades and attempts to conquer Orthodox Russia (particularly the Pskov Republic and the Novgorod Republic).
Celestine IV (25 October - 10 November 1241): died before coronation.
Innocent IV (1243 – 1254): sent an envoy to the "Emperor of the Tartars". The message asked the Mongol ruler to become a Christian and stop his aggression against Europe. The Khan Güyük replied in 1246 in a letter written in Persian that still rests in the Vatican Library, demanding the submission of the Pope and the other rulers of Europe. He convened the First Council of Lyons (1245) and issued the bull “Ad extirpanda” that permitted the torture of heretics (1252).
Urban IV (1261 – 1264): instituted the feast of Corpus Christi.
Interregnum (1268 – 1271): almost 3 year period without a valid pope elected.
Gregory X (1271 – 1276): summoned the Second Council of Lyons in 1274 and is responsible for the papal bull which was subsequently incorporated into the code of canon law that regulated all conclaves for papal elections until the reforms of Pope Paul VI in the twentieth century.
Innocent V (21 January - 22 June 1276): first pope from the Dominican Order.
John XXI (1276 – 1277): the only Portuguese pope, although Damasus I (366 – 384, see above) can also be considered Portuguese, as he was born in territory that is nowadays in Portugal. He was also the only pope to have been a physician. Because he decided to skip the number XX, the previous pope named John was Pope John XIX (1024–32). Pope John XXI is technically the 20th actual Pope John.
Celestine V (5 July - 13 December 1294): the first pope to abdicate, stating his desire to return to his humble, pre-papal life. The next Pope to resign of his own accord was Pope Benedict XVI in 2013, 719 years later.
Boniface VIII (1294 – 1303): he organized the first Roman Catholic "jubilee" year to take place in Rome and declared that both spiritual and temporal power were under the pope's jurisdiction, and that kings were subordinate to the power of the Roman pontiff. Today, he is probably best remembered for his feuds with Dante Alighieri, who placed the pope in the Eighth Circle of Hell in his Divine Comedy, among the simoniacs.
Avignon Papacy was the period from 1309 (Clement V) to 1377 (Gregory XI) during which seven popes, all French, resided in Avignon rather than Rome.
Among the popes who resided in Avignon, subsequent Catholic historiography grants legitimacy to these:
Clement V (1305 – 1314): Curia moved to Avignon on 9 March 1309. He suppressed the order of the Knights Templar.
John XXII (1316 – 1334)
Benedict XII (1334 – 1342)
Clement VI (1342 – 1352): reigned during the Black Death and absolved those who died of it of their sins.
Innocent VI (1352 – 1362)
Urban V (1362 – 1370) (in Rome 1367-1370; returned to Avignon 1370)
Gregory XI (1370 – 1378) (left Avignon to return to Rome on 13 September 1376)
Robert of Geneva was elected to the papacy in 1378 as (Anti-) Pope Clement VII by the French cardinals who opposed Urban VI, and was the first Avignon antipope of the Western Schism.
The period from 1378 to 1417, when there were rival claimants to the title of pope, is referred to as the "Western Schism" or "the great controversy of the antipopes" by some Roman Catholic scholars and "the second great schism" by many secular and Protestant historians. Parties within the Roman Church were divided in their allegiance among the various claimants to the office of pope. The Council of Constance finally resolved the controversy in 1417 when the election of Pope Martin V was accepted by all.
The two Avignon-based antipopes were:
Clement VII: 1378–1394
Benedict XIII: 1394–1423 (expelled from Avignon in 1403)
Benedict XIII was succeeded by three antipopes, who had little or no public following, and were not resident at Avignon:
Clement VIII: 1423–1429 (recognized in the Kingdom of Aragon; abdicated)
Benedict XIV (Bernard Garnier): 1424–1429 or 1430
Benedict XIV (Jean Carrier): 1430?–1437
Other (two selected) Antipopes:
Alexander V (1409 – 1410): antipope during the Western Schism
John XXIII (1410 – 1415): antipope during the Western Schism. He was accused of piracy, rape, sodomy, murder and incest. He should not be confused with Pope John XXIII of the twentieth century. When Angelo Roncalli was elected pope in 1958, there was some confusion as to whether he would be John XXIII or John XXIV; he then declared that he was John XXIII to put this question to rest. There was no John XX
Urban VI (1378 - 1389): last pontiff to be elected outside the College of Cardinals.
Martin V (1417 – 1431): his election effectively ended the Western Schism. He initiated the Hussite Wars.
Callixtus III (1455 – 1458): born Alfonso di Borgio, uncle of Rodrigo (see below), he was the first Spanish pope and Borgia pope. He excommunicated the 1456 apparition of Halley's Comet believing it to be an ill omen for the Christian defenders of Belgrade from the besieging armies of the Ottoman Empire. He ordered the retrial of Joan of Arc, in which she was vindicated.
Sixtus IV (1471 – 1484): he commissioned the Sistine Chapel. He authorised an Inquisition targeting converted Jewish Christians in Spain at the request of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand.
