How old is the Roman Catholic Church?

In light of the abdication of Pope Benedict XV1, here is the list of all the popes, as posted in St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican.

  1. St. Peter (32-67)
  2. St. Linus (67-76)
  3. St. Anacletus (Cletus) (76-88)
  4. St. Clement I (88-97)
  5. St. Evaristus (97-105)
  6. St. Alexander I (105-115)
  7. St. Sixtus I (115-125) Also called Xystus I
  8. St. Telesphorus (125-136)
  9. St. Hyginus (136-140)
  10. St. Pius I (140-155)
  11. St. Anicetus (155-166)
  12. St. Soter (166-175)
  13. St. Eleutherius (175-189)
  14. St. Victor I (189-199)
  15. St. Zephyrinus (199-217)
  16. St. Callistus I (217-22) Callistus and the following three popes were opposed by St. Hippolytusantipope (217-236)
  17. St. Urban I (222-30)
  18. St. Pontain (230-35)
  19. St. Anterus (235-36)
  20. St. Fabian (236-50)
  21. St. Cornelius (251-53) Opposed by Novatianantipope (251)
  22. St. Lucius I (253-54)
  23. St. Stephen I (254-257)
  24. St. Sixtus II (257-258)
  25. St. Dionysius (260-268)
  26. St. Felix I (269-274)
  27. St. Eutychian (275-283)
  28. St. Caius (283-296) Also called Gaius
  29. St. Marcellinus (296-304)
  30. St. Marcellus I (308-309)
  31. St. Eusebius (309 or 310)
  32. St. Miltiades (311-14)
  33. St. Sylvester I (314-35)
  34. St. Marcus (336)
  35. St. Julius I (337-52)
  36. Liberius (352-66) Opposed by Felix IIantipope (355-365)
  37. St. Damasus I (366-83) Opposed by Ursicinus, antipope (366-367)
  38. St. Siricius (384-99)
  39. St. Anastasius I (399-401)
  40. St. Innocent I (401-17)
  41. St. Zosimus (417-18)
  42. St. Boniface I (418-22) Opposed by Eulalius, antipope (418-419)
  43. St. Celestine I (422-32)
  44. St. Sixtus III (432-40)
  45. St. Leo I (the Great) (440-61)
  46. St. Hilarius (461-68)
  47. St. Simplicius (468-83)
  48. St. Felix III (II) (483-92)
  49. St. Gelasius I (492-96)
  50. Anastasius II (496-98)
  51. St. Symmachus (498-514) Opposed by Laurentius, antipope (498-501)
  52. St. Hormisdas (514-23)
  53. St. John I (523-26)
  54. St. Felix IV (III) (526-30)
  55. Boniface II (530-32) Opposed by Dioscorusantipope (530)
  56. John II (533-35)
  57. St. Agapetus I (535-36) Also called Agapitus I
  58. St. Silverius (536-37)
  59. Vigilius (537-55)
  60. Pelagius I (556-61)
  61. John III (561-74)
  62. Benedict I (575-79)
  63. Pelagius II (579-90)
  64. St. Gregory I (the Great) (590-604)
  65. Sabinian (604-606)
  66. Boniface III (607)
  67. St. Boniface IV (608-15)
  68. St. Deusdedit (Adeodatus I) (615-18)
  69. Boniface V (619-25)
  70. Honorius I (625-38)
  71. Severinus (640)
  72. John IV (640-42)
  73. Theodore I (642-49)
  74. St. Martin I (649-55)
  75. St. Eugene I (655-57)
  76. St. Vitalian (657-72)
  77. Adeodatus (II) (672-76)
  78. Donus (676-78)
  79. St. Agatho (678-81)
  80. St. Leo II (682-83)
  81. St. Benedict II (684-85)
  82. John V (685-86)
  83. Conon (686-87)
  84. St. Sergius I (687-701) Opposed by Theodore and Paschal, antipopes (687)
  85. John VI (701-05)
  86. John VII (705-07)
  87. Sisinnius (708)
  88. Constantine (708-15)
  89. St. Gregory II (715-31)
  90. St. Gregory III (731-41)
  91. St. Zachary (741-52)
  92. Stephen II (752) Because he died before being consecrated, many authoritative lists omit him
