Papal Timeline

  • Francis

    2013 - Present

  • Benedict XVI

    2005 - 2013

  • John Paul II

    1978 - 2005

  • John Paul I

    1978 - 1978

  • Paul VI

    1963 - 1978

  • John XXIII

    1958 - 1963

  • Pius XII

    1939 - 1958

  • Pius XI

    1922 - 1939

  • Benedict XV

    1914 - 1922

  • Pius X

    1903 - 1914

  • Leo XIII, O.F.S.

    1878 - 1903

  • Pius IX, O.F.S.

    1846 - 1878

  • Gregory XVI, O.S.B.

    1831 - 1846

  • Pius VIII

    1829 - 1830

  • Leo XII

    1823 - 1829

  • Pius VII, O.S.B.

    1800 - 1823

  • Pius VI

    1775 - 1799

  • Clement XIV, O.F.M.

    1769 - 1774

  • Clement XIII

    1758 - 1769

  • Benedict XIV

    1740 - 1758

  • Clement XII

    1730 - 1740

  • Benedict XIII, O.P.

    1724 - 1730

  • Innocent XIII

    1721 - 1724

  • Clement XI

    1700 - 1721

  • Innocent XII

    1691 - 1700

  • Alexander VIII

    1689 - 1691

  • Innocent XI

    1676 - 1689

  • Clement X

    1670 - 1676

  • Clement IX

    1667 - 1669

  • Alexander VII

    1655 - 1667

  • Innocent X

    1644 - 1655

  • Urban VIII

    1623 - 1644

  • Gregory XV

    1621 - 1623

  • Paul V

    1605 - 1621

  • Clement VIII

    1592 - 1605

  • Leo XI

    1605 - 1605

  • Gregory XIV

    1590 - 1591

  • Innocent IX

    1591 - 1591

  • Sixtus V, O.F.M.

    1585 - 1590

  • Urban VII

    1590 - 1590

  • Gregory XIII

    1572 - 1585

  • Pius V, O.P.

    1566 - 1572

  • Pius IV

    1559 - 1565

  • Paul IV, C.R.

    1555 - 1559

  • Julius III

    1550 - 1555

  • Marcellus II

    1555 - 1555

  • Paul III

    1534 - 1549

  • Clement VII

    1523 - 1534

  • Adrian VI

    1522 - 1523

  • Leo X

    1513 - 1521

  • Julius II

    1503 - 1513

  • Alexander VI

    1492 - 1503

  • Pius III

    1503 - 1503

  • Innocent VIII

    1484 - 1492

  • Sixtus IV, O.F.M.

    1471 - 1484

  • Paul II

    1464 - 1471

  • Pius II

    1458 - 1464

  • Callixtus III

    1455 - 1458

  • Nicholas V

    1447 - 1455

  • Eugene IV, O.S.A.

    1431 - 1447

  • Martin V

    1417 - 1431

  • Gregory XII

    1406 - 1415

  • Innocent VII

    1404 - 1406

  • Boniface IX

    1389 - 1404

  • Urban VI

    1378 - 1389

  • Urban V, O.S.B.

    1362 - 1370

  • Innocent VI

    1352 - 1362

  • Clement VI, O.S.B.

    1342 - 1352

  • Benedict XII, O.Cist.

    1334 - 1342

  • John XXII

    1316 - 1334

  • interregnum

    1314 - 1316

  • Clement V

    1305 - 1314

  • Benedict XI, O.P.

    1303 - 1304

  • Boniface VIII

    1294 - 1303

  • Celestine V, O.S.B.

    1294 - 1294

  • Nicholas IV, O.F.M.

    1288 - 1292

  • Honorius IV

    1285 - 1287

  • Martin IV

    1281 - 1285

  • Nicholas III

    1277 - 1280

  • John XXI

    1276 - 1277

  • Gregory X

    1271 - 1276

  • Innocent V, O.P.

