Who was the best pope in history and why


Dumb question: Is the n pronounced? Him-ology or him-nology?



Pope Benedict XVI because he is a quiet, thoughtful, and shy man who likes cats. I like that :slight_smile:





1 Like


Pope Saint John Paul II.

He was a true renaissance style man - athlete, actor, theologian, philosopher, a man of intense prayer, charismatic leader and extensive writer / preacher / teacher.

Traveled the world, literally preaching the Gospel to the four corners of the earth, confronted evil head on: apartheid, communism. Brought down the wall.

Will certainly be known at John Paul the Great at some point.

Oh, and Polish to boot!

Deacon Christopher



This is like asking who was the best President. In both cases, for most people I expect, it comes down to something more along the lines of “who is our favorite”. So approaching it from that angle I will say Pius XII. Having read a fair bit about him, including most recently “Church of Spies” by Mark Riebling, I think he is one of the great heroes of WWII.

1 Like


The best answers have been taken!

But, great admiration for martyrs like Martin I, who refused to let the Church become the puppet of the Eastern emperor.

Or Pope Calixtus for example, who settled the first antipope controversy, decided our policy on Donatism, and was martyred for the faith.

Or Pope Julius II the warrior pope. Or Urban II, who reclaimed the Holy Land, beginning the Crusader Kingdoms, countries that would last longer than the US has been around.

Or Pius VII, who stood up to Napoleon. Or the Great reformer of the Counter-Reformation Pius V.

1 Like


There is no way I could pick just one. Each of the best popes offered valuable gifts to the Church and world respective to each era they spent on earth. Each one was where they needed to be.



Pope Francis has to be one of the best, not because he is particularly Holy, Apostalic, Keeps the Church together as one or anything, but because under his Pontificate the evil in the Church has been exposed.



And Jesus PERSONALLY chose him



I am not nearly qualified to answer this question, but I’ll add this: wherever JPII went, millions flocked. I can’t remember exactly where I heard this but some say JPII was the single most viewed person in history (as in, more people saw him in person than any musician or athlete or public figure).

Could easily be wrong, but the point stands. In terms of spreading the gospel around the world I highly doubt any prior Pope did more. Plus he inspired a whole generation of “JPII priests”.

1 Like


I posted this to see people opinions on the popes in history and may be learn some new thing about my faith history thanks for commenting your opinion :blush:



Agreed. If I had to pick one, I would pick one I know about. St. John Paul the Great. Yes I admire so many, including Pope Pius V who stood against the onslaught of Protestantism, as well as Pope Pius XII who lived through the most evil regime in history, but Karol Wojtyla lived through that regime in Poland, and started as an underground seminary, and not only was Pope during another evil regime, but was one of three people that helped bring it down (along with Ronald Reagan and Leck Walesa)

I think he may one day be considered a Doctor of the Church for his work on Theology of the Body. He also taught a generation the value of the elderly and how one can grow old, and with age suffer, and with suffering bring glory to God. This might be his greatest act, as it is a lesson from a saint that we will all need some day, if death does not take us sooner.

1 Like




Took the words out of my mouth. The story of Leo the Great is awe inspiring. Thanks Deacon Jeff



Pope Linus; because he was the “2nd Pope”; had to fill the “shoes of the fisherman” and had to stay the course & keep the entire engine running despite Massive persecution



Jesus doesn’t choose the Pope, Cardinals do. Not the Holy Spirit either.






Probably Pope Leo X. If not for his taking the excessive abuses of his immediate predecessors to new heights the majority of Western Christianity would still be under the auspices of a severely unreformed and even dare I say evil version of the RCC that hadn’t had the benefit of subsequent Reformation and Counter Reformation.



Woah there! Christ’s Church can never be evil. Where did you get such a preposterous idea?

The ‘benefit’ of a ‘reformation’ that lost millions of souls to God. I think I’ll pass…

Also, this is a thread for ‘best pope,’ not ‘worst pope,’ and I don’t see the chain of reasoning.



The benefit was that the RCC was not exactly its best self in the late 1400’s and early 1500’s. Most of the popes in that era were corrupt, deranged, or outright evil. And they were taking western Christianity down the rabbit hole with them. It wasn’t until Leo pushed people like Luther and his contemporaries over the edge that hey forced the issue.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.