  93. Stephen III (752-57)
  94. St. Paul I (757-67)
  95. Stephen IV (767-72) Opposed by Constantine II (767) and Philip (768), antipopes (767)
  96. Adrian I (772-95)
  97. St. Leo III (795-816)
  98. Stephen V (816-17)
  99. St. Paschal I (817-24)
  100. Eugene II (824-27)
  101. Valentine (827)
  102. Gregory IV (827-44)
  103. Sergius II (844-47) Opposed by John, antipope (855)
  104. St. Leo IV (847-55)
  105. Benedict III (855-58) Opposed by Anastasiusantipope (855)
  106. St. Nicholas I (the Great) (858-67)
  107. Adrian II (867-72)
  108. John VIII (872-82)
  109. Marinus I (882-84)
  110. St. Adrian III (884-85)
  111. Stephen VI (885-91)
  112. Formosus (891-96)
  113. Boniface VI (896)
  114. Stephen VII (896-97)
  115. Romanus (897)
  116. Theodore II (897)
  117. John IX (898-900)
  118. Benedict IV (900-03)
  119. Leo V (903) Opposed by Christopher, antipope (903-904)
  120. Sergius III (904-11)
  121. Anastasius III (911-13)
  122. Lando (913-14)
  123. John X (914-28)
  124. Leo VI (928)
  125. Stephen VIII (929-31)
  126. John XI (931-35)
  127. Leo VII (936-39)
  128. Stephen IX (939-42)
  129. Marinus II (942-46)
  130. Agapetus II (946-55)
  131. John XII (955-63)
  132. Leo VIII (963-64)
  133. Benedict V (964)
  134. John XIII (965-72)
  135. Benedict VI (973-74)
  136. Benedict VII (974-83) Benedict and John XIV were opposed by Boniface VIIantipope (974; 984-985)
  137. John XIV (983-84)
  138. John XV (985-96)
  139. Gregory V (996-99) Opposed by John XVIantipope (997-998)
  140. Sylvester II (999-1003)
  141. John XVII (1003)
  142. John XVIII (1003-09)
  143. Sergius IV (1009-12)
  144. Benedict VIII (1012-24) Opposed by Gregoryantipope (1012)
  145. John XIX (1024-32)
  146. Benedict IX (1032-45) He appears on this list three separate times, because he was twice deposed and restored
  147. Sylvester III (1045) Considered by some to be an antipope
  148. Benedict IX (1045)
  149. Gregory VI (1045-46)
  150. Clement II (1046-47)
  151. Benedict IX (1047-48)
  152. Damasus II (1048)
  153. St. Leo IX (1049-54)
  154. Victor II (1055-57)
  155. Stephen X (1057-58)
  156. Nicholas II (1058-61) Opposed by Benedict Xantipope (1058)
  157. Alexander II (1061-73) Opposed by Honorius IIantipope (1061-1072)
  158. St. Gregory VII (1073-85) Gregory and the following three popes were opposed by Guibert (“Clement III”)antipope (1080-1100)
  159. Blessed Victor III (1086-87)
  160. Blessed Urban II (1088-99)
  161. Paschal II (1099-1118) Opposed by Theodoric (1100), Aleric (1102) and Maginulf (“Sylvester IV”, 1105-1111), antipopes (1100)
  162. Gelasius II (1118-19) Opposed by Burdin (“Gregory VIII”)antipope (1118)
  163. Callistus II (1119-24)
  164. Honorius II (1124-30) Opposed by Celestine II, antipope (1124)
  165. Innocent II (1130-43) Opposed by Anacletus II (1130-1138) and Gregory Conti (“Victor IV”) (1138), antipopes (1138)
  166. Celestine II (1143-44)
  167. Lucius II (1144-45)
  168. Blessed Eugene III (1145-53)
  169. Anastasius IV (1153-54)
  170. Adrian IV (1154-59)
  171. Alexander III (1159-81) Opposed by Octavius (“Victor IV”) (1159-1164), Pascal III (1165-1168), Callistus III (1168-1177) and Innocent III (1178-1180), antipopes
  172. Lucius III (1181-85)
  173. Urban III (1185-87)
  174. Gregory VIII (1187)