    1276 - 1276

  • Adrian V

    1276 - 1276

  • Clement IV

    1265 - 1268

  • Urban IV

    1261 - 1264

  • Alexander IV

    1254 - 1261

  • Innocent IV

    1243 - 1254

  • Gregory IX

    1227 - 1241

  • Celestine IV

    1241 - 1241

  • Honorius III

    1216 - 1227

  • Innocent III

    1198 - 1216

  • Celestine III

    1191 - 1198

  • Clement III

    1187 - 1191

  • Urban III

    1185 - 1187

  • Gregory VIII

    1187 - 1187

  • Lucius III

    1181 - 1185

  • Alexander III

    1159 - 1181

  • Adrian IV, O.S.A.

    1154 - 1159

  • Anastasius IV

    1153 - 1154

  • Eugene III, O.Cist.

    1145 - 1153

  • Lucius II

    1144 - 1145

  • Celestine II

    1143 - 1144

  • Innocent II

    1130 - 1143

  • Honorius II,

    1124 - 1130

  • Callixtus II

    1119 - 1124

  • Gelasius II, O.S.B.

    1118 - 1119

  • Paschal II, O.S.B.

    1099 - 1118

  • Urban II, O.S.B.

    1088 - 1099

  • Victor III, O.S.B.

    1086 - 1087

  • Gregory VII, O.S.B.

    1073 - 1085

  • Alexander II

    1061 - 1073

  • Nicholas II

    1058 - 1061

  • Stephen IX (X), O.S.B.

    1057 - 1058

  • Victor II

    1055 - 1057

  • Leo IX

    1049 - 1054

  • Benedict IX

    1047 - 1048

  • Damasus II

    1048 - 1048

  • Clement II

    1046 - 1047

  • Gregory VI

    1045 - 1046

  • Sylvester III

    1045 - 1045

  • Benedict IX

    1045 - 1045

  • Benedict IX

    1032 - 1044

  • John XIX

    1024 - 1032

  • Benedict VIII

    1012 - 1024

  • Sergius IV

    1009 - 1012

  • John XVIII

    1003 - 1009

  • Sylvester II

    999 - 1003

  • John XVII

    1003 - 1003

  • Gregory V

    996 - 999

  • John XV

    985 - 996

  • John XIV

    983 - 984

  • Benedict VII

    974 - 983

  • Benedict VI

    973 - 974

  • John XIII

    965 - 972

  • Leo VIII

    964 - 965

  • John XII

    955 - 964

  • Benedict V

    964 - 964

  • Agapetus II

    946 - 955

  • Marinus II

    942 - 946

  • Stephen VIII (IX)

    939 - 942

  • Leo VII, O.S.B.

    936 - 939

  • John XI

    931 - 935

  • Stephen VII (VIII)

    928 - 931

  • John X

    914 - 928

  • Leo VI

    928 - 928

  • Lando

    913 - 914

  • Anastasius III

    911 - 913

  • Sergius III

    904 - 911

  • Benedict IV

    900 - 903

  • Leo V

    903 - 903

  • John IX, O.S.B.

    898 - 900

  • Theodore II

    897 - 898

  • Stephen VI (VII)

    896 - 897

  • Romanus

    897 - 897

  • Formosus

    891 - 896

  • Boniface VI

    896 - 896

  • Stephen V (VI)

    885 - 891

  • Adrian III

    884 - 885

  • Marinus I

    882 - 884

  • John VIII

    872 - 882

  • Adrian II

    867 - 872

  • Nicholas I

    858 - 867

  • Benedict III

    855 - 858

  • Leo IV, O.S.B.

