25 Intriguing Facts And Stories About Popes And Papacy You Might Not Know

The pope is arguably one of the most powerful people on Earth. Billions of people today look up to him for spiritual guidance, and he directs one of the largest organizations in the history of our planet, the Catholic Church. His influence is so great that, whether you favor him or not, his influence over the lives of many is undeniable. But how did he get into that position? Why does one man have such influence over so many people?

To understand this, we need to go back a couple thousand years. The Catholic Church started with Peter. He was the first pope. Ever since then, the pope has changed every few decades (either due to the pope stepping down or passing away). This has led to a chain of popes leading straight from Saint Peter directly up to Pope Francis (as of this writing). However, there is much more to the Catholic Church than just the pope. The number of traditions and customs can be quite staggering. After two thousand years, it is probably no surprise that it would have so many. Today, we are going to dive head first into the history of this vastly influential institution as we read 25 Intriguing Facts And Stories About Popes And Papacy You Might Not Know!

Featured Image: wikipedia

25

President Johnson once exchanged gifts with Pope Paul VI. Johnson received a 15th century painting. The pope received a bust of Johnson.

President JohnsonImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia
24

Despite what some may believe, a pope doesn't have to first be a cardinal or a priest. Any baptized male can be elected. However, the last non-cardinal, non-priest elected was Urban VI in 1378.

Urban_VIImage: commons.wikimedia, Source: lifeteen.com

23

Pope Gregory IX thought cats were the incarnation of Satan. This led to a massive killing of cats, which caused a massive increase in the rat population, which caused a massive outbreak of the black death.

catsImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia
22

An antipope is someone who is considered by some people to be the legitimate pope in opposition to the rightful pope.

An antipope is someone who is considered by some people to be the legitimate pope in opposition to the rightful popeImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia

21

In 1440, the Pope made a land deal with the city of Florence, but a small piece of land was accidentally left out of the contract. The people promptly declared independence, and the Republic of Cospaia was born. It maintained independence for nearly 400 years.

cospaiaImage: wikipedia, Source: wikipedia


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