  175. Clement III (1187-91)
  176. Celestine III (1191-98)
  177. Innocent III (1198-1216)
  178. Honorius III (1216-27)
  179. Gregory IX (1227-41)
  180. Celestine IV (1241)
  181. Innocent IV (1243-54)
  182. Alexander IV (1254-61)
  183. Urban IV (1261-64)
  184. Clement IV (1265-68)
  185. Blessed Gregory X (1271-76)
  186. Blessed Innocent V (1276)
  187. Adrian V (1276)
  188. John XXI (1276-77)
  189. Nicholas III (1277-80)
  190. Martin IV (1281-85)
  191. Honorius IV (1285-87)
  192. Nicholas IV (1288-92)
  193. St. Celestine V (1294)
  194. Boniface VIII (1294-1303)
  195. Blessed Benedict XI (1303-04)
  196. Clement V (1305-14)
  197. John XXII (1316-34) Opposed by Nicholas V, antipope (1328-1330)
  198. Benedict XII (1334-42)
  199. Clement VI (1342-52)
  200. Innocent VI (1352-62)
  201. Blessed Urban V (1362-70)
  202. Gregory XI (1370-78)
  203. Urban VI (1378-89) Opposed by Robert of Geneva (“Clement VII”)antipope (1378-1394)
  204. Boniface IX (1389-1404) Opposed by Robert of Geneva (“Clement VII”) (1378-1394), Pedro de Luna (“Benedict XIII”) (1394-1417) and Baldassare Cossa (“John XXIII”) (1400-1415),antipopes
  205. Innocent VII (1404-06) Opposed by Pedro de Luna (“Benedict XIII”) (1394-1417) and Baldassare Cossa (“John XXIII”) (1400-1415), antipopes
  206. Gregory XII (1406-15) Opposed by Pedro de Luna (“Benedict XIII”) (1394-1417), Baldassare Cossa (“John XXIII”) (1400-1415), and Pietro Philarghi (“Alexander V”) (1409-1410),antipopes
  207. Martin V (1417-31)
  208. Eugene IV (1431-47) Opposed by Amadeus of Savoy (“Felix V”)antipope (1439-1449)
  209. Nicholas V (1447-55)
  210. Callistus III (1455-58)
  211. Pius II (1458-64)
  212. Paul II (1464-71)
  213. Sixtus IV (1471-84)
  214. Innocent VIII (1484-92)
  215. Alexander VI (1492-1503)
  216. Pius III (1503)
  217. Julius II (1503-13)
  218. Leo X (1513-21)
  219. Adrian VI (1522-23)
  220. Clement VII (1523-34)
  221. Paul III (1534-49)
  222. Julius III (1550-55)
  223. Marcellus II (1555)
  224. Paul IV (1555-59)
  225. Pius IV (1559-65)
  226. St. Pius V (1566-72)
  227. Gregory XIII (1572-85)
  228. Sixtus V (1585-90)
  229. Urban VII (1590)
  230. Gregory XIV (1590-91)
  231. Innocent IX (1591)
  232. Clement VIII (1592-1605)
  233. Leo XI (1605)
  234. Paul V (1605-21)
  235. Gregory XV (1621-23)
  236. Urban VIII (1623-44)
  237. Innocent X (1644-55)
  238. Alexander VII (1655-67)
  239. Clement IX (1667-69)
  240. Clement X (1670-76)
  241. Blessed Innocent XI (1676-89)
  242. Alexander VIII (1689-91)
  243. Innocent XII (1691-1700)
  244. Clement XI (1700-21)
  245. Innocent XIII (1721-24)
  246. Benedict XIII (1724-30)
  247. Clement XII (1730-40)
  248. Benedict XIV (1740-58)
  249. Clement XIII (1758-69)
  250. Clement XIV (1769-74)
  251. Pius VI (1775-99)
  252. Pius VII (1800-23)
  253. Leo XII (1823-29)
  254. Pius VIII (1829-30)
  255. Gregory XVI (1831-46)
  256. Blessed Pius IX (1846-78)
  257. Leo XIII (1878-1903)
  258. St. Pius X (1903-14)
  259. Benedict XV (1914-22) Biographies of Benedict XV and his successors will be added at a later date
  260. Pius XI (1922-39)
  261. Pius XII (1939-58)
  262. Blessed John XXIII (1958-63)
  263. Paul VI (1963-78)
  264. John Paul I (1978)
  265. John Paul II (1978-2005)
  266. Benedict XVI (2005—)

