Successors of Saint Peter

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Saint Peter d. 67
Saint Linus 67-76
Saint Anacletus I 76-88
Saint Clement I 88-97
Saint Evaristus 97-105
Saint Alexander I 105-115
Saint Sixtus I 115-125
Saint Telesphorus 125-136
Saint Hyginus 136-140
Saint Pius I 140-155
Saint Anicetus 155-166
Saint Soter 166-175
Saint Eleutherius 175-189
Saint Victor I 189-199
Saint Zephyrinus 199-217
Saint Callistus I 217-222
Saint Urban I 222-230
Saint Pontian 230-235
Saint Anterus 235-236
Saint Fabian 236-250
Saint Cornelius 251-253
Saint Lucius I 253-254
Saint Stephen I 254-257
Saint Sixtus II 257-258
Saint Dionysius 260-268
Saint Felix I 269-274
Saint Eutychian 275-283
Saint Caius 283-296
Saint Marcellinus 296-304
Saint Marcellus I 308-309
Saint Eusebius 309(310)
Saint Miltiades 311-314
Saint Sylvester I 314-335
Saint Marcus 336
Saint Julius I 337-352
Liberius 352-366
Saint Damasus I 366-383
Saint Siricius 384-399
Saint Anastasius I 399-401
Saint Innocent I 401-417
Saint Zosimus 417-418
Saint Boniface I 418-422
Saint Celestine I 422-432
Saint Sixtus III 432-440
Saint Leo the Great 440-461
Saint Hilarius 461-468
Saint Simplicius 468-483
Saint Felix III 483-492
Saint Gelasius I 492-496
Anastasius II 496-498
Saint Symmachus 498-514
Saint Hormisdas 514-523
Saint John I 523-526
Saint Felix IV 526-530
Boniface II 530-532
John II 533-535
Saint Agapetus I 535-536
Saint Silverius 536-537
Vigilius 537-555
Pelagius I 556-561
John III 561-574
Benedict I 575-579
Pelagius II 579-590
Saint Gregory the Great 590-604
Sabinian 604-606
Boniface III 607
Saint Boniface IV 608-615
Saint Deusdedit(Adeodatus I) 615-618
Boniface V 619-625
Honorius I 625-638
Severinus 640
John IV 640-642
Theodore I 642-649
Saint Martin I 649-655
Saint Eugene I 655-657
Saint Vitalian 657-672
Adeodatus (II) 672-676
Donus 676-678
Saint Agatho 678-681
Saint Leo II 682-683
Saint Benedict II 684-685
John V 685-686
Conon 686-687
Saint Sergius I 687-701
John VI 701-705
John VII 705-707
Sisinnius 708
Constantine 708-715
Saint Gregory II 715-731
Saint Gregory III 731-741
Saint Zacharias 741-752
Stephen II 752
Stephen III 752-757
Saint Paul I 757-767
Stephen IV 767-772
Adrian I 772-795
Saint Leo III 795-816
Stephen V 816-817
Saint Paschal I 817-824
Eugene II 824-827
Valentine 827
Gregory IV 827-844
Sergius II 844-847
Saint Leo IV 847-855
Benedict III 855-858
Saint Nicholas the Great 858-867
Adrian II 867-872
John VIII 872-882
Marinus I 882-884
Saint Adrian III 884-885
Stephen VI 885-891
Formosus 891-896
Boniface VI 896
Stephen VII 896-897
Romanus 897
Theodore II 897
John IX 898-900
Benedict IV 900-903
Leo V 903
Sergius III 904-911
Anastasius III 911-913
Lando 913-914
John X 914-928
Leo VI 928
Stephen VIII 929-931
John XI 931-935
Leo VII 936-939
Stephen IX 939-942
Marinus II 942-946
Agapetus II 946-955
John XII 955-963
Leo VIII 963-964
Benedict V 964
John XIII 965-972
Benedict VI 973-974
Benedict VII 974-983
John XIV 983-984
John XV 985-996
Gregory V 996-999
Sylvester II 999-1003
John XVII 1003
John XVIII 1003-1009
Sergius IV 1009-1012
Benedict VIII 1012-1024
John XIX 1024-1032
Benedict IX 1032-1045
Sylvester III 1045
Benedict IX 1045
Gregory VI 1045-1046
Clement II 1046-1047
Benedict IX 1047-1048
Damasus II 1048
Saint Leo IX 1049-1054
Victor II 1055-1057
Stephen X 1057-1058
Nicholas II 1058-1061
Alexander II 1061-1073
Saint Gregory VII 1073-1085
Blessed Victor III 1086-1087
Blessed Urban II 1088-1099
Paschal II 1099-1118
Gelasius II 1118-1119
Callistus II 1119-1124
Honorius II 1124-1130
Innocent II 1130-1143
Celestine II 1143-1144
Lucius II 1144-1145
Blessed Eugene III 1145-1153
Anastasius IV 1153-1154
Adrian IV 1154-1159
Alexander III 1159-1181
Lucius III 1181-1185
Urban III 1185-1187
Gregory VIII 1187

