The craziest popes in history

Doing crazy things is a fundamental part of life, of course it depends on the kind of craziness. Obviously, one cannot go beyond certain limits because it would no longer be healthy, but unhealthy and most certainly, although these madnesses satisfy those who desire them, they result in harming others and infringing on their rights. But in the case of the religious and specifically the supreme pontiff, they could also give free rein to their strangest follies?


Popes are known as the top leaders of the Catholic Church. They are elected by a cabinet formed by high hierarchs of that community, in a highly secretive meeting called “the Conclave”. There have been almost three hundred popes and one would think that they are saints and close to perfection, but the actions of many of them have made thousands of people in the world think otherwise. The following are the “the most deceitful popes in history”.

Sergius III

He was the 119th pope. He held this position from the year 904 until 911, the date of his death. It is believed that he had his two predecessors wiped off the map; as if that were not enough, he was the first to have an illegitimate son, who was named pope years later. Sergius was also known as “the slave of all vices”. His government was one of the saddest and most regrettable.

Julius II

He was the 216th pope. His period of activity began in 1503 and ended in 1513. His government was one of the most violent and it is said that he visited brothels every day. He is also known as the “warrior pope”; he was the first pontiff to suffer from syphilis and some sources indicate that because of this, on Good Friday 1508, the faithful could not kiss his feet, because they were full of purulent ulcers.

John XI

He was the 130th pontiff and his term was between 955 and 964. He was the illegitimate son of a powerful Roman politician. This pope is known as “the fornicator pope”, since it is rumored that his erotic appetite was insatiable and that he was intimate even with his sister. He was accused of having committed several terrible acts against several women.

Innocent IV

He was the 180th pontiff. His madness led him to commit several atrocities and he declared war on all those who did not believe in his God. He had a very serious delirium of persecution, which made him believe that all people practiced witchcraft and for this reason, he declared death sentence to all suspected of practicing magical arts.

Clement VI

Peter’s successor N°198. He was appointed in May 1342. He was known for squandering money and for his addiction to wine. He also frequented much younger women in brothels, where he contracted a severe venereal disease. He died in 1352.

Innocent VIII

His mandate began in 1484 and ended in 1492. He was the 213th pontiff and one of the promoters of the Holy Inquisition. His psychosis spread throughout Europe and he was responsible for the eradication of thousands of lives. In addition, he promoted the first witch hunt in history and fathered numerous illegitimate children.

Boniface VIII

He was the 193rd pope. He was known as “the terror of children”. It is believed that he maintained a relationship with a married woman and also with her daughter. In his period he had strong confrontations with some of the most relevant Spanish monarchs in history.

Sixtus IV

He was the pontiff in charge of ordering the construction of the Sistine Chapel. He was the 212th pope and it is believed that he charged taxes to the priests who had lovers and had to pay high sums of money for each woman with whom they had relations. This pope fathered 6 illegitimate children.

Stephen VI

He ordered the corpse of his predecessor to be disinterred so that he could be judged for treason. He himself sat him on one of the chairs of the church and cut off three of his fingers; then he threw the body into the streets, where the crowd trampled it underfoot. Finally, they burned it to throw it into the Tiber River.

The craziest popes in history
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Bibliography ►

phoneia.com (November 16, 2022). The craziest popes in history. Bogotá: E-Cultura Group. Recovered from https://phoneia.com/en/the-craziest-popes-in-history/