The pope is the central figure of Catholicism. This is reflected in the unbiblical and blasphemous titles he’s addressed as: Most Holy Lord, Chief of the Church in the World, High Priest and Vicars of Christ.
Pope Leo XIII said: “We hold upon this earth the place of God Almighty” (Great Encyclical Letters of Leo, XIII, 304).
Pope Nicholas said: “I am all in all and above all so that God, Himself and I, The Vicar of God, have but one consistory, and I am able to do almost all that God can do … What therefore, can you make of me but God?” (Decretals of the Lord Pope Gregory, Liber 1, 7:3:99).
Christopher Marcellus at the 5th Lateran council, said to the pope “Thou art the shepherd, thou art the physician, thou art the rector, thou art the husbandman; finally thou art another god on earth” (Session IV, Mansci. Sc. Vol. 32, col 761).
If words have meaning, these adulation and praise indicate that the popes are held as gods, or demigods at least. A Catholic friend once told me, “Do you realise that when the pope stands before the High Altar during Mass, he is God?” I replied, “He could be God to you, but to us he’s a mere mortal who will die and be replaced.”
What makes the pope any different from Jim Jones, Myung Moon and other cult leaders? If you have ever seen the wild enthusiasm of the thousands of Catholics who gather when the pope makes a personal appearance or the fawning euphoria of those of them fortunate to touch him, they always convey a notion: “We have touched God in human clothes. What an achievement!”
The word “vicar” is derived from the Latin word “vicarius” which in Greek means “anti” or “another.” So, the Vicar of Christ title can either stand for “another Christ” like the Holy Spirit, or the Antichrist. The Antichrist spirit manifests by opposing and exalting itself above God and sitting as God over people (2 Thess. 2:3, 4).
The history of many of the popes also reveal who they represent. Their biographies in the Catholic Encyclopedia read almost like a soap opera, full of intrigues, assassinations, sex and plots. But here I will restrict myself to some of the sexually immoral ones.
(1) Pope Sergius III (904-911)
He obtained his papal office by murder. The annals of the Catholic Church tells openly about his open affair with his mistress, Marozia, the daughter of Theodora (the wife of a Roman senator). She bore him several illegitimate children. Baronius described him as a monster. For 7 years, this pope sat on the chair of St. Peter, with his concubine filling the place with their bastard sons. Historian Edward Gibbons wrote:
“The influence of two prostitutes, Marozia and Theodora, was founded on their wealth and beauty, their political and amorous intrigues. The most strenuous of their lovers were rewarded with the Roman mitre … The bastard son, the grandson, and the great grandson of Marozia – a rare genealogy – were seated in the Chair of St. Peter” (The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, London, 1830, chapter xlix).
After Sergius III’s death, Theodora maneuvered her new priest lover from Ravena as his successor: Pope Anastasius III. That prostitutes would determined who would be pope could hardly be termed “apostolic succession.”
(2) Pope John XII (955-63)
He was Marozia’s grandson who became a pope at the age of 18. He was so obsessed with illicit sex that he had many regular mistresses.
The Catholic Encyclopedia (8:427) describes him as “a coarse, immoral man, whose life was such that the Lateran was spoken of as a brothel and the moral corruption in Rome became the subject of general odium … On 6 November, a synod of 50 bishops was convened in St Peter’s; John was accused of sacrilege, simony, perjury, murder, adultery and incest … [including toasting Satan at St. Peter’s altar].”
Bishop Liudprand of Cremona, a papal chronicler at that time wrote: “No honest lady dared to show herself in public; for pope John had no respect either for single girls, married women, or widows – they were sure to be defiled by him, even on the tombs of the holy apostles Peter and Paul.”
He recorded that pope John was so in love with a mistress that he made her a governor of several cities! (Liber Pontificals 2:246). John XII was finally killed by a husband who caught him in bed with his wife.
(3) Boniface VIII (1294-1303)
This pope was so immoral that he had a mother and daughter as lovers. It was during his reign that Italian poet, Dante, visited Rome. He described the Vatican as “a sewer of corruption” and assigned Boniface (and Popes Nicholas III and Clement V) to “the lower parts of hell.”
