The Popecast

The podcast about popes, for people who like history and hate being bored.

About the show

Short bios on the popes of the Roman Catholic Church, and periodic interviews with experts and commentators on the papacy & Church history. Become a patron and find extra bonus content at patreon.com/thepopecast.

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Episodes

  • PART ONE – The Pope Who Destroyed Communism (Pope St. John Paul II)

    February 22nd, 2020  |  19 mins 9 secs
    pope, series

    It’s finally here. The episode so many of you have all been waiting for. And this is just part one…

    Our pope this week is one of the finest men to ever grace the Chair of St. Peter. His life was one of unimaginable suffering, having been under the thumb of both the Nazis and the Communists at different points in his life. A renaissance man, he was equal parts philosopher and poet – exercising the head and the heart with unrivaled passion. Losing his earthly mother at age 9, he’s perhaps best known for his devotion to another Mother – God’s Mother. This is the story of his early life.

  • The Pope Who Didn't Back Down (St. Sixtus II)

    February 6th, 2020  |  14 mins 2 secs
    early church, history, martyrdom, persecution, roman canon

    Our pope this week is one of the greatest heroes of the ancient Church that you’ve never heard of. Well, at least, not until now. He was only pope for a short time, but his witness and heroic martyrdom left a mark that has echoed down through the centuries. Almost 18 centuries, in fact.

  • Answering Two Papal Objections (Interview on the Classical Theism podcast)

    January 28th, 2020  |  33 mins 15 secs
    classical theism, infallibility, interview

    Our episode this week is an interview we did with John DeRosa of the Classical Theism podcast, a show that’s all about defending Catholic Christian ideas in Conversation with all sorts of excellent guests like Trent Horn, Dr. Ed Feser, Jimmy Akin, Gomer from Catching Foxes and – somehow – yours truly. We chat about the stories of Pope Honorius I and Pope Liberius, along with lots of other great stuff.

  • The Pope Who Canceled the Jesuits (Pope Clement XIV)

    January 13th, 2020  |  16 mins 58 secs
    enlightenment, jesuits, pope

    Our pontiff this week did one of the most infamous deeds in all of papal history. It was so memorable that he’s the last pope to have taken his particular name ever since, and he was the butt of a joke at the election of our very own Pope Francis for it. His crime? He suppressed the Society of Jesus.

  • A Review of Netflix's "The Two Popes" (w/ Taylor Schroll of Forte Catholic)

    December 26th, 2019  |  39 mins 52 secs

    Netflix's new film "The Two Popes" is a recently-released biographical drama of the friendship between Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, when the latter was still Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio. The film has been mostly praised in the wider culture and predominantly criticized inside Catholic circles. In this episode, Matt from The Popecast and Taylor from Forte Catholic review the good and the bad of the new film.

  • The Pope Who Made Christmas Official (St. Julius I)

    December 18th, 2019  |  16 mins 58 secs
    heresy, pope, saint

    It’s a Popecast Christmas episode this week. Not only did this guy take his turn at fighting off the heresy that had infected a majority of the world’s bishops, but he stood by one of the Church’s greatest bishops and saints, and he may have even been the one to officially declare the day we celebrate Jesus’ birth.

  • EXTRA: Pope Francis' Apostolic Letter on the Nativity Scene

    December 1st, 2019  |  18 mins 42 secs
    audiobook, extra, pope francis

    A free audio version of Pope Francis' Apostolic Letter "Admirabile Signum" defending and encouraging the use of the Nativity Scene – or Christmas creche – for families and communities to develop a deeper understanding of the mystery of Jesus Christ's Incarnation.

  • The (Bad) Pope Caught in Bed With Another Man's Wife (Pope John XII)

    November 19th, 2019  |  17 mins 21 secs
    bad popes

    Our pope this week – one of the notorious so-called Bad Popes – was what the kids might call “a player”. A man of loose morals who only got the job because on his deathbed dear old dad made Roman officials pinky swear to elect his kid pope. Oh, and he was killed after being caught in bed with a married woman … at the hands of her jealous husband, no less.

  • The Lesser-Known Defender of Rome (St. Gelasius I)

    October 29th, 2019  |  13 mins 58 secs
    heresy, pope, saint

    We’re back this week with an episode on a pope who was equal parts lion and lamb. His blunt writing on papal authority was a respectful dunk on the eastern emperor, and served as that teaching’s foundation for centuries, but in the same breath he gave away all his earthly possessions before the end, and willingly died penniless.

  • The Last Martyred Pope (St. Martin I)

    September 25th, 2019  |  12 mins 36 secs
    heresy, martyr, pope, saint

    On this week’s episode, it’s a pope who answered to no one but God. He was fierce in battling the burgeoning heresy of Monothelitism (which claimed Jesus only had one will), didn’t care if the emperor approved his election or not, and would go on to pay the ultimate price for his efforts, all for the sake of the Church.

  • The (Bad) Pope of the Protestant Reformation (Pope Leo X)

    September 12th, 2019  |  16 mins 45 secs
    bad popes, pope, renaissance

    On this week’s episode, it’s another one of the “Bad Popes”. This guy loved partying so much, and was so bad at managing money, that one contemporary said he spent three pontificates worth of dough – everything from the guy before him, all of his own money, and all of his successor’s. Oh, and Martin Luther was stirring up a rebellion, and this pope didn’t do much to stop it.

  • The Pope of the Counter-Reformation (Paul III)

    August 30th, 2019  |  15 mins 42 secs
    pope, renaissance

    On this episode of the Popecast it’s a guy who historian Eamon Duffy listed as one of the 10 Popes Who Shook the World. He was friends with a couple of bad popes, did some shady stuff himself in early life, then had a profound conversion and laid the groundwork for reform of the Church that we’re still feeling over 500 years later.

  • EXTRA: Audio of Pope Francis' Letter to Priests

    August 5th, 2019  |  28 mins 52 secs
    audiobook, extra, francis, pope

    On the 160th anniversary of the death of St. John Vianney, patron of parish priests, Pope Francis released a letter addressed to all the priests of the world. In the letter, Francis encourages and thanks his brother priests for their service, especially during such a difficult era in the life of the Church.

  • The Pope and His Enemy, Who Were Martyred Together (Sts. Pontian & Hippolytus)

    August 2nd, 2019  |  13 mins 12 secs
    antipope, early church, hippolytus, pontian, popecast

    This week is a Popecast unlike any other. Our pope this episode was not only the first in history to resign his office, but he did so after being exiled alongside his archrival, a man who had set himself up as the Church’s first antipope. And the craziest part about it? Both of them are now saints.

  • The Pope Who Condemned His Predecessor...Sort Of (St. Leo II)

    July 21st, 2019  |  15 mins 34 secs
    heresy, pope, saint

    He was in office less than a year, but left a mark on the Church that’s still making waves among Catholics and non-Catholics alike to this very day. Well-educated, a lover of sacred music, and great servant of the poor, for better or for worse this pope is known for formally condemning one of his papal predecessors – though not for being a heretic, just for being wishy-washy and neglecting his sacred duty.

  • The Pope Who Gave Us the Feast of Corpus Christi (Urban IV)

    June 26th, 2019  |  11 mins 56 secs
    feast day, french, pope

    Our pope today introduced a day of celebration to the Catholic world that’s endured for over THREE QUARTERS OF A MILLENNIUM. In addition to, you know, wrestling power away from a rogue dynasty and otherwise trying to keep the Church afloat in troubled waters. All in just 3 years. No big deal.