The Popecast

The unvarnished, non-boring history of the popes of the Roman Catholic Church – told in a way to remind us that the world and the Church’s problems today have happened plenty of times before.

About the show

The unvarnished, non-boring history of the popes of the Roman Catholic Church – told in a way to remind us that the world and the Church’s problems today have happened plenty of times before.

For early access and extra bonus stuff, check out patreon.com/thepopecast.

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Episodes

  • The Pope Who Renounced the Christian Faith...Or Did He? (St. Marcellinus)

    December 3rd, 2021  |  12 mins 42 secs
    early church, history

    Today’s episode is about a guy who lived...and died...during the last and worst of Rome’s persecutions of the Christian people. But just how that living and dying went is still up for discussion. 1700 years later.

  • The Pope Who Got a Bad Rap (John X)

    November 21st, 2021  |  14 mins 53 secs
    middle ages, pope

    Here's a pope who kept his head down and worked tirelessly for the good of Christendom. But in an age where secular rulers used the papacy as their plaything, he refused to be anyone’s puppet, and ended up paying the ultimate price. And what’s more, everyone though he was a bad pope until not all that long ago.

  • Was Pope John Paul I Murdered? (An Interview w/ The Pillar's JD Flynn & Michelle La Rosa)

    October 31st, 2021  |  38 mins 28 secs
    guest appearance, interview

    This episode we're joined by JD Flynn and Michelle La Rosa from The PIllar to tackle one of the saltiest and most recent papal conspiracy theories – one of the doozies in pretty much the whole history of the Catholic Church. A half-century ago a pope reigned for a mere 33 days. Was it all just a strange coincidence, or was there something more nefarious afoot?

  • The Pope St. John Paul II Supercut

    October 22nd, 2021  |  47 mins 16 secs
    pope, saint

    This week's episode is a very special one indeed. Our pope today needs no introduction, being one of the finest men to ever grace the Chair of St. Peter, but he does need a long episode to tell the whole tale of his long and eventful life. October 22 – the day that this episode is being released – is this man’s feast day and the anniversary of the 1978 inauguration of his papacy, so raise a glass (or a pierogi) for one of the greatest of all pontiffs.

  • The Slave Who Became Pope (St. Callistus I)

    October 15th, 2021  |  12 mins 45 secs
    early church, history

    This pope is a guy who rose from the lowest rungs of society to become the leader of a burgeoning but still illegal faith. And yet, it wasn’t the Romans who gave him the most grief. It was one of his fellow Christians.

  • The Pope Who Saved Western Civilization (St. Pius V REDUX)

    October 8th, 2021  |  17 mins 2 secs
    pope, renaissance

    Today’s episode is a Popecast Redux about a pope who may well have single-handedly kept the known world from a very, very different future. In fact, 2021 marks the 450th anniversary of his masterstroke – a convening of both corporeal and a spiritual armies to lead the Catholic Christian West to victory in one of the greatest sea battles ever fought.

  • The Other Pope Named John Paul (Venerable John Paul I)

    September 3rd, 2021  |  23 mins 20 secs
    20th century, short papacy

    Our pope this week was in the Chair of Peter for barely a moment in the great lifespan of Catholic history, but his humble heart and joyful demeanor has influenced each of the three popes who followed him and put him firmly among the most memorable and beloved pontiffs of the last several centuries.

  • The Pope Who Hired a Warrior Cardinal (Innocent VI)

    August 19th, 2021  |  11 mins 52 secs
    middle ages

    Our pope this week was a pontiff in exile – the whole Roman Curia was in those days – who everyone thought would be near death, but he ended up sticking around for 10 years and set about cleaning up the clerical riff-raff, leaving us with one of the greatest hymns ever written, and hiring a bloodhound in a red hat to prowl around Italy and gain back what was rightfully Peter’s.

  • A Habsburg Shares the Story of Pope St. Gregory the Great

    August 12th, 2021  |  30 mins 56 secs
    guest appearance, interview

    Joining the show this week is special guest Eduard Habsburg, the Hungarian Ambassador to the Vatican and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, sharing the incredible story of Pope St. Gregory the Great, the "Pope Who Founded Western Civilization"

  • The Pope Who Really REALLY Didn't Want the Job (Blessed Victor III)

    July 30th, 2021  |  15 mins 32 secs
    middle ages

    This pope was far more renowned for his life BEFORE the papacy than he was after. And that was a bummer, because he kinda gets a bad rap for it. But it certainly didn’t help that he avoided accepting his election like the plague.

  • The Greatest Pope You've Never Heard Of (Sixtus V)

    May 27th, 2021  |  24 mins 24 secs
    pope, renaissance

    Our pope this week was startlingly good for a Renaissance pontiff – he didn’t use his power to elevate all of his greedy nephews, he began as a monk and never really forgot it, and he worked so hard and so much that he could have coined the phrase “I can sleep when I’m dead.”

  • The Pope Whose Family Was the Literal Worst (Benedict VIII)

    May 12th, 2021  |  8 mins 13 secs
    middle ages, pope

    This guy was an able pontiff who brought much-needed respect back to the papacy at its lowest point in history. And on the family front, he was a real diamond in the rough. A lone bright spot amidst a group of relatives that would make the Kardashians blush.

  • The Pope Who Was Ridiculously Good Looking (Conon)

    April 10th, 2021  |  8 mins 24 secs
    middle ages, pope

    This pope wasn’t long for this world once he made it to the Chair of St. Peter and was a compromise pick from the beginning, to boot. Apparently it had something to do with being just another pretty face, but history is silent on whether or not he was a ...barbarian.

  • The Pope Who Told Us When to Celebrate Easter (St. Victor I)

    April 1st, 2021  |  12 mins 21 secs
    early church, heresy, pope, saint

    Our pope this week hit a lot of firsts – first Latin-writing pope, first African pope, and the first papal hothead. Good thing he had the humility to match it.

  • The Pope Who Wasn't Even a Priest Yet (Nicholas III)

    March 6th, 2021  |  17 mins 40 secs

    Our pope this week voted in literally one million papal elections before it was finally his turn. At least it probably seemed like that to him. He was a child of the nobility who served the Church from an early age, but there was just one small thing left to do after he got elected as the new Bishop of Rome...

  • The First Assassinated Pope (John VIII)

    February 23rd, 2021  |  12 mins 38 secs
    middle ages

    He was one of the last solid pontiffs before perhaps the darkest time in the history of the papacy. He held off the Muslim Army as long as he could, spent way too long looking for new emperors, was a patron of one of the Church’s greatest evangelists, and sadly was the first Bishop of Rome in history to meet a certain kind of sordid end.