Schineller's list of Papal Facts

So yeah, I'm not Roman Catholic (as you probably know), but I do love Papel trivia! Here is a great list of factoids from Peter Schineller, SJ. It was a little out of date so I had to revise it slightly and fix a number of formatting things, but the work is his:

Peter Schineller, SJ

• Peter started in Galilee, to Jerusalem, to Antioch and then to Rome, and martyred there perhaps around 68 AD
• Now 4500 bishops in 2700 dioceses
• 160 Cardinals, of which 120 will elect the next Pope
• 1 billion Catholics out of 6 billion inhabitants of earth. Another 1 billion Christians, who are not Catholic.
• 264 Popes and 266 Pontificates, because one pope, Benedict IX was pope three times
• Peter was succeeded by Linus, and then, church is uncertain if it was Clement to Cletus or Cletus to Clement
• 39 anti-popes in history, claiming to be popes. The most recent was Felix V (1439-49) One of the first of them, Hippolytus is a saint.
• Many popes are saints, canonized, but most are not. Most recent saint is Pius X.
• Most recent Blesseds are Pius IX and John XXIII. Causes of Pius XII and Paul VI are under consideration. From 1572 (St. Pius V) to Pius X – no saints, for over 300 years.
• Many of the popes in first centuries were married, with children. Two sets of popes who are saints, and whose sons became popes and are also saints.
o St. Anastasius I (399-401) is father of St. Innocent I (401-417)
o St. Hormisdas (514-23) is father of St. Silverius (536-37)
• 33 popes died by violence; 12 were martyred. 8 were definitely assassinated and 13 others were possibly assassinated. Attempts to assassinate Paul VI and John Paul II were made.
• The wife and daughter of Pope Hadrian II were murdered while he was pope (867-72) He was the last married pope although some later popes had children – like at least 20 since then.
• Low points of the papacy:
o John XII (955-64) pope when he was 18 or 20
o Died, possibly beaten for an adulterous relationship.
o John X (914-28) made a 5 year old archbishop of Reims
o Alexander VI - named his 18 year old son, Caesare bishop of several
o Dioceses, and then a cardinal
• Papacy was in:
o Avignon, France for 75 years, and for 3 years in Italy, but not Rome
o In the 19th century (1848-50) Pope fled Rome
o And in 1798 Siena and Florence
o And 1799 pope was in exile in France
• There have been 21 Universal Church Councils. At some of the early ones, the pope did not feature strongly. The three most recent ones – Trent, Vatican I and Vatican II.
• Pope John XIX was elected while he was a layperson (1024-32)
• Pope is chosen for life, but can submit his resignation. Otherwise, can’t be replaced even if he is in a coma.
• Celestine V resigned, went back to monastery, under house arrest, died 1 ½ years later and is canonized. Was pope from 5 July 1294 to 13 December of that year. Dante put him in hell for resigning.
• Most popular names: John XXIII, Gregory XVI, Benedict XVI, Clement XIV, Leo XIII, Pius XII. None took the name Peter.
• Shortest reign – Stephen II, elected March 752 and dies three days later, before being enthroned.
• Longest - Pius IX 31 years
• Pope Gregory I, later Gregory the Great (590-604), was chosen as a lawyer, layman One other pope was Great, namely Leo I (440-461)
• In 1861 – a priest was chosen, monk, Gregory XVI
• Gregory the Great introduced “servant of the servants of God. And Innocent III at peak of papal power introduced “Vicar of Christ” reserving this for Pope. Earlier, the pope was Vicar of Peter.
• Papacy is barely mentioned in Thomas Aquinas’ summa, and barely mentioned in the first catechisms around the Reformation. Is not in the Creeds.
• In 1829 Pope had power to appoint bishops in 24 dioceses outside the papal states. By 1980, only 24 dioceses out of 2500 dioceses had chapter elections for choice of bishops (centralization, and growth of papal power in 19th, 20 century)


Patrick said…
Very interesting. I'm curious what are these dioceses that still choose their own bishops. My guess is they are in some of the Eastern-rite Catholic churches.
Samuel said…
Interesting trivia.

The Britannica says that: "Apart from the allusion to Rome in the First Letter of Peter, there is no historical evidence that St. Peter was Rome's first bishop or that he was martyred in Rome (according to tradition, he was crucified upside down) during a persecution of the Christians in the mid-60s AD. By the end of the 1st century, however, his presence in the imperial capital was recognized by Christian leaders, and the city was accorded a place of honour, perhaps because of its claim to the graves of both Saints Peter and Paul."

The Britannica also mentions the legend of a female pope in the 13th century, Pope Joan, reigning as "John VIII" for 2 years. But that was later proved false.
Miles Mariae said…
My friend, there is plenty of historical evidence in the writings of the early Church Fathers that Peter was in Rome. St Iraneaus is pretty clear about that, as is the fact that St Peter's tomb has been found underneath present day St Peter's in Rome!

I invite you all to become Catholic, Christ founded one Church and He made Peter the first Pope, from which there has been an unbroken line of successors.

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