Innocent VIII (1484 – 1492): in 1487 he confirmed Tomas de Torquemada as Grand Inquisitor of Spain. He endorsed the prosecution of witchcraft in the bull “Summis desiderantes affectibus” (1484).
Alexander VI (1492 – 1503): born Rodrigo Borgia, is the most controversial of the secular popes of the Renaissance and one whose surname became a byword for the debased standards of the papacy of that era. He was the last pope to admit to having children. He was the nephew of Callixtus III and the father to Cesare Borgia and Lucrezia Borgia. He divided the extra-European world between Spain and Portugal in the bull “Inter caetera” (“amongst other things”)(1493). There was no Alexander V due to the antipope.
Julius II (1503 – 1513): nephew of Sixtus IV. He convened the Fifth Council of the Lateran (1512) and took control of all the Papal States for the first time. He commissioned Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling and proposed plans for rebuilding St Peter's Basilica, laying the foundation stone in 1506. He excommunicated Venice in 1509.
Leo X (1513 – 1521): he was the son of Lorenzo de’ Medici (the Magnificent). He closed the Fifth Council of the Lateran. He is remembered for granting indulgences to those who donated to rebuild St. Peter's Basilica. He excommunicated Martin Luther (1521) and made Henry VIII ‘Defender of the Faith’. He extended the Spanish Inquisition into Portugal.
Adrian VI (1522 – 1523): the only Dutch pope; last non-Italian to be elected pope until John Paul II in 1978.
Clement VII (1523–1534) – born Guilio de Medici, he was the cousin of Leo X. During his reign Rome was plundered by imperial troops (1527). He forbade the divorce of Henry VIII from Catherine of Aragon and crowned Charles V as emperor at Bologna (1530). He ordered Michelangelo's painting of The Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel.
Paul III (1534 – 1549): he convened the Council of Trent in 1545. It is to Pope Paul III that Nicolaus Copernicus dedicated “De revolutionibus orbium coelestium” (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres). His illegitimate son became the first Duke of Parma. He decreed the second and final excommunication of Henry VIII. He appointed Michelangelo to supervise construction of St. Peter's Basilica in 1546.
The Council of Trent is the Nineteenth Ecumenical Council of the Catholic Church. It was convened three times between 1545 (by Paul III) and 1563 in the city of Trent as a response to the theological and ecclesiological challenges of the Protestant Reformation.
Marcellus II (9 April - 1 May 1555, 22 days) was the last pope to use his birth name as the regnal name.
Paul IV (1555 – 1559): established the Index of Forbidden Books. He ordered Michelangelo to repaint the nudes of The Last Judgment modestly.
Pius V (1566 – 1572): excommunicated Elizabeth I in 1570 and pope at the time of the Battle of Lepanto (1571).
Gregory XIII (1572 – 1585): he is best known for commissioning and being the namesake for the Gregorian calendar, which remains the internationally accepted civil calendar to this day.
Gregorian calendar: a modification of the Julian calendar, it was first proposed by the Calabrian doctor Aloysius Lilius, and was decreed by Pope Gregory XIII, for whom it was named, in 1582 via the papal bull “Inter gravissimas”. It was introduced in UK in 1752.
Sixtus V (1585 – 1590): excommunicated Henry of Navarre (future Henry IV of France).
Urban VII (15 - 27 September 1590): his thirteen (or twelve!)-day papacy was the shortest in history.
Leo XI (1 - 27 April 1605): He was called Papa Lampo ("Lightning Pope") because his papacy was so short (27 days).
Paul V (1605 – 1621) excommunicated the entire government of Venice and placed an interdict on the city in 1606.
Urban VIII (1623 – 1644): he was the last pope to expand the papal territory by force of arms. He was also involved in a controversy with Galileo and his theory on heliocentrism and put him on trial. He was a patron of Bernini and the founder of Sisters of Mercy.
Innocent X (1644 – 1655): the subject of “Portrait of Innocent X”, a famous painting by Diego Velázquez which inspired the "Screaming Pope" paintings by Francis Bacon.
Clement X (1670 – 1676): Canonized the first saint from the Americas: Saint Rose of Lima (1671).
Innocent XI (1676 – 1689): Believed to have secretly funded William III's Glorious Revolution to overthrow James II (James supported Louis XIV who was continually at loggerheads with the Papacy).
Clement XI (1700 – 1721): authorized excavations of the Roman catacombs. He was of Italian and Albanian origin.
Benedict XIII (1724 – 1730): originally called Benedict XIV due to the antipope but reverted to XIII. He repealed the worldwide tobacco smoking ban set by Urban VII and Urban VIII.
Clement XII (1730 – 1740): commissioned the Trevi Fountain (1732).
Clement XIII (1758 – 1769): provided the famous fig leaves on nude male statues in the Vatican.
Clement XIV (1769 – 1774): he is best known for his suppression of the Society of Jesus.
Pius VI (1775 – 1799): he condemned the French Revolution; expelled from the Papal States by French troops from 1798 until his death one year later in Valence.
