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 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.

  • The Last Pope...Alphabetically (St. Zosimus)

    February 13th, 2021  |  13 mins 40 secs
    early church, heresy

    Our pope this week was only in office a short time, but still managed to leave a mark that’s resounded through the ages in battling one of early Christianity’s most monumental heresies. He’s also one of just three pontiffs in history to have a name that starts with the letter Z.

  • The Pope Who Died of the Plague (Pope Pelagius II)

    January 29th, 2021  |  11 mins 26 secs
    middle ages

    Our man this week was a mentor to one of the greatest popes to ever live, he spent far too much time trying to drum up an army from the emperor to protect Rome from destruction, and met his earthly end as a deadly disease swept brutally through late 6th-Century Rome.

  • Quizzical Papist Crossover w/ Fr. Brad and Grace

    January 17th, 2021  |  33 mins 32 secs

    This week is an extra special a CROSSOVER episode with the excellent podcast The Quizzical Papist – Your “extraordinary form” bar trivia with Fr. Brad and Grace. If you’ve ever been to bar trivia – or if you can even remember what that’s like after the long winter of 2020, that’s the exact structure of their show and, as a result, this crossover.

    Grace and Matt battled it out over two rounds – the first half you’ll find on The Quizzical Papist, so make sure you go over and start there. Our half of the show has the second round and final results of the great papist showdown

  • Scandals, Canon Law, and Freemasonry with The Pillar's JD Flynn and Ed Condon

    January 13th, 2021  |  52 mins 36 secs
    guest appearance, interview

    Our first episode of 2021 is a very special one indeed. This week we’re joined by JD Flynn & Ed Condon, co-founders of The Pillar, the brand new Catholic media project focused on smart, faithful, and serious journalism, from committed and informed Catholics who love the Church, which you can find and sign up for at pillarcatholic.com.

  • Pope Benedict XVI (An Interview with Fr. Harrison from Clerically Speaking)

    December 20th, 2020  |  49 mins 20 secs
    guest appearance, interview

    Matt and special guest, Fr. Harrison Ayre from Clerically Speaking, nerd out on their shared love for Pope Benedict XVI and why he's just as important to the average person in the pews as he is to the great Catholic intellectual tradition as a whole.

  • EXTRA: Pope Francis' New Apostolic Letter on St. Joseph

    December 10th, 2020  |  31 mins 1 sec
    audiobook, extra

    An exclusive audio recording of Patris Corde, the new apostolic letter from Pope Francis on St. Joseph, celebrating the 150th anniversary of Joseph being named Patron of the Universal Church and announcing a "Year of St. Joseph" starting December 8, 2020.