Good Pope, Bad Pope: Their Lives, Our Lessons

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9781616366285: Good Pope, Bad Pope: Their Lives, Our Lessons

Why did the author pick the popes you’ll meet in the pages of this book? Why not Gregory I, whom many would call the greatest pope of all time? Why not Leo X, who was pope at the beginning of the Protestant Reformation? Why not Leo XIII, who boldly stood up for the rights of workers?

Every pope is by definition a remarkable man. But the popes whose stories you’ll read here were chosen because they reveal how the papacy developed. They show us how Christ kept his promise to his bride, the Church, not only in her health but also in her sickness. The great popes advanced our understanding of Christian doctrine. But even more remarkable, the worst popes could do nothing to damage the teaching of the Church.

That’s why, even in its darkest moments, the story of the papacy is a story of triumph. And that’s why it’s worth knowing these twelve popes.

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About the Author:

Mike Aquilina is the author or editor of more than thirty books on Catholic history, doctrine, and devotion. He has cohosted eight series for EWTN and is a frequent guest on Catholic radio. His publishing career spans almost three decades, and hundreds of his articles have appeared in periodicals in the United States and abroad. Mike lives in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania.


This book is a great start for those wanting to learn more about the papacy, the men who have been pope, and how some popes have shaped the papacy and the Catholic Church, whether for good or bad.

—Krista Brown, Catholic Library World

Good Pope, Bad Pope is a book that can embolden the faith of a believing Catholic, and perhaps break down the walls of those who find the papacy to be a stumbling block in their journey to the church. Aquilina doesn't shy away at all from the fact that many popes were far more sinner than they were saint."

— The Catholic Telegraph

"Church historian Mike Aquilina knows a lot about the popes. He agrees that the lives of saintly, intellectual, or courageous popes inspire us, but he says we can also learn from the lives of cowardly, greedy, or just plain evil popes.... Somehow, despite the terrible things they did, these popes never tried to change Church doctrine or morality to justify their personal actions, which seems downright miraculous."

Catholic Digest

"Aquilina's abbreviated yet diverse selection—he admits your favorite may well be missing—provides a most readable account of the evolution of the papacy and all that it means for believers today."


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