Benedict XVI may not be the only controversial figure to walk the Vatican planks. As controversy swirls around the Catholic Church and noted atheists such as Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins call for Pope Benedict XVI’s arrest for “crimes against humanity.” There were worse Popes than the one we currently have. In fact, the following top 10 Popes not only shook this world, but they also rocked it upside down with their heinous crimes.
1. Pope Pius XII
One horrible Pius wasn’t enough for this world to handle. Pope Pius XII came into power, ruling the Vatican not long after his predecessor Pius IX, the pope who supplied the orders to execute Lincoln.
It is important to study the era during which Pius XII held the Chair of Peter – it was between 1939 and 1958. If anyone was curious enough to know where exactly Hitler got the notion that Jews were to be exterminated by the millions between 1939 – 1945, they need to look no further than Pius XII. Pope Pope Pius XII personally Hitler detailed instructions on how to methodically exterminate non-Catholic minorities across all of Europe and how death camps were to be constructed for the sole purpose of their murder.
2. Pope Julius III
Julius was one of the rare duly elected popes of the 1500s, having gained power through intrigue and murder. At the time, being pope was only accessible to the richest and most powerful families of Italy much like being President of the United States is today. Compared to these families, Julius III was like the war hero of cardinals.
Decades before becoming pope, Julius was traded as a hostage by the dumb and pusillanimous Pope Clement VII to Emperor Charles V during the sacking of Rome. Julius would have been killed, if it were not for a complicated twist, Cardinal Pompeo Colonna, an enemy of Clement VII and rogue commando cardinal. Cardinal Pompeo Colonna rescued the hostages, including Julius III, from the clutches of the Emperor.
Once he was elected pope, Julius III sacked the papal coffers to refurbish his mansion in Rome. The Villa Giula became the full-time residence of Julius III and the pope personally oversaw the construction. He hired only the best (including Michelangelo) and had little interest in the affairs of being a pope.
In addition to the extensive looting of the Catholic treasury so that he could flip his house, Julius III was known to have a crush on younger men. Yes it’s true, he liked to have sex with kids and was infamous for it.
3. Pope Innocent III
This pope reportedly helped plan the murder of well over one million people during his papacy between 1198-1216. He rallied military support in favor of the Inquisition after excommunicating Philip II of France and had put both France and England under an injunction, which was the Pope’s granted power of punishment.
Innocent called the Fourth Crusade, which was preoccupied with Constantinople. The pope excommunicated the Crusaders who attacked Christian cities, but he made no move to halt or topple their actions because he felt that the Latin presence would bring about a understanding between the Eastern and Western Churches. Innocent also ordered a crusade against the Albigenses, which successfully subdued the Cathar heresy in France but at a great cost in life and blood.
4. Pope Alexander VI
Pope Alexander VI had a special place reserved in Hell. On Halloween night of 1501, he was said to have prearranged and participated in the worst orgy in the history of Vatican While sex with promiscuous women while unwed and sworn to celibacy and a life devoted to God may be forgivable in certain circles, his other most appalling conducts would be scowled upon by just about any member of our contemporary civilized society. Alexander VI would also regularly have sex with his two sisters and his daughter. For the crime of incest, Alexander VI is surely one of the most evil popes to live this planet.
5. Pope Pius IX
Let it first be known that Pius IX resided in the Vatican as Pope for the longest time: 33 years. Let it alsoc be known that there was a direct correlation between his constant scheming and the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Both funding for and the mission plan itself had made its way from the papal office to the hands of John Wilkes Booth who shot Lincoln dead on April 15th, 1865 at the Ford Theater in Washington D.C. Yes, despite criticisms, Lincoln died as per the orders given by the Roman Catholic Church.
Why assassinate Lincoln? Pope Pius iX begged to disagree with Lincoln over the issue of slavery. He believed that it was not against diine law for a slave to be sold, bought or exchanged.
6. Pope John XXIII (15th Century)
You should not confuse this Pope for the one that came to power in the 20th century. This was Pope is one of the most heinous to walk this planet. It is still unclear of the extent of his crimes and his scope of his evil is mostly misunderstood. This “man” if you can call him that, committed almost every monstrous crime conceivable. 37 clergy members witnessed and professed against him on the following charges: Fornication, Adultery, Incest, Sodomy, Simony, Theft, and last but not least murder. There is one place reserved for him and it is hell!
7. Pope Damascus I
Under Damascus’s rule, women and children were constantly bought and sold into sex slavery to increase funding for the Church. Those who opposed his tyrannical rule would be tortured and burned alive after their lands were seized by the Church. Under his rule, women were compelled into prostitution, including female priests and nuns.
At the time, forty-four bishops who loathed the acts of Pope Damasus I, yet he managed to avoid being convicted of the crimes he was accused of. After the charges were laid, all forty-four bishops were murdered at the order of the Pope himself.. Damasus I was also the first among Popes to instill the concept that the papacy was a supreme office of God, using the Petrine text in the Holy book of Matthew to support his claims.
8. Pope Leo X
Often linked with Martin Luther and the disorder and turmoil of the Protestant Reformation, Pope Leo X is well-known for being one of the most prolific, uncontrollable spenders to have ever headed the Christian church.
Born Giovanni di Lorenzo de Medici, Leo came from a powerful family and enjoyed early favors that helped him acquire the papal throne when he was only 37. A patron of the arts, education, and charity, Leo certainly deserves to be recognized for elevating the church’s status, but his preference for money and political advancement rapidly exhausted the treasury. So financially unstable did his position become that he was eventually forced to pawn off furniture, jewels, and statues from the palace, as well as borrow huge sums of money from creditors, who became broke when the Pope died.
In addition to living a life of splendor, Leo practiced nepotism, famously used the sale of indulgences to finance the reconstruction of St. Peter’s Basilica, and was even accused of homosexuality. In fact, some sources hold that he died in bed while getting it on with a youngster. That accusation may or may not be true, of course, but one thing is for sure: Leo certainly let his love of luxury beat him.
9. Pope Nicholas III
It’s always good to be the Pope of million followers. But for the three years of Nicholas III’s reign (1277-1280), it may have been better to be the Pope’s brother. Or uncle. Or cousin. Nicholas III distributed the principalities in the Papal States among members of his family, essentially giving them land and political power. This nepotism earned him a spot in Dante’s eighth circle of Hell.
10. Pope Benedict IX
This pope makes this list because he committed murders and adulteries in broad daylight, robbed pilgrims of all their money and was regarded as a hideous criminal. The people drove him out of Rome: The Catholic encyclopedia says, “He was a totally disgrace for his position.