With that list in mind, here is the Sentinel Editorial on the Pope and the succession, for Feb. 13, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI stunned the Roman Catholic church and most everyone else this week by announcing he is stepping down.

The 85-year-old pope’s declaration he no longer has the vitality to perform his duties not only was the first time in six centuries a pontiff has voluntarily stepped down, but also marks the exit of Benedict from the world and spiritual stage. The Vatican said Tuesday that after Feb. 28, when Benedict officially retires, he will no longer have any say in church affairs — specifically, the selection of a successor to lead the world’s 1 billion Catholics.

Benedict’s announcement — reportedly in the works since last April after a particularly taxing trip to Mexico and Cuba last March — was surprising because public figures rarely admit their human frailty, or put their station ahead of self interest.

The sight of an obviously diminished and ill Pope John Paul II was certainly not lost upon his successor, who will relocate to a monastery on Vatican grounds in Rome, perhaps with a new name. His eight-year papacy was always something of a transition — after the tumult of John Paul’s reign, in which global communism collapsed and church pedophilia scandals continued to erupt, the bookish Benedict seemed something of a distant figure who was expected at the outset to continue his decades-long role in the church’s extensive hierarchy as a defender of conservative Catholicism.

The former Joseph Ratzinger maintained this position, even in the face of the continuing decline and relevancy of Christianity in Western Europe. Unlike his predecessor, he made no noticeable impact on Catholic youth, nor did he pander to modern mores and values, continuing to stand upon the church’s traditions in matters of morals and spiritual development. Benedict’s advocacy of the latter was probably the impetus for the biggest intellectual furor in his papacy — his 2006 speech on “Faith and Reason” where the Pope was pilloried for quoting a 14th-century Byzantine emperor who had negative things to say about Islam. Was this Benedict’s response to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism? The Pope’s aides demurred, saying he wanted to demonstrate that faith and reason need not be in opposition. Clearly, his inference was that militant Islam threatens Western values and freedoms.

But his tenure was marred by the issue the Church cannot hide from: the sex-abuse scandals, and the cover ups in high places and almost willful negligence to root out abusive priests. While Pope Benedict somewhat belatedly recognized the need to shine a light on all the sordidness of this sorrowful chapter in the Church’s long history, his recognition seemed small consolation for past crimes.

The scandals illuminated like nothing else in recent centuries, the archaic and ill-suited administrative bureaucracy, created centuries ago for protection, has become a hindrance rather than a helper to the modern Church.

He almost certainly was aware that he was not a strong manager of people or the bureaucracy, and considering his age and increasing infirmities, this may have helped him make a decision that hopefully will result in a younger, less traditionalist leader for the world’s most enduring institution. Whether this Pope comes from the points on the globe where Catholicism is growing — Africa and Latin America most notably — or is another white European, will be decided before March 31, Easter.

That, of course, would be the inspired day for a resurrection of hope that could gather around the next person the Church designates to follow in the ancient footsteps of St. Peter.

 

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