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Short bios on the popes of the Roman Catholic Church, and periodic interviews with experts and commentators on the papacy & Church history. Become a patron and find extra bonus content at

Short bios on the popes of the Roman Catholic Church, and periodic interviews with experts and commentators on the papacy & Church history. Become a patron and find extra bonus content at
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Short bios on the popes of the Roman Catholic Church, and periodic interviews with experts and commentators on the papacy & Church history. Become a patron and find extra bonus content at






The (Bad) Pope of the Protestant Reformation (Pope Leo X)

On this week’s episode, it’s another one of the “Bad Popes”. This guy loved partying so much, and was so bad at managing money, that one contemporary said he spent three pontificates worth of dough – everything from the guy before him, all of his own money, and all of his successor’s. Oh, and Martin Luther was stirring up a rebellion, and this pope didn’t do much to stop it. BECOME A PATRON OF THE POPECAST (free stickers to the next two $2 patrons...) – Visit


The Pope of the Counter-Reformation (Paul III)

On this episode of the Popecast it’s a guy who historian Eamon Duffy listed as one of the 10 Popes Who Shook the World. He was friends with a couple of bad popes, did some shady stuff himself in early life, then had a profound conversion and laid the groundwork for reform of the Church that we’re still feeling over 500 years later. BECOME A PATRON OF THE POPECAST (free stickers to the next two $2 patrons...) – Visit


EXTRA: Audio of Pope Francis' Letter to Priests

On the 160th anniversary of the death of St. John Vianney, patron of parish priests, Pope Francis released a letter addressed to all the priests of the world. In the letter, Francis encourages and thanks his brother priests for their service, especially during such a difficult era in the life of the Church. FULL TEXT: SUPPORT THE POPECAST (free Popecast stickers to the next 3 patrons):


The Pope and His Enemy, Who Were Martyred Together (Sts. Pontian & Hippolytus)

This week is a Popecast unlike any other. Our pope this episode was not only the first in history to resign his office, but he did so after being exiled alongside his archrival, a man who had set himself up as the Church’s first antipope. And the craziest part about it? Both of them are now saints. Also, we talk about beards at the end – thanks to a question for Nick, one of our newest patrons! BECOME A PATRON OF THE POPECAST (free stickers to the next 3 patrons...) – Visit...


The Pope Who Condemned His Predecessor...Sort Of (St. Leo II)

He was in office less than a year, but left a mark on the Church that’s still making waves among Catholics and non-Catholics alike to this very day. Well-educated, a lover of sacred music, and great servant of the poor, for better or for worse this pope is known for formally condemning one of his papal predecessors – though not for being a heretic, just for being wishy-washy and neglecting his sacred duty. BECOME A PATRON OF THE POPECAST (free stickers to the next 3 patrons...) – Visit...


The Pope Who Gave Us the Feast of Corpus Christi (Urban IV)

Our pope today introduced a day of celebration that’s endured for over THREE QUARTERS OF A MILLENNIUM. In addition to, you know, wrestling power away from a rogue dynasty and otherwise trying to keep the Church afloat in troubled waters. All in just 3 years. No big deal. *BECOME A PATRON OF THE POPECAST (free stickers to the next 5 patrons...) at * LINKS FROM THE EPISODE: * Transiturus de Hoc Mundo...


The Pope Who Saved Western Civilization (St. Pius V)

Here's a pope who came from nothing, spent his life fighting for the Truth, and ended up practically saving the world. Better to be frail in body and strong in will, than the other way around. SUPPORT THE POPECAST: DOCUMENTS MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE * ESSAY: The Banners of Lepanto ( by Fr. George Rutler * ESSAY: Our Lady of the Rosary and the Battle of Lepanto...


The Brothers Pope (Sisinnius & Constantine)

It’s a Popecast first, folks. The first time we’re covering two popes in a single episode AND the first of three times in Church history that two brothers each held the Chair of Peter – and interestingly enough, also the first of three times that the brothers reigned back-to-back. Mama must’ve been so proud. SUPPORT THE POPECAST: LINKS * Pope Sisinnius ( (Flocknote's Popes in a Year) * Pope Sisinnius...


Another Very Bad Pope (Alexander VI)

In 1492, something else happened besides Columbus sailing the ocean blue, namely, that the most notorious pope EVER ascended to the Chair of Peter. This week it's the guy who typically tops the list of every rundown of the so-called “Bad Popes”, and who was described by contemporary historian as “more evil and more lucky than perhaps any pope before him”. SUPPORT THE POPECAST: LINKS * Letter of Pope Pius II rebuking Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia...


