The 7 Best Popes In The History Of The Catholic Church

In this episode of The Catholic Talk Show, the guys talk about the 7 BEST men to ever sit on the Chair of St. Peter as Pope of the Catholic Church, including saints, reformers, and protectors of Christendom.

In this episode, you will learn
• The pope who saved the Church during the fall of Rome
• The only popes who earned the title “The Great”
• The little known pope who had the most lasting impact
• The Pope who excommunicated the most powerful man in the world
• The Pope who established the modern papacy
• and much more!

Show Links & Resources:

From Poland to Rome: 100 Years of Pope St. John Paul II Pilgrimage: Learn More

Exodus 90:
Covenant Eyes: covenanteyes.com (use code CatholicTalk to get 30 days free)

Vicars of Christ by Charles A. Coulombe:



9 comments on The 7 Best Popes In The History Of The Catholic Church

  1. Andrea says:

    Good morning guys,
    Thank you for the reading list recommendation of Vicars of Christ, RS. I had heard of the book but never read it. And, The Life of Jesus of Nazareth is another good recommendation. Peter or Cephas I understand are names in both Hebrew and Greek for ‘rock’. How exciting that you guys have listeners over 6 continents. I am guessing that RS selected the 7 best popes for today’s show? I like the topic and learning about these Popes I pretty much never knew about.

    I have quotes I use in my books attributable to Pope Leo I or Pope Leo the Great. “Beyond our grasp, he chose to come within our grasp. Existing before time began, he began to exist at a moment in time.” Pope Leo I. I think he was talking about God at creation. What an amazing brave Pope to face down Attila the Hun. Humility and courage will be the thread from St. Peter the first Pope downward in the line except for the 7 worst Popes who were living breathing human horror shows.

    (RS, I too read more than I talk, and I talk a lot, but it makes me flub it at pronunciation more often than not for my liking. It is funny how it sounds different or sort of okay in your head until you go to say the word aloud.)

    The Gregorian Chant being written by Pope St. Gregory the Great, a Benedictine monk, is a wonderful fact of Church history. It is sung today at each Mass. Yes, the rhythm does jolt the memory in the chant and I have heard the music sung a bit differently in various renditions. I remember learning parts of it for the choir in high school. No-one was refused from becoming a member of the choir but I quit because my voice was just that bad. Although I loved singing to God, I drew the line at giving him an earache. Not conducive to getting into his good graces.

    Never before heard of Pope St. Gregory the 7th. When the Magisterium of the Church gets canon law changed or added it comes down through church history to us today I like to follow the trail backward in Church history with information unknown to most except for those who are theologians or scholars. Interesting that he was voted in as Pope by popular acclaim and then established the College of Cardinals election process. I agree no secular power should elect the bishops of the people. For one thing the bishop is reporting to the Church. He is being judged on different criteria than simply that of the people he serves. It would also degrade into popular politics, favoritism and some form of nepotism.

    I briefly learned about the Battle of Lepanto way back when. I know because it struck a memory chord. Today’s podcast reminded me of the many assaults against the Church that it has withstood because it is the Church of God. God will prevail.

    I agree that Pope St. John Paul II get the additional title of ‘the Great’. The world youth day is totally inspiring and brings the young into the Church as other voices heard. It was a simple yet beautiful embrace of the young showing that they too matter.

    Pope Leo the Great also warned us about “fake news”. “The devil is always discovering something novel against the truth.” Then there is “Those who are not good to others are bad to themselves.” The last Pope Leo the Great quote I will end my comments with.

    Thank you for my latest learning experience.
    TTFN and take care and definitely may God Bless Us Everyone

  2. Juan Jose Solis says:

    Do you know that in Lepanto Battle A pair of Hernan Cortez and a bunch of Tlaxcaltecan and other americans fought?

    1. Ed Siering says:

      I really liked this show. A wealth of history revealed and re-learned. Pronunciations caused me to be disconcerted when the word papacy was frequently voiced; it is pronounced (paypasee). Petrine has a long I. Tomb is toomb. Coptics are Catholics in full communion with Holy Mother Church.

  3. Andrea says:

    Just an interesting FYI. I was out there looking up general info on Charles Coulombe and came across another work of his entitled ‘Desire and Deception’ that apparently promotes Feeneyism. The story goes that Fr. Feeney of the St. Benedict Center fame in Boston, Massachusetts taught there is no salvation outside the Catholic Church just eternal damnation. Today there are still followers of Fr. Feeney at least out in Still Water, a small town, in Massachusetts. Fr. Feeney died in 1978 at 80 after being taken back into the church following excommunication. He was consistently disobedient to Church superiors. I took an intriguing side trip and wanted to share it with you as you are always in reading and learning mode. You have a truly good mind. Feeneyism may prove to be yet another podcast topic.

  4. I enjoy listening to the Show and found your topics very interesting. I find that it is too long and hope that it was more 45 minutes or less as I cannot afford to spend over an hour listening.

  5. Kathleen King says:

    I am no longer watching Catholic TV because they are allowing you to become another version of Raymond Aroyo and his posse, haters of our Holy Father Francis. Now it’s obvious you are following the same path and as someone who honors our Pope and believes in his mission and purpose so very much I will not listen to these attacks. I am a consecrated woman who is a Franciscan and associate of Sisters of Notre Dame I love this Pope and am disgusted by the division caused by his attackers. I even see you have no statue of him now but the former bishop of Rome Benedict. So wrong. We have one Pope and someone who had such horrible things laid in his lap by two previous popes. Francis’ vision will change the world for the better and the church and you should be ashamed of how you speak of him.
    I thought I could watch Bishop Reed and know honor would be given our Holy Father but the conservative right has taken over hasn’t it? Sad for my church as I serve it each day and serve communion and pray for Pope Francis. I have asked my friends to watch Catholic tv but no longer.
    I am also a sexual abuse survivor and honoring Pope John Paul who covered up years of abuse is horrible. You will see the light someday.

  6. Jeannine T. Levesque says:

    I watched this show for the first time (on its rebroadcast?) Dec. 30, 2019, and enjoyed the topic of the seven best popes in the Catholic Church’s history. But either I snoozed somewhere – which I very much doubt – or forgot to write one down – much more likely – as I have only six of the seven in the list I jotted down. I thought you would have a listing on your website here, but obviously you do not. I don’t have time to listen to the entire program all over again, so would it be possible for you to post the list, please? I do want to look up more about them.
    This is who I have: Leo the Great; Gregory the Great; Gregory VII; Innocent III ; Pius V; John Paul II.
    Obviously one is missing. Help!
    Many thanks, and God bless you!

  7. Ave Maria says:

    Pope St.Pius X is the second greatest Pope after St. Peter. Pascendi Domini Gregis is the greatest encyclical ever composed. Resist modernism my friends! Fight for the latin mass and tradition. Pope Pius IX, Pius XI, Leo XIII, Pius VII, innocent III deserve to be in that list too. Modernist Popes are often referred to and praised but never the Popes that contradicted Vatican II get mentioned on these lists out there.

    1. Ave Maria says:

      Can’t leave XII out either.

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