Clement III 1187-1191
Celestine III 1191-1198
Innocent III 1198-1216

Honorius III 1216-1227
Gregory IX 1227-1241
Celestine IV 1241
Innocent IV 1243-1254
Alexander IV 1254-1261
Urban IV 1261-1264
Clement IV 1265-1268
Blessed Gregory X 1271-1276
Blessed Innocent V 1276
Adrian V 1276
John XXI 1276-1277
Nicholas III 1277-1280
Martin IV 1281-1285
Honorius IV 1285-1287
Nicholas IV 1288-1292
Saint Celestine V 1294
Boniface VIII 1294-1303
Blessed Benedict XI 1303-1304
Clement V 1305-1314
John XXII 1316-1334
Benedict XII 1334-1342
Clement VI 1342-1352
Innocent VI 1352-1362
Blessed Urban V 1362-1370
Gregory XI 1370-1378
Urban VI 1378-1389
Boniface IX 1389-1404
Innocent VII 1406-1406
Gregory XII 1406-1415
Martin V 1417-1431
Eugene IV 1431-1447
Nicholas V 1447-1455
Callistus III 1445-1458
Pius II 1458-1464
Paul II 1464-1471
Sixtus IV 1471-1484
Innocent VIII 1484-1492
Alexander VI 1492-1503
Pius III 1503
Julius II 1503-1513
Leo X 1513-1521
Adrian VI 1522-1523
Clement VII 1523-1534
Paul III 1534-1549
Julius III 1550-1555
Marcellus II 1555
Paul IV 1555-1559
Pius IV 1559-1565
Saint Pius V 1566-1572
Gregory XIII 1572-1585
Sixtus V 1585-1590
Urban VII 1590
Gregory XIV 1590-1591
Innocent IX 1591
Clement VIII 1592-1605
Leo XI 1605
Paul V 1605-1621
Gregory XV 1621-1623
Urban VIII 1623-1644
Innocent X 1644-1655
Alexander VII 1655-1667
Clement IX 1667-1669
Clement X 1670-1676
Blessed Innocent XI 1676-1689
Alexander VIII 1689-1691
Innocent XII 1691-1700
Clement XI 1700-1721
Innocent XIII 1721-1724
Benedict XIII 1724-1730
Clement XII 1730-1740
Benedict XIV 1740-1758
Clement XIII 1758-1769
Clement XIV 1769-1774
Pius VI 1775-1799
Pius VII 1800-1823
Leo XII 1823-1829
Pius VIII 1829-1830
Gregory XVI 1831-1846
Blessed Pius IX 1846-1878
Leo XIII 1878-1903
Saint Pius X 1903-1914
Benedict XV 1914-1922
Pius XI 1922-1939
Pius XII 1939-1958

 


 

Regarding John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, Benedict XVI the following explanation has been provided:

    Since 1958, there is good reason to believe that John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI, should not be considered true popes because, by their words and actions, they have manifested their errors by expressing doctrines contrary to what the Catholic Church has always taught.  In the second half of the Twentieth Century up until today, both Catholics and non-Catholics alike would agree that the Catholic Church has undergone dramatic, and in some cases, unprecedented changes. Because of these changes we have been left with the question, “What has happened to the Catholic Church?” Mass attendance is at an all time low through out many parts of the world, and many Catholics no longer think it necessary to believe in Catholic teachings to be Catholic. The Catholic faith is grounded in Sacred Scripture, tradition, and the Magisterium (teachings of popes and councils).  As Catholics, we believe that the truths of the faith cannot change and that once the Church teaches something to be true it can never be taken away. However, this has now been abandoned for an, at best, watered down and often times wholly different set of beliefs.  

