List of Most Sexually Active Popes

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Since the 13th century, a discipline of the Catholic Church has required priests in Latin Rite (i.e. Western) Catholic jurisdictions and bishops in both Latin Rite and Eastern Rite jurisdictions to be celibate. (In this context, celibate is not synonymous with sexually abstinent; celibate means not married.) The discipline of celibacy is not considered one of the infallible immutable dogmas, and so exceptions are occasionally allowed (see clerical celibacy — for example, in some cases a married Protestant minister who becomes a Catholic may be ordained to the priesthood). In particular, present-day church law allows the College of Cardinals to elect a married man to the papacy. In the Eastern Rite Church, married men are routinely ordained to the priesthood, but not to the episcopate. According to the Gospels, Saint Peter was married. According to the tradition of the Catholic Church, and supported by the archaeological evidence of his tomb on Vatican Hill, St. Peter founded the Christian community in Rome and became its bishop.

Some popes were sexually active before their election as pope; and it has sometimes been claimed that other Popes were sexually active during their papacies.

1 Comment

  1. It has been explained to me by a fairly reliable source that the catholic church’s marital celibacy of today is a result of priest’s widows contesting ownership of parish houses with the church in the middle ages. Apparently, after a priest’s family lived in a parish house (church property) for 30 or 40 years, they felt entitled to keep it, even after the priest died. Rather than get bogged down in property disputes, the church developed a ‘no marriage’ policy. They seem to have stayed pretty successful at retaining lands since them.

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