The Popecast's Guide to Pope Benedict XVI's Letter on the Sex Abuse Scandal

This episode serves as a brief recap and analysis on Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's recent letter on the Church's sexual abuse crisis – paired with the audio version of the letter released exclusively by The Popecast – for those who have neither the time nor the interest to wade through the minefield of Catholic Twitter to sort it all out. LINKS MENTIONED ON THE EPISODE * Full Text of Pope Emeritus Benedict's letter: LINK...


EXTRA: Audio of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's Letter on Church Sex Abuse Scandal

On April 10, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI released a letter addressing the scandal of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church – of which the full audible reading can be found here. The retired pope gave historical background to how the scandal came to be, how it's affected the formation of priests in seminaries, and what the Church ought to do about it. FULL TEXT: SUPPORT THE POPECAST...


The Abuse Scandal, Human Nature, & the Altar of the Heart (Interview w/ Dr. Chad Pecknold)

Dr. Chad Pecknold, associate professor of theology at the Catholic University of America, joins the Popecast this week to talk about the present scandal in the Church, human nature, St. Augustine's two Cities, and the papacy's role in securing the Church as a divine institution. Dr. Pecknold will be speaking at Healing the Breach of Trust on March 26, a day of talks at Catholic University of America and part of a series of planned conferences on the Church's current crisis. Dr. Pecknold's...


The Pope Who Didn't Do Anything Funny (Pope St. Hilarius)

This week’s pope has a bit of an ironic name. During his six years in the Chair of Peter, nothing too exciting happened, and certainly nothing that seemed to live up to, uh, how we currently define "hilarious." Become a patron and get early access to Popecast episodes, ask a question to be answered on the show, and get special bonus content – LINKS Pope St. Hilarius"Four Saints with Laughably Ridiculous Names"Pope St. HilarusPope Hilarius


Interview w/ Trent Horn (Apologist, Speaker, & Author)

Catholic apologist, speaker, and author Trent Horn joins Matt on The Popecast this week. Topics covered (among others) include: BECOME A PATRON: LINKS (mentioned in this episode) Bad ShepherdsUt Unum SintDonum Veritatis The Papacy: What the Pope Does and Why It Matters Special Guest: Trent Horn.


EXTRA: The Feast of the Chair of St. Peter

Normally the Church celebrates feast days for persons – men and women from every age who the Church has held up as models of holy living – but today is a day that celebrates a chair. Well, at least what the chair represents. BECOME A PATRON: LINKS General Audience, February 22, 2006Feast of the Chair of St. Peter


The Pope Who Had RBF (Servant of God, Pope Benedict XIII)

This week’s pope didn’t want the job, and lived like he didn’t have the job, which got him in some hot water. But the people who worked closest with him knew him only as the parish priest of Rome, and ultimately his personal virtue carried the day. Plus he had RBF. BECOME A PATRON:


The Pope Who Was BFFs With Charlemagne (Pope Adrian I)

This week’s pope is defined by two words. Charlemagne and iconoclasm. And no, I’m not talking the Trump Twitter kind of iconoclasm. BECOME A PATRON: LINKS Pope Adrian IPope Adrian IPope Adrian IThe Republic of St. PeterThe History of Charles the Great Duodecimum Saeculum DUBIA LINKS LINKThe Catholic Herald LINKN.C. Register LINK


The Pope Who Outsmarted Napoleon (Servant of God, Pope Pius VII)

The pope we’re talking about today was mild-mannered and monkish on the outside, but tough as nails on the inside. He’s went toe to toe with the tiny tyrant for 10 years, and was imprisoned for 6 of them. Never one to let the Church be bullied, he returned the papacy to the respect it deserved, after decades of being drug through the proverbial mud. One of my personal favorites, Pope Pius VII. BECOME A PATRON: FURTHER READING: Diu Satis (On a Return to Gospel...


The Pope Who Made the Emperor Kneel in the Snow (St. Gregory VII)

This week’s pope was once described as the epitome of a Christian gentleman, a man of universally recognized virtue, and a profound scholar. He was never one to back down from a fight, and stopped at nothing to reform a broken Church. 1000 years ago, that is. BECOME A PATRON: FURTHER READING: The Cluniac ReformLetter of Gregory VII to the German BishopsPope St. Gregory VIIPope St. Gregory VII


The Pope Who Built the Wall (St. Leo IV)

A worker of miracles, a battler of barbarians, and someone described as a man who lived to perfection the saying “pray as if everything depends on God, and work as if everything depends on you.” This week it's Pope #103, St. Leo IV. FOLLOW & SUPPORT THE PODCAST: LINKS AMAZON