Worst Popes Ever June 1, 2010, The Stranger
A Brief and Completely True History of the Catholic Church
If there's one thing our current pope loves besides Jews (just kidding!), it's grown men who touch little boys' buttholes. He can't get enough of grown men touching little boys' buttholes! He loves grown men touching little boys' buttholes so much that when he finds out one of his homeys has been fiddling around back there with the genitals of a child who was just looking for guidance and care from a trusted adult, he sends them on an all-expenses paid permanent vacation to a new town filled with all-new, untouched little boys' buttholes! Allegedly! What a kook! So. Is John Ratzenberger the worst pope ever? Let's take a look back through history and FIGURE IT THE FUCK OUT.
Saint Peter (?–?)
Invented this shit. Excruciating at dinner parties. Never stopped talking about his "book deal." Chronic interrupter.
Pope Anicetus (154–167)
More like Pope Anus-eat-us! Am I right? Am I... hmmmmm. "Traditionally martyred." Bummer. Sorry for that thing I said about your anus.
Pope Formosus (891–896)
This guy was such a jerk that a year after he died, his successor dug him up and put his corpse on trial for the "crime" of being a shitty pope. For real. Google it. Formosus foolishly insisted on representing himself at his trial. Rookie mistake. His putrid and desiccated skin sack, being neither alive nor a lawyer, was unable to convince the assembly of his nonshittiness. They cut off his fingers, tossed his already dead body into the Tiber River, pulled him out, and buried him again. Later, just for laughs—there was a lot of downtime in the ninth century—they exhumed him again, tried him again, and chopped his head off. His tombstone reads "At Least He Never Touched a Little Boy's Butthole."
Pope Sergius III (904–911)
Oh, hey! Look! It's the dude who ordered the second exhumation and posthumous beheading of Pope Formosus (see above)! That's arguably the most hilarious dick move in the history of tumescence. Sergius, being a go-getter, also had his archenemy, Pope Leo V, strangled about the neck to death (maybe) and founded an era of popedom called the "pornocracy" or "rule of the harlots." Plus, he liked to wear something called the "papal tiara." So what you're saying is that he was basically a super-fabulous gay Larry Flynt with a great sense of humor who only maybe murdered a guy one time? Fuck it. Best pope ever.
Pope Lando (913–914)
History's turncoatiest pope. Sold his best friend to a bounty hunter for a couple of lousy space-bucks. Loved Colt 45. Died like immediately.
Pope John XII (955–964)
Much like cheap sheet cake and Jeremy Piven, this one seemed like an okay dude at first. John XII was descended from Charlemagne—pretty cool, right?—and minstrels sung far and wide that his beard was likened unto the downy haunches of a fetal lamb. Tight. Except oh, snap! What a dick! According to the Patrologia Latina (which was written before fiction was invented, so you know it's all true):
He had fornicated with the widow of Rainier, with Stephana his father's concubine, with the widow Anna, and with his own niece, and he made the sacred palace into a whorehouse. They said that he had gone hunting publicly; that he had blinded his confessor Benedict, and thereafter Benedict had died; that he had killed John, cardinal subdeacon, after castrating him; and that he had set fires, girded on a sword, and put on a helmet and cuirass. All, clerics as well as laymen, declared that he had toasted to the devil with wine. They said when playing at dice, he invoked Jupiter, Venus and other demons. They even said he did not celebrate Matins and the canonical hours nor did he make the sign of the cross.
Okay. I don't really give a care about the widow of Rainier, or public hunting, or cardinal subdeacon John's testicles. But the rest of that shit? It's like he wasn't even TRYING! Was he high? Did someone forget to tell him he was the pope? Because I'm pretty sure that "Don't turn the sacred palace into a whorehouse" is on page one of the rule book and "Don't toast to the devil in front of the clerics" is on PAGE FUCKING TWO. Also, take off that stupid cuirass, John XII. You look like a goddamn warrior princess.
Pope Benedict IX (1032–1048)
Born Theophylactus of Tusculum (which, as everyone knows, is also the name of the muscle that keeps your butthole closed), Dick-9 was—according to some other jerks—a rapist, a murderer, a dog-maker-lover-to, and "the only man ever to have sold the papacy." Wikipedia sums up his greatest hits:
St. Peter Damian described him as "feasting on immorality" and "a demon from hell in the disguise of a priest" in the Liber Gomorrhianus. The Catholic Encyclopedia calls him "a disgrace to the Chair of Peter"... Pope Victor III, in his third book of Dialogues, referred to "his rapes, murders and other unspeakable acts. His life as a pope so vile, so foul, so execrable, that I shudder to think of it."
Held no qualms about cutting in line.
Pope Innocent IV (1243–1254)
Invented bitter beer face. Tortured pilgrims or something.
Pope Boniface VIII (1294–1303)
Pope Alexander VI (1492–1503)
Oh, Borgia pope! You crazy! Here's just the short list: bribed his way into office with "four mule-loads of silver"; stacked the entire government with his own kin; just murdered whoever all the time; probably gave the go-ahead to enslave the indigenous peoples of the New World (cool idea!); literal werewolf; would eat your leftovers without asking "just 'cause," even if you put a Post-it note on them; possibly boned his own daughter. As Lorenzo de Medici famously remarked: "Now we are in the power of a wolf, the most rapacious perhaps that this world has ever seen. And if we do not flee, he will inevitably devour us all. Also, what happened to my chicken tikka? I left it right here in the work fridge. I put a Post-it on it, you guys! You guys! Boooooorgiaaaaaaaa!!!" Ironically, eventually killed by a silver bullet crafted from his own mule-load of silver (see above)—thereby coining the popular expression "killed by a silver bullet from your own mule-load."
Chelsea Pope (1989–1993)
My next-door neighbor growing up. Bitch borrowed my VHS copy of Beauty and the Beast and then never gave it back. She denied everything, her mom had a fight with my mom, total shit-show. Also captured and sold Hittite women into slavery in the southern Mediterranean for the carnal pleasures of the landed gentry. Mostly, I'm just mad about that VHS thing.
Pope Benedict XVI (2005–present)
The word "pope" is Spanish for "dad" (look it up), but this li'l Ratzcal is more like an uncle. Like the uncle who didn't care if his THOUSANDS OF FRIENDS CAME OVER AND TOUCHED YOU ON YOUR BUTTHOLE. Jesus Christ. Worst pope ever.
(Originally published here.)