Boniface openly declared that “to lie carnally with women or with boys is no more a sin than rubbing one’s hands together” (Catholic Encyclopedia, 2: 670). He also called Jesus a “hypocrite” and professed to be an atheist.
“Scarcely any possible crime was omitted – infidelity, heresy, simony, gross and unnatural immorality, idolatry, magic, loss of the Holy land, death of [Pope] Celestine” were charges brought against him. In fact, “even modern Catholic writers class him among the wicked Popes, as an ambitious, haughty and unrelenting man, deceitful also and treacherous, his whole pontificate was one record of evil” (Ibid, 668).
(4) Pope John XXIII (1410-1415)
This man got the papal chair by poisoning a previous pope Alexander V (1409-1410) to death. He was described as a “former pirate, mass-murderer, mass-fornicator with a partiality for nuns, adulterer on a scale unknown outside fables, simoniac par excellence, blackmailer, pimp, master of dirty tricks” (Peter de Rosa, Vicars of Christ, Crown Publishers, 1988, 93-94).
He opened the Council of Constance which eventually condemned him to prison. About 54 charges laid against him had to be reduced into 5.
He “was accused by thirty-seven witnesses (mostly bishops and priests) of fornication, adultery, incest, sodomy, simony, theft, and murder! It was proved by a legion of witnesses that he had seduced and violated three hundred nuns. His own secretary, Niem said that had at Boulogne kept a harem, where not less than two hundred girls had been victims of his lubricity” (Will Durant, Story of Civilization: The Reformation, Simon and Schuster, 1952, p. 10)
A Vatican record says: “His lordship, Pope John, committed perversity with the wife of his brother, incest with holy nuns, intercourse with virgins, adultery with the married, and all sorts of sex crimes … wholly given to sleep and other carnal desires, totally adverse to the life and teaching of Christ … he was publicly called the Devil’s Incarnate” (Sancororum Concillorium, 27:663).
To increase his wealth, Pope John taxed about everything—including prostitution, gambling, and usury. He has been called “the most depraved criminal who ever sat on the Papal throne.”
(5) Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503)
Borgia Rodrigo (real name) bought the papal chair by bribing off his rival, Cardinal Sforza with villas, abbeys, towns and four mule-loads of silver. (So much for apostolic succession!). Alexander VI who committed his first murder at age 12, after becoming a pope cried out: “I am Pope, Pontiff, Vicar of Christ!”
He had ten known illegitimate children by his numerous mistresses. At the age of 58, he took a 15 year old mistress named Giulia Farnese. A Florentine scholar has this to say:
“His manner of living was dissolute. He knew neither shame nor sincerity, neither faith nor religion. Moreover, he was possessed by an insatiable greed, an overwhelming ambition and a burning passion for the advancement of his many children who, in order to carry out his iniquitous decrees, did not scruple to employ the most heinous means” (Francesco Guicciardini, Storia I, 20 cited in E. R. Chamberlin, The Bad Popes, 1969, 173).
(6) Paul III (1534-1549)
He was the brother of Borgia’s 15 year old mistress and convened the Council of Trent to counter the Reformation. As a Cardinal, he fathered 3 sons and a daughter. On the day of his coronation, he celebrated the baptism of his two great grandchildren and appointed his nephews as Cardinals. He sought advise with occult astrologers and sponsored festivals with singers, dancers and jesters (Life, July 5, 1963)
Inside St. Peter’s basilica his burial monument is adorned with reclining female figures. One of these figures (called Justice) was naked for 300 years until Pius XII had clothes painted on her. This figure was modelled after Paul III’s sister, Giulia. Thus, even in art, papal immorality is immortalized.
To call these deeply immoral men “vicars of Christ” or “his Holiness” is a mockery of Christ. The fruit of these men’s lives are terribly rotten. Rome today has tried hard to sweep the evils of its modern popes under the carpet with sweet homilies on sexual purity, but the reality is that, these same evils are still carried on today underground.
The Bible says “Can an Ethiopian change the colour of his skin and can a leopard take away its spots?” (Jer. 13:23). The answer is no. The fall of man and the depravity of the human heart betray the titles of the popes as God’s representatives on earth as a lie cemented by destructive pride. No, these guys are not Christ’s vicars, they are vicars of self and Satan.