There have been countless evil popes throughout history. These people drag the name of the papacy through the mud, and have given the Vatican a reputation it never wanted, but may never be able to get rid of. These evil popes have committed some of the worst crimes imaginable, and unashamedly so. This is a list of 10 shockingly evil popes.
Pope Alexander VI
Alexander is also known as Rodrgio Borgia, or Pope Borgia. The Borgia family bought their way into the papacy to make Alexander Pope. Once Alexander became Pope in 1492 he began to put on extravagant orgies, sometimes including over 50 prostitutes. Strangely he would order some men to keep tally of the amount of orgasms each member of the clergy had, as he believed that virility was a sign of strength. Alexander was a clever schemer, and was a rich merchant before buying his way into the papacy. He would marry his daughter off to rich merchants, and then absolve the marriage gaining all their money in the process.
Pope Damasus I
Pope Damasus funded the church by selling women and children as sex slaves, he would even sell nuns. He dealt with opposition in a brutal manner, torturing or murdering anyone who got in his way. Damasus was hated by many people, not the populace but also members of the clergy hated him. Over 40 bishops spoke out against Damasus’s despicable actions, and attempted to convict him of adultery. Due to the corruption of the Vatican, and the Popes influence he was never convicted, and all the bishops who tried to convict him were killed.
Pope Benedict IX
Pope Benedict IX was one of the few evil Popes to actually become Pope twice. In his first reign as Pope he committed every crime under the sun. He murdered, raped, and took part in adultery. He didn’t hide his crimes at all, and everyone knew what he did, he was one of the most disrespected popes of all time. Eventually the people drove him out of the city, and the new pope was Pope Gregory VI. The next pope after him was Pope Damasus II. Benedict poisoned Damasus and rettok his position as Pope. He didn’t chnge his ways, and continued committing inexcusable crimes, until he was finally driven out once more, and after this he never became Pope again.
Pope Urban II
Pope Urban is one of the most Popes because he initiated the first which caused many incidents between Muslims and Christians. The Crusades caused countless deaths, and has still left some animosity towards Christians to this day. He amassed a large army by saying that no matter what you’ve done, you’ll have a chance to get into heaven. “All who die by the way, whether by land or by sea, or in battle against the pagans, shall have immediate remission of sins. This I grant them through the power of God with which I am invested.”
Pope Paul III
Pope Paul III was a man with strange ideals. He seemed to be incredibly moral about some things, and immoral about others. Paul seemingly would do anything for money. He actually went as far as to murder his own mother just to inherit her fortune. He executed people without a second thought. If he feels like he wanted to get rid of someone even for something petty, he would kill them, and he even enjoyed prostitutes. However he was completely against enslaving native Americans, and hated corruption. He would punish anyone who was caught accepting a bribe.
Pope Sergius III
Pope Sergius III is one of the more mysterious evil popes. Since he lived in the dark ages not much is known about him apart from some of his wrongdoings. He is one of the only popes to have killed another pope. He ordered his papal predecessor to be strangled to death, and the very same year he took power, and became pope himself. He also sired a child with one of his mistresses, who happened to be the daughter of a powerful count. His son later went on to become the next pope.
Pope Stephen VI
Pope Stephen VI wasn’t only of the most evil popes but also one of the craziest. When he became pope he actually had the previous popes body exhumed so that it could stand trial. He accused him of several crimes, and wanted him to answer for them. The crimes he accused him of were mainly just the actions he took while Pope. For the trial, the body was placed on a throne, when he was found guilty he was body, and his thrown into the River Tiber. Not long after the strange trial Stephen was assassinated. Stephen was clearly completely insane, and will always be remembered as such.
Pope Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface is probably the only Pope in history to admit that he didn’t even believe in god, and declared himself an atheist. He was described I the catholic encyclopaedia as “scarcely any possible crime omitted – heresy gross and unnatural immorality, idolatry, magic, simony… his whole pontificate was one record of evil.” Boniface tried to make himself the most powerful man in the world and released a Papal Bull which declared that everyone was subordinate to him even kings, it said “Now, therefore, we declare, say, determine and pronounce that for every human creature it is necessary for salvation to be subject to the authority of the Roman pontiff”
Pope John XII
Pope John was as evil as he is incompetent. He came up with multiple malevolent schemes to gain power, many of which ended in failure leading to ultimate demise. John was Rome’s spiritual leader, and appointed Otto I Emperor of Germany in the hopes he would support him in his war with Berengar II of Italy. For some reason he betrayed Otto and began talking with Berengar. Otto was furious to hear about his betrayal, defeated Berengar. John had managed to escape by this point and so Otto elected a new Pope. With Otto and the new Pope supporting each other in Rome, John attempted to return to Rome and depose the new pope, but before he could manage it he was killed, by someone believed to be the husband of one of his mistresses.
Pope Pius XII
Pope Pius XII reigned as pope from 1939 to 1938. Before he became pope he was secretary for the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs. Pius is known to many as Hitler’s pope, because he actually instructed Hitler to commit the mass murder of non-Catholic minorities all over Europe. He instructed him to create death camps to put them in, and to burn them to death. Pius even created his own group rather like the Nazis who killed over 600,000 people. Pius enjoyed killing them in lots of different ways, including excessive torture, crucifixion, cannibalism, live dismemberment , and burning them while they were still alive. Pius is remembered as one of the most evil words in history.