Pius VII (1800 – 1823): present at Napoleon's coronation as Emperor of the French (where Napoleon crowned himself). He was expelled from the Papal States by the French between 1809 and 1814. Restored the Jesuits (see Clement XIV above).
Pius IX (1846 – 1878): he was the longest-reigning elected pope in the history of the Catholic Church – over 31 years. During his pontificate, he convened the First Vatican Council (1869–70), which decreed papal infallibility, but the council was cut short due to the loss of the Papal States, which fell completely to the Italian army in 1870 and were incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy. After this, he was referred to – chiefly by himself – as the "Prisoner of the Vatican".
The most famous for the Marian apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes is said to have occurred in 1858 to Bernadette Soubirous.
Leo XIII (1878 – 1903): Pope at the turn of the 20th century.
Pius X (1903 – 1914): canonised in 1954
Benedict XV (1914 – 1922): credited for intervening for peace during World War I.
Our Lady of Fátima is a title referring to the Virgin Mary, based on apparitions reported to be experienced by three shepherd children at Fátima. The three children were Lúcia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto. The Virgin Mary is said to have entrusted the children with three secrets. Two of the secrets were revealed in 1941 in a document written by Lúcia, at the request of José Alves Correia da Silva, Bishop of Leiria, to assist with the publication of a new edition of a book on Jacinta. In October 1943 the Bishop ordered her to put the third secret in writing. She wrote the secret down and sealed it in an envelope not to be opened until 1960, when "it will appear clearer”. The text of the third secret was officially released by Pope John Paul II in 2000, although some claim that it was not the entire secret revealed by Lúcia, despite repeated assertions from the Vatican to the contrary. Six popes — Pius XII, John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI — have supported the Fátima messages as supernatural.
Pius XI (1922 – 1939): the first sovereign of Vatican City from its creation as an independent state on 11 February 1929. He signed the Lateran Treaty.
The Lateran Treaty, also called the Lateran Pacts of 1929, are three agreements made in 1929 between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See.
They consisted of three documents:
1. A political treaty recognizing the full sovereignty of the Holy See in the State of Vatican City, which was thereby established
2. A concordat regulating the position of the Catholic Church and the Catholic religion in the Italian state
3. .A financial convention agreed on as a definitive settlement of the claims of the Holy See following the losses of its territories and property
Pius XII (1939 – 1958): Pope during WWII, he has a controversial reputation and conflicting evidence regarding his attitude to Nazi Germany, including allegations of public silence and inaction about the fate of the Jews.
John XXIII (born Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, 1958 – 1963): he was the first pope to take the pontifical name of "John" upon election in more than 500 years, and his choice settled the complicated question of official numbering attached to this papal name due to the antipope of this name. He called the Second Ecumenical Council (aka Vatican II). It opened under Pope John XXIII in 1962 and closed under Pope Paul VI in 1965.
Paul VI (born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini, 1963 – 1978): “Humanae Vitae” (Latin for ‘Of Human Life’) is an encyclical written by and promulgated in 1968. Subtitled ‘On the Regulation of Birth’, it re-affirms the traditional teaching of the Roman Catholic Church regarding abortion and contraception. He visited Uganda in 1969, the first papal visit to Africa.
John Paul I (born Albino Luciani, 26 August - 28 September 1978, 33 days). His reign is among the shortest in papal history, resulting in the most recent Year of Three Popes, the first to occur since 1605.
John Paul II (born Karol Józef Wojtyła, 1978 – 2005): first Polish Pope, he was the first non-Italian pope since the Dutch Pope Adrian VI (1522 – 1523). Canonised more saints than all his predecessors. During his pontificate, Pope John Paul II made trips to 129 countries, travelling more than 1,100,000 kilometres (680,000 mi) while doing so. In 1982 he became the first pope to visit Britain. He composed the poem “Roman Triptych”.
An attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II took place on 13 May 1981 in St. Peter's Square. The Pope was shot and wounded by Mehmet Ali Ağca while he was entering the square. The Pope was struck four times, and suffered severe blood loss. Ağca was apprehended immediately, and later sentenced to life in prison by an Italian court. The Pope later forgave Ağca for the assassination attempt. He was pardoned by Italian president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi at the Pope's request and was deported to Turkey in June 2000.
Benedict XVI (born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, 2005 – 2013): on 11 February 2013, Benedict announced his resignation, citing a "lack of strength of mind and body" due to his advanced age. His resignation became effective on 28 February 2013. He is the first pope to resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415, and the first to do so on his own initiative since Pope Celestine V in 1294. He is known as Pope Emeritus.
Francis (2013 - ): Jorge Mario Bergoglio. He is the first pope to be born outside Europe since Gregory III (731 – 741) and the first from the Americas; first pope from the Southern Hemisphere. He is the first religious pope since Gregory XVI (1831 – 1846) and the first Jesuit pope. He is the first to use a new and non-composed regnal name since Lando (913 – 914). He is the 266th pope.