    The Church before Vatican II warned us that the enemies of the Church were not only on the outside but on the inside as well. St. Pius X in Pascendi said, “For as We have said, they put their designs for her ruin into operation not from without but from within; hence, the danger is present almost in the very veins and heart of the Church, whose injury is the more certain, the more intimate is their knowledge of her.” Pope Leo XIII had a vision in 1888 were he saw the devil overtaking the visible positions in the Church around a hundred years time and prescribed the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel to be said after every Mass. In the original version he writes, “These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions. In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most holy Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.” This tells us that the Church will at least look as though it had been taken over by Her enemies and, therefore, he asked for the prayers of the faithful to guard against this. These prayers were removed in 1970.

    In 1962 John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council which was to bring ‘springtime’ to the Church. Unfortunately the changes and destruction to the faith that resulted from this period are staggering to say the least. The fruits of the council are clear. Between 1965 and 2002, the number of seminarians dropped from 49,000 to 4,700, a decline of over 90 percent. Two-thirds of the 600 seminaries that were operating in 1965 have now closed. Almost half of all Catholic high schools in the United States have closed since 1965 and the number of teaching nuns has dropped from 104,000 in 1968 to 8,200 today, a decline of 94 percent since the end of Vatican II. Catholic marriages have fallen in number by one-third since 1965, while the annual number of annulments in the U.S. has soared from 338 in 1968 to 50,000 in 2002 (Index of Leading Catholic Indicators compiled by Kenneth C. Jones). Besides these statistics we know from our own experience that the faithful no longer believ in Novenas, Catholic devotions, sacramentals, etc.. Even more frightening, the sacraments, in many "Catholic" minds, like the Holy Eucharist and Confession are no longer believed as a necessary part of our Catholic faith.   

    The changes in Catholic teaching beginning with the Second Vatican Council and changes to how we live our Catholic faith have left us with something completely different; a new church.  These contradictions include a false sense of ecumenism (the belief that other religions are also a means of salvation), errors concerning religious liberty, and modernism (the idea that dogmas can and should change and adapt to fit the changes of society). These errors were introduced by the ambiguous documents of Vatican II and were promulgated most notably by Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

    There have been changes to the sacraments as well, such as the new mass which has removed 70% of the prayers, leaves little or no sense of reverence, and has even changed the words of Our Lord in the English translation.  The new Mass that started being used in 1970 at the request of Paul VI was created with the help of six protestant ministers. There were even two top Cardinals at the time, Cardinal Ottaviani and Cardinal Bacci, who said the new Mass “Represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session 22 of the Council of Trent.” (Letter from Cardinal A. Ottavianni and Cardinal A. Bacci) The Church has always believed that the Mass is a sacrifice where the priest offers Jesus Christ on the Altar. Now it is considered to be a community meal, where little or no reverence is shown, people receive the Eucharist in the hand from other lay persons. There have also been changes to the other sacraments, most importantly the change to the rite of consecration for bishops, which is now doubtfully valid because the rite itself has been changed completely. Pope Pius XII had set aside specific words that must be used for the sacrament to take place.  However, these were completely changed after Vatican II. Theologians have taught that it does matter what words are used and changing them can effect whether or not the consecration has taken place (Problems with the New Sacraments by Rama Coomaraswamy, M.D.).

    Because of the errors of modernism, John Paul II and now Benedict XVI have said and done things that clearly go against the faith of the Church.  One of the errors of our day is the idea of the Church of Christ as being something bigger than the Catholic Church and includes not only the Greek Orthodox but protestant faiths as well. For example, Benedict XVI recently sent a letter to the Schismatic Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox church, Alexy II, in which he said, “Gestures and words of renewed brotherhood between pastors of the Lord's flock show that an ever more intense collaboration in truth and charity help increase the spirit of communion that must guide the steps of all the baptized.”  But we know from Pope Leo XIII that, “Bishops are deprived of the right and power of ruling, if they deliberately secede from Peter and his successors; because, by this secession, they are separated from the foundation on which the whole edifice must rest. They are therefore outside the edifice itself; and for this very reason they are separated from the fold, whose leader is the Chief Pastor; they are exiled from the Kingdom, the keys of which were given by Christ to Peter alone.” (Satis Cognitum)