    847 - 855

  • Sergius II

    844 - 847

  • Gregory IV

    827 - 844

  • Eugene II

    824 - 827

  • Valentine

    827 - 827

  • Paschal I

    817 - 824

  • Stephen IV (V)

    816 - 817

  • Leo III

    795 - 816

  • Adrian I

    772 - 795

  • Stephen III (IV)

    767 - 772

  • Paul I

    757 - 767

  • Stephen II (III)

    752 - 757

  • Zachary

    741 - 752

  • Stephen

    752 - 752

  • Gregory III

    731 - 741

  • Gregory II

    715 - 731

  • Constantine

    708 - 715

  • John VII

    705 - 708

  • Sisinnius

    708 - 708

  • John VI

    701 - 705

  • Sergius I

    687 - 701

  • Conon

    686 - 687

  • John V

    685 - 686

  • Benedict II

    684 - 685

  • Leo II

    681 - 684

  • Agatho

    678 - 681

  • Donus

    676 - 678

  • Adeodatus II, O.S.B.

    672 - 676

  • Vitalian

    657 - 672

  • Eugene I

    654 - 657

  • Martin I

    649 - 654

  • Theodore I

    642 - 649

  • John IV

    640 - 642

  • Severinus

    638 - 640

  • Honorius I

    625 - 638

  • Boniface V

    619 - 625

  • Adeodatus I

    615 - 619

  • Boniface IV, O.S.B.

    608 - 615

  • Boniface III

    607 - 608

  • Sabinian

    604 - 607

  • Gregory I, O.S.B.

    590 - 604

  • Pelagius II

    579 - 590

  • Benedict I

    575 - 579

  • John III

    561 - 575

  • Pelagius I

    556 - 561

  • Vigilius

    537 - 555

  • Silverius

    536 - 537

  • Agapetus I

    535 - 536

  • John II

    533 - 535

  • Boniface II

    530 - 533

  • Felix IV (III)

    526 - 530

  • John I

    523 - 526

  • Hormisdas

    514 - 523

  • Symmachus

    498 - 514

  • Anastasius II

    496 - 498

  • Gelasius I

    492 - 496

  • Felix III (II)

    483 - 492

  • Simplicius

    468 - 483

  • Hilarius

    461 - 468

  • Leo I

    440 - 461

  • Sixtus III

    432 - 440

  • Celestine I

    422 - 432

  • Boniface I

    418 - 422

  • Zosimus

    417 - 418

  • Innocent I

    401 - 417

  • Anastasius I

    399 - 401

  • Siricius

    384 - 399

  • Damasus I

    366 - 384

  • Liberius

    352 - 366

  • Julius I

    337 - 352

  • Mark

    336 - 337

  • Sylvester I

    314 - 336

  • Miltiades

    311 - 314

  • Eusebius

    309 - 311

  • Marcellus I

    308 - 309

  • Marcellinus

    296 - 308

  • Caius

    283 - 296

  • Eutychian

    275 - 283

  • Felix I

    269 - 274

  • Dionysius

    259 - 268

  • Sixtus II

    257 - 258

  • Stephen I

    254 - 257

  • Lucius I

    253 - 254

  • Cornelius

    251 - 253

  • Fabian

    236 - 250

  • Anterus

    235 - 236

  • Pontian

    230 - 235

  • Urban I

    222 - 230

  • Callixtus I

    217 - 222

  • Zephyrinus (Zephyrin)

    199 - 217

  • Victor I

    189 - 198

  • Eleutherius

    174 - 189

  • Soter

    166 - 174

  • Anicetus

    155 - 166

  • Pius I

    140 - 142

  • Hyginus

    136 - 140

  • Telesphorus

    125 - 136

  • Sixtus I

    115 - 125

  • Alexander I

    105 - 115

  • Evaristus (Aristus)

    97 - 105

  • Clement I

    88 - 97

  • Anacletus (Cletus)

    76 - 92

  • Linus

    64 - 76

  • Peter

    30 - 64

Who is the Pope?

The word pope means father. In ancient Greek it was a child’s term of affection for the father of the family, but was borrowed by later Latin as an honorific. Both Greek-speaking Eastern and Latin-speaking Western Catholics then applied it to priests, bishops and patriarchs as heads of their spiritual families. Today, priests of the Orthodox Churches of Greece, Russia and Serbia still call their parish priest pope.

