History of the World: Stretching Papal Infallibility to the Limits

Stacy Conradt

These days, we're supposed to view the Pope as a beacon of virtue and chastity. But some of the earlier Popes definitely were not either of those things.

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If that wasn't enough, several Popes died "in the act". In 939, Pope Leo VII died of a heart attack while in bed with his mistress; in 964, Pope John XII was caught naked in bed with a woman... by her husband. The husband beat the Pope to death. Then, incredibly, the exact same thing happened to Pope John XIII in 972. Finally, in 1471, Pope Paul II died of a heart attack while being sodomized by a page boy.

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