    During the reign of John Paul II he continually met and prayed with non-Catholics, not with a spirit to convert them but to highlight the holiness of all religions and how they are acceptable to God on their own.  Although we are to love all those outside the Catholic faith, we are also bound by true Catholic charity to work for their return to the Church. One of the many prayer meetings of John Paul II was the 1986 (and 2002) ecumenical meeting at Assisi in which 150 religions of the world were invited by him to pray to their false gods for world peace. His actions make it evident that he believes their individual religions are somehow good and praiseworthy because they all a have a sense of “god”.  This idea was condemned by Pope Pius XI as “tantamount to abandoning the religion revealed by God”. Another example of John Paul II’s disregard for the Church’s previous teachings on false religions was when he kissed a copy of the Koran in 1999 at the Vatican.  This is the same Koran that caused hundreds of thousands of saintly martyrs to be put to death because they refused to bow down to it and accept it to be holy.  They died defending the Catholic faith and John Paul II said by his actions that their deaths were in vain.

    Pope Pius XI in 1928 said “the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it.” (Mortalium Animos) This means that we must believe that other Christians must return and accept the Catholic faith.  This is quite different from the modern idea that those outside of communion with the Catholic Church do not need to convert to the faith of Christ to be saved.

    One example of the errors contained in the Second Vatican Council concerns the Church’s teaching on religious liberty: “The right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person... This right to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed. Thus it is to become a civil right." (Declaration on Religious Liberty Dignitatis Humanae, paragraph 2). The previous doctrine, which many popes have often reiterated, is most authoritatively stated in Pope Pius IX's Quanta Cura (1864), this is almost a word for word contrary teaching: "And from this wholly false idea of social organization they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, especially fatal to the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by our predecessor, Gregory XVI, insanity, namely that the liberty of conscience and worship is the proper right of every man, and should be proclaimed by law in every correctly established society... Each and every doctrine individually mentioned in this letter, by Our Apostolic authority We reject, proscribe and condemn; and We wish and command that they be considered as absolutely rejected by all the sons of the Church."

    Great saints, doctors of the Church, and celebrated theologians have taught that if a man, even the Roman Pontiff, should fall into error, he is no longer teaching the Catholic Faith and should not be followed. This does not mean that one is allowed to reject the authority of the pope or papal infallibility, but if there is sufficient evidence to show that the pope has fallen into error, we can question whether or not he is truly pope. This has been accepted by many Doctors of the Church as a possibility in line with Catholic teaching.

Cardinal and Doctor of the Church St. Robert Bellarmine who wrote in his Second Book, Chapter 29 of De Romano Pontifice the following:

"Just as it is lawful to resist the Pope that attacks the body, it is also lawful to resist the one who attacks souls or who disturbs civil order, or above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is lawful to resist by not doing what he orders and preventing his will from being executed."

Two more Doctors of the Church weighed in on this vital issue. St. Francis de Sales stated in A Catholic Controversy in 1596:

"Now when [the Pope] is explicitly a heretic, he falls ipso facto from his dignity and out of the Church, and the Church must either deprive him, or, as some say, declare him deprived, of his Apostolic See."

In his Verita della Fede, Part III, Chapter VIII: 9-10, St. Alphonsus Liguori left an omen that - we can only believe from what we see today - has emerged:

"If ever a pope, as a private person, should fall into heresy, he would at once fall from the pontificate. If, however, God were to permit a pope to become a notoriously and contumacious heretic, he would by such fact cease to be pope, and the apostolic chair would be vacant."

Don’t forget what Pope Leo XIII taught concerning the Catholic faith, There can be nothing more dangerous than those heretics who admit nearly the whole cycle of doctrine, and yet by one word, as with a drop of poison, infect the real and simple faith taught by our Lord and handed down by Apostolic tradition” (Satis Cognitum)

During these sad and confusing times it is important for us to remain faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church as it has always been.  These men have taught and are teaching something that previous popes, councils of the church, Fathers and Doctors of the Church, theologians and our holy saints would have considered against the faith of Christ. Our Lord said, “By their fruits you shall know them” and this should always be our guide when in doubt. Always have hope because in the end we know that the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church, and Our Lady's Immaculate Heart will triumph and all confusion and error will be set aside and the Church will return to Her former beauty.