Gradually, however, Latin Christianity began to restrict its usage. At the beginning of the 3rd century, papa was a term of respect for clergy in high positions. By the 5th century, it was applied particularly to the Bishop of Rome, without excluding other usages. After the 8th century, however, as far the West was concerned the title was exclusively used of the Bishop of Rome. Indeed, the great reforming Pope, Gregory VII (1073-1085), officially restricted its use to the Bishop of Rome.

As the Council of Florence affirmed in 1439, defined as a matter of faith by the First Vatican Council in 1870, and endorsed by the Second Vatican Council in 1964, Jesus Christ conferred the position of primacy in the church upon Peter alone. In solemnly defining the Petrine primacy, the First Vatican Council cited the three classical New Testament texts long associated with it: John 1:42, John 21:15 ff., and, above all, Matthew 16:18 ff. The council understood these texts, along with Luke 22:32, to signify that Christ himself constituted Saint Peter as prince of the apostles and visible head of the church, possessed of a primacy of jurisdiction that was to pass down in perpetuity to his papal successors, along with the authority to pronounce infallibly on matters of faith or morals.

The importance of Peter in the Church Christ established is also affirmed by the more numerous mentions of this apostle in the New Testament and the evident authority of Peter on those occasions. At the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15), it was Peter who decided what was to be done with Gentile converts and states that choice as a matter of firm policy. Indeed, it was to Peter that God revealed that the gentiles were to be evangelized, even though it would be Paul who would become their most-fervent apostle.

Saints & Blesseds

Throughout history many of the Popes have been holy men. Indeed, of the 264 Popes up to Pope John Paul II, 81 are recognized as saints and 9 as blesseds. Included among these are the first 41 Popes. Of the first 32 popes, those who reigned during the age of Roman persecution (which ended in 312), fully 28 were martyrs.

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Antipopes

The existence of antipopes is one of the most unusual features of Church history. The first to be declared Pope, but be considered invalidly elected at the time or by history was St. Hippolytus, who disagreed with the Pope of the day but was later reconciled and died for the faith. Most antipopes have come about due to the intrigues of cardinals, secular princes or Roman nobility.

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Dicastery

An office or bureau of the Holy See, such as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Petrine

Refers to the unique ministry of St. Peter as the Chief Apostle among the apostles. His successors as Bishop of Rome inherit his ministry to be the principle of unity among the bishops and thus for the whole Church and to guard and confirm the faith of his brother bishops and thus of the Church.

Judicial Authority

The legal weight and binding authority of the decisions of the Roman Curia comes from the will of the Supreme Pontiff. Canon 60 of the 198 Code of Canon Law states: The Supreme Pontiff conducts the business of the universal Church by means of the Roman Curia, which fulfills its duty in his name and by his authority.

Apostolic College

The 12 Apostles of Jesus Christ considered as a group. Also, their successors, the bishops of the Catholic Church, considered as a group.

Internal Forum

The arena of conscience, such as revealed to a confessor in the Sacrament of Penance, to a spiritual director or any other situation where there is an expectation of complete confidence from the clergy. The Church provides canonical sanctions for the violation of the internal Forum (automatic excommunication in the case of a priest revealing the contents of a confession identifiable with a particular penitent.) External Forum concerns matters of Church governance and of public record, marriage and its validity, for example.

Magisterium

Those to whom Our Lord committed his prophetic office are said to have a Magisterium, from the Latin word for teacher, Magister. This office was given to the apostles, who committed it to their successors, the bishops. Each bishop is the Magister for his own diocese. The entire body of the bishops, acting in union with the Pope, are official Teachers to the whole Church; that is, they have a Universal Magisterium. Peter, however, was given the charism to teach even his fellow apostles. Thus, the Papal Magisterium is itself a Universal Magisterium. Furthermore, only the Successor of Peter has a personal charism of infallibility which protects him from error in teaching and defining the faith. The same is true of the Magisterium of the College of Bishops collectively, as in an Ecumenical Council.