Pope John XII


It is my understanding that the Church acknowledges Pope John XII as a legitimate pope, because his teachings were in accordance with Scripture, etc. Now, because of this, Protestants use him to undermine the authority of the Church. I’m kind of skeptical too because he was an immoral man, no matter how knowledgable he was in his position. So do you think that God would appoint an immoral man as the head of the Church?


Those who undermine the authority of the Church because of the lack of morals of some Catholic clergy (including some past popes) must also undermine the authority of the Bible and Judaism (in the Old Testament times), because we now that certainly not all Israel rulers and priest were faithful to God’s laws and Covenant.
So yes, God most definitely can and has appointed and allowed immoral people as leaders of His people (as the Scripture and history tells us). Nevertheless, we know that God has remained faithful to His Covenant and has not forsaken it (luckily for us).


I see. That makes sense, because even King David sinned when he took Bathsheba to his bed.


God does not demand perfection of ANY of His followers. Perhaps one of the greatest feats of Mark (or was it Mathew?) is that it shows the Apostles in such a negative light, and yet shows repeatedly how Jesus forgives their iniquity and how they overcome it to become even greater. Look at the collection of them from all the Gospels:

–Peter looks away from Jesus when walking on water… doubts… and begins to sink
–How many times do the apostles question Jesus’ teachings or actions?
–When Jesus was arrested they had no faith to follow His word, so they fought instead.
–When Jesus was on trial, Peter, the first pope, denied… DENIED Him THREE TIMES.
–After Jesus was crucified, the disciples scatter to the wind and go into hiding. Jesus finds them and brings them out to ministry.
–Even then there are Apostles who doubt the resurrection and need it proven to them.
– Even afterwards, in Acts, we can see that the apostles were still flawed men lead only by the grace of God.

If the original Apostles were all fallen sinners, then why should we presume that any pope should have to be perfect to some standard that God (apparently) does not demand. God wants broken pots, because He makes us whole again.


Sorry, dont know my history. Why is Pope John XII seen as an immoral man?


Infallibility and impeccability are often times confused.


follow-up question: a synod deposed john xii and elected a new pope while john was still alive. the church recognizes both john and the next pope as legitimate. so…

a) i thought a pope could not be deposed?

b) how could the next pope have had a valid election while the previous pope was still alive?


See New Advent It appears that Benedict, who succeeded him resigned, albeit under compulsion, and only at that point did Leo VIII become a valid pope.


Why is Leo VIII still regarded as a valid pope since he was not elected validly? And why is Benedict V regarded as a valid pope if he was elected while Leo VIII was also still alive?


Most likely, it was because he was accused of the following: sacrilege, simony, adultery, murder, perjury, and incest (cf <NewAdvent.org> article on Pope John XII).


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