List of popes

Plaque commemorating the popes buried in St. Peter's (their names in Latin and the year of their burial)

This chronological list of popes corresponds to that given in the Annuario Pontificio under the heading "I Sommi Pontefici Romani" (The Supreme Pontiffs of Rome), excluding those that are explicitly indicated as antipopes. Published every year by the Roman Curia, the Annuario Pontificio no longer identifies popes by regnal number, stating that it is impossible to decide which pope represented the legitimate succession at various times.[1] The 2001 edition of the Annuario Pontificio introduced "almost 200 corrections to its existing biographies of the popes, from St Peter to John Paul II". The corrections concerned dates, especially in the first two centuries, birthplaces and the family name of one pope.[2]

The term pope (Latin: papa, lit. 'father') is used in several churches to denote their high spiritual leaders (for example Coptic pope). This title in English usage usually refers to the head of the Catholic Church. The Catholic pope uses various titles by tradition, including Summus Pontifex, Pontifex Maximus, and Servus servorum Dei. Each title has been added by unique historical events and unlike other papal prerogatives, is not incapable of modification.[3]

Hermannus Contractus may have been the first historian to number the popes continuously. His list ends in 1049 with Leo IX as number 154. Several changes were made to the list during the 20th century. Christopher was considered a legitimate pope for a long time. Pope-elect Stephen was listed as Stephen II until the 1961 edition, when his name was removed. The decisions of the Council of Pisa (1409) were reversed in 1963 in a reinterpretation of the Western Schism, extending Gregory XII's pontificate to 1415 and classifying rival claimants Alexander V and John XXIII as antipopes.

A significant number of these popes have been recognized as saints, including 48 out of the first 50 consecutive popes, and others are in the sainthood process. Of the first 31 popes, 28 died as martyrs (see List of murdered popes).

Chronological list of popes

1st millennium

2nd millennium

3rd millennium



  1. ^ Now Bethsaida, Galilee, Israel.
  2. ^ Now Volterra, Italy.
  3. ^ a b c Now Athens, Greece.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Now Rome, Italy.
  5. ^ Now Bethlehem, Israel.
  6. ^ a b Now Aquileia, Italy.
  7. ^ Now Homs, Syria.
  8. ^ Nicopolis is now a Roman ruin near the city of Preveza, Greece.
  9. ^ It is not clear when Pope Victor I was born, and where he was born, although some[7] suggest he was born in Leptis Magna, now a part of Libya.

Religious orders

51 popes and 6 antipopes (in italics) have been members of religious orders, including 12 members of third orders. They are listed by order as follows:

Numbering of popes

Regnal numbers follow the usual convention for European monarchs. Popes with unique names are not identified by ordinals. Antipopes are treated as pretenders, and their numbers are reused by those considered to be legitimate popes. However, there are anomalies in the numbering of the popes. Several numbers were mistakenly increased in the Middle Ages because the records were misunderstood. Several antipopes were also kept in the sequence, either by mistake or because they were previously considered to be true popes.

  • Alexander: Antipope Alexander V (1409–1410) was listed in the Annuario Pontificio as a legitimate pope until the 20th century,[39] when the Pisan popes were reclassified as antipopes. There had already been three more Alexanders by then, so there is now a gap in the numbering sequence.
  • Donus: The name has only been used by one pope. The apocryphal Pope Donus II resulted from confusion between the Latin word dominus (lord) and the name Donus.
  • Felix: Antipope Felix II (356–357) was kept in the numbering sequence.[40]
  • John: The numbering of the Johns is particularly confused. In the modern sequence, the Johns are identified by the numbers they used during their reigns.
    • Antipope John XVI (997–998) was kept in the numbering sequence.
    • Pope John XXI (1276–1277) chose to skip the number XX, believing that there had been another John between XIV and XV. In reality, John XIV had been counted twice.[41]
    • By the 16th century, the numbering error had been conflated with legends about a female Pope Joan, whom some authors called John VIII. She was never listed in the Annuario Pontificio.[42]
    • Antipope John XXIII (1410–1415) was listed in the Annuario Pontificio as a legitimate pope until the 20th century.[39] John XXIII became an antipope when Pope John XXIII (1958–1963) chose to reuse the number, citing "twenty-two [sic] Johns of indisputable legitimacy."[43]
  • Martin: Pope Martin I (649–655) is followed by Martin IV (1281–1285). Due to the similarity between the Latin names Marinus and Martinus, Marinus I and Marinus II were mistakenly considered to be Martin II and III.[44]
  • Stephen: Pope-elect Stephen (752) died before being consecrated. He was previously known as Stephen II, but the Vatican removed him from the official list of popes in 1961.[41] The remaining Stephens are now numbered Pope Stephen II (752–757) to Pope Stephen IX (1057–1058).

