Top 5 Most Controversial Papal Elections

Throughout history, there have been 110 papal elections that declared legitimate popes recognized by the Catholic Church. Before 1059, there was no formal process for papal succession and they were often selected by other methods. In that year, Nicolás II promulgate the In nomine Domini and the suffrage was limited to the College of Cardinals ever since. Papal elections have taken the form of papal conclave since 1276. In the following elections the the conclave procedures have been relatively similar. Here we will show you the top 5 most controversial papal elections.


Top 5 Most Controversial Papal Elections Ever

5. Pope Alexander II

In San Pietro in Vincoli, on September 30 of 1061, the first papal election was held. After the death of Pope Nicholas II, for the first time in the history of the Roman Catholic Church a pope was chosen by vote. Bishop Anselmo de Baggio of Lucca, a non-cardinal and one of the founders of the Pataria, was elected Pope Alexander II and crowned at nightfall on October 1, 1061 in San Pietro in Vincoli Basilica because opposition to the election made a coronation in St. Peter’s Basilica impossible.

4. Pope Alexander VI

This Pope belonged to the family of Borgia or Borja (Játiva, Valencia, 1431 – Rome, 1503). He made a quick career based ecclesiastical intrigues, under the protection of his uncle and adoptive father, Pope Callistus III, who appointed him cardinal in 1455 and later was elected pope in 1492. His dissolute life and ambition were denounced in his sermons by the Florentine reformer Savonarola, who excommunicated, tortured and executed in 1498. His nepotism came to the end, using the resources of the Church to enrich his family and put his eight illegitimate children.

3. Pope Stephen VI

Born in Rome, Italy. Powerful member of the ruling family of Spoleto. He shared the hate of his family against Pope Formoso be crowned emperor by the member of a rival family. In January of 897 exhumed the corpse of Formoso, tried him and sentenced him, removed the papal vestments that had been buried, and sent him to maul his remains were thrown into the Tiber river. A few weeks later, probably in mid-February of the year 897 Pope Stephen VI was deposed and strangled.

2. Pope Benedict IX

Pope Benedict IX was not exactly someone loved. Pope was earlier in history, was 14 when he was appointed Bishop of Rome. San Pedro Damian called it “demon from hell disguised as a priest.” Benedict IX decided to resign in 1045, becoming the first man in history to sell the papacy, with the purpose of getting married, changed his pontifical office for 1500 pounds of gold to Archpriest John Gratian future Pope Gregory VI. Benedict leaves Rome IX. He then refused to face charges of simony and was excommunicated.

1. Pope Francis I

The papal conclave of 2013 was convened to elect a pope to succeed Benedict XVI following his resignation on 28 February 2013. After the 115 participating cardinal-electors gathered, they set 12 March 2013 as the beginning of the conclave. White smoke was witnessed at 19:06 local time, and the bells began pealing minutes after, on 13 March, following the 5th ballot, signifying the election of a new pope.

The conclave had elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio, an Argentinian cardinal, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, who has selected the papal name of Francis I. Cardinal Bergoglio was elected pope on 13 March 2013 at 7:06 p.m, the second day of the 2013 Papal conclave, taking the papal name Francis I. Cardinal Bergoglio is the first Jesuit priest chosen to be pope. He is the first pope to have been born in the Americas and is the first non-European pope in over 1,200 years; the last non-European pope, St. Gregory III, was born in Syria and reigned from 731 to 741.

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