Those who adhere to sedevacantism say that there have been no legitimate popes since Pius XII or John XXIII. This is because they consider all popes since the Second Vatican Council to be heretics.[45][46]

See also


Specific citations

  1. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2012 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2012 ISBN 978-88-209-8722-0), p. 12*
  2. ^ "Corrections Made to Official List of Popes". ZENIT. 5 June 2001. Archived from the original on 19 January 2009. Retrieved 21 October 2008.
  3. ^ "Papal Primacy of honour: titles and insignia". 1 June 1911. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  4. ^ a b Fahlbusch, Erwin; et al., eds. (2005). "Pope, Papacy". Evangelisches Kirchenlexikon [The encyclopedia of Christianity]. 4. Translated by Bromiley, Geoffrey William. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. pp. 272–282. ISBN 978-0-8028-2416-5. Retrieved 7 September 2011.
  5. ^ Against Heresies 3:3.3
  6. ^ The fourth pope Discussed in the article on Clement I
  7. ^ Fisher, Max (13 March 2013). "WorldViews Sorry, Jorge Mario Bergoglio is not the first non-European pope". The Washington Post. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  8. ^ Mcbrien, Richard P. (31 October 2006). The Pocket Guide to the Popes. HarperCollins. pp. 30–31. ISBN 978-0-06-113773-0. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  9. ^ "The Chronography of 354 AD. Part 13: Bishops of Rome". pp. from Theosodr Mommsen, MGH Chronica Minora I (1892), pp.73–6. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  10. ^ "OCA – St Liberius the Pope of Rome". Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  11. ^ "Saint Siricius".
  12. ^ a b c "Papal Timeline". 2005. Archived from the original on 20 July 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  13. ^ Deno John Geanakoplos (15 September 1989). Constantinople and the West: essays on the late Byzantine (Palaeologan) and Italian Renaissances and the Byzantine and Roman churches. Univ of Wisconsin Press. pp. 263–. ISBN 978-0-299-11884-6. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  14. ^ "Blessed Eugene III". Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  15. ^ For the dates of death of Clement III and the election of Celestine III see Katrin Baaken: Zu Wahl, Weihe und Krönung Papst Cölestins III. Deutsches Archiv für Erforschung des Mittelalters Volume 41 / 1985, pp. 203–211
  16. ^ Philip Hughes, "Innocent III & the Latin East," History of the Church, vol. 2, p. 371, Sheed & Ward, 1948.
  17. ^
  18. ^ Kelly, J. N. D.; Walsh, Michael (23 July 2015). Dictionary of Popes. ISBN 9780191044793.
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Pope Adrian VI (1522–1523)". GCatholic. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  22. ^ "Pope Clement VII (1523–1534)". GCatholic. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  23. ^ "Pope Paul IV (1555–1559)". GCatholic. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  24. ^ "Pope Pius V (1566–1572)". GCatholic. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  25. ^ "Pope Gregory XIII (1572–1585)". Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  26. ^ John Henry Blunt (1874). "Jansenists". Dictionary of Sects, Heresies, Ecclesiastical Parties, and Schools of Religious Thought. Rivingtons. pp. 234–240. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
  27. ^ "Pope Alexander VII (1655–1667)". GCatholic. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  28. ^ "Pope Innocent X (1644–1655)". Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  29. ^ "Pope Clement IX (1667–1669)". Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  30. ^ "Pope Clement X (1670–1676)". Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  31. ^ "Pope Innocent XI (1676–1689)". Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  32. ^ "Pope Clement XII (1730–1740)". GCatholic. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
  33. ^ "Pope Benedict XIV (1740–1758)". GCatholic. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
  34. ^ "The Wind was too Strong". Rome Art Lover. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  35. ^ Brown, Andrew (11 February 2013). "Benedict, the placeholder pope who leaves a battered, weakened church". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 February 2013.
  36. ^ Pianigiani, Gaia; Povoledo, Elisabetta (27 February 2013). "Benedict XVI to Keep His Name and Become Pope Emeritus". The New York Times.
  37. ^ Scarisbrick, Veronica (22 March 2013). "Pope Francis : "Miserando atque eligendo"..." Vatican Radio. The Holy See. Vatican Radio. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  38. ^ Updated daily according to UTC.
  39. ^ a b Annuario pontificio per l'anno 1942. Rome. 1942. p. 21. 205. Gregorio XII, Veneto, Correr (c. 1406, cessò a. 1409, m. 1417) - Pont. a. 2, m. 6. g. 4. 206. Alessandro V, dell'Isola di Candia, Filargo (c. 1409, m. 1410). - Pont. m. 10, g. 8. 207. Giovanni XXII o XXIII o XXIV, Napoletano, Cossa (c. 1410, cessò dal pontificare 29 mag. 1415
  40. ^ Paschal Robinson (1913). "Antipope" . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  41. ^ a b Paschal Robinson (1913). "Chronological Lists of Popes" . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  42. ^ Paschal Robinson (1913). "Popess Joan" . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  43. ^ "I Choose John ..." Time. 10 November 1958. p. 91.
  44. ^ Paschal Robinson (1913). "Pope Martin IV" . In Herbermann, Charles (ed.). Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
  45. ^ Weaver, MJ., and Appleby, RS., Being Right: Conservative Catholics in America, Indiana University Press, 1 January 1995, p. 257.
  46. ^ Flinn, FK., Encyclopedia of Catholicism, 2007, p. 566.

General sources

  • The Early Papacy: To the Synod of Chalcedon in 451, Adrian Fortescue, Ignatius Press, 2008.
  • The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, John N.D. Kelly, Oxford University Press, 1986.
  • Catholicism, Henri de Lubac, Ignatius Press, 1988.
  • Rome and the Eastern Churches, Aidan Nichols, Ignatius Press, 2010.
  • I Papi. Venti secoli di storia, Pontificia Amministrazione della Patriarcale Basilica di San Paolo, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2002.
  • Rome Sweet Home, Scott Hahn, Ignatius Press, 1993.
  • Enciclopedia dei Papi, AA.VV., Istituto dell'Enciclopedia italiana, 2000.

External links