THE MYTH OF 1260 YEARS OF PAPAL SUPREMACY
By Russell Earl Kelly,
PHD, November 2015
The Seventh-day Adventist
Church teaches that the 1260-day prophecies of Daniel and Revelation refer to the years 538 to 1798. Those years covered the
reign of 190 so-called “legitimate” popes and 32-37 “illegitimate antipopes” which often had better
credentials. Since the great accomplishments of these men have been acclaimed by both Roman Catholics and Protestants for
centuries, this document deliberately excludes them in exchange for the fairness of seeing the bad side of their reigns. Almost
all of them were required to swear allegiance to his political protector whether such was an emperor, king, duke or local
The failures of these
190 popes offer convincing evidence that they all fall very short of the description of the biblical “little horn”
of Daniel 7:21-25 who “shall wear out the saints of the most High” and “they shall be given into his hand
until a time and times and the dividing of time.” My major source of these failures is Lives of the Popes,
by Richard McBrien, a leading Roman Catholic historian from the University of Notre Dame. McBrien is very blunt and honest
about the shortcomings of the popes.
A. THREE HORNS OUT OF THE PRESENT KINGDOM (Daniel 7:24)
The ten horns were “out of the kingdom of the ten kings”
of the beast (Dan 7:24). If the ten are out of pagan Rome, then the three little horns must also have been
pre-existing powers which support pagan Rome. SDAs teach that the three horns which were uprooted were the Vandals, Heruli
and Ostrogoths. However, none of these three were already kingdoms of pagan Rome. All three were Arian invaders from outside
HORNS EXISTED BEFORE THE LITTLE HORN (Daniel 7:24)
The ten horns are ten kings that shall arise before the little horn arises (v24). This does not fit the SDA
interpretation either. Roman Catholicism had been slowly evolving long before the Vandals, Heruli and Ostrogoths invaded Western
IDENTIITY OF THE THREE HORNS (Daniel 7:20)
The little horn plucked up three horns by the roots (Dan 7:8, 20); he shall subdue three kings (Dan 7:24). This does
not fit the SDA explanation. First, the Arian Heruli were defeated in 508 by Arian Lombards who were not under papal orders;
the Heruli migrated back to Scandinavia. Second, the Vandals in north Africa were not “plucked up by the roots”
because of the papal little horn. Instead they were conquered by Eastern Emperor Justinian in 534 because he was reconquering
lost territory for the Eastern Greek Church. At that time the papacy had no jurisdiction over the Vandals in Africa and their
presence or absence did not affect its reign. Third, the Ostrogoths do not fit the prophecy either. Though temporarily defeated
in 538 by the Eastern Empire; read about Pope Vigilius who reigned from 538-555. The Ostrogoths besieged Rome numerous times
after 538 until they were absorbed by the Arian Lombards who ruled much of Italy after 568. They were never “plucked
up by the roots.” In reality there were many more non-Catholic “horns” sweeping across Western Europe which
prevented the Roman Catholic Church from “making war” and “prevailing” – Visigoths, Lombards,
IDENTITY OF THE SAINTS (Daniel 7:25)
The prophecy says that the little horn “made war with the saints and prevailed against them” (Dan 7:21)
“and he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to
change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time” (Dan 7:25).
First, if the “saints” are true
Christians inside the Western Roman Catholic Church, “made war with the saints” does not make sense because, from
538 until l146, there was no “war” against fellow Catholic Christians. The first 600 years of the prophecy would
be wrong, plus many failed Crusades were again Muslim Turks.
Second, if the “saints” are true believers from the Eastern Greek Orthodox faith attacked by Crusaders from
1201-1204, the SDA interpretation must be wrong for several reasons: (1) the papacy did not approve of the change of battle
targets, (2) the Crusaders only “prevailed” for 20 years and (3) Constantinople was not the enemy during this
period of history. (4) This would also be conceding that Greek Orthodox have correct doctrines as the “saints.”
Third, if “saints” refers to the Albigenses
of 1202 or the Waldensians from 1215 to the present, the SDA interpretation makes no sense. (1) While it is true that secular
Roman Catholic powers “made war with them and prevailed against them” following no war against the saints for
600 years, that is still far from 1260 years. (2) Designating the Albigenses or Waldensians as the “saints” of
Daniel 7:25 would be conceding that they were the true Christians with correct doctrines. (3) Waldensians were not “uprooted”
and still exist as Reformed Protestants.
Fourth, if “saints” refers to the Peasant War which killed many dissidents between 1521 and 1525, the SDA
interpretation is wrong because Catholics and Protestants joined forces to kill the peasants. Such would also be a concession
that the saints were the true Christian peasants.
Fifth, if “saints” refers to the Protestant Reformation, (1) the SDA prophecy is wrong because the papacy
seriously lost that battle and half of Europe.(2) It would be conceding that the Protestant Reformation contained true saints
with correct doctrines. (3) 1260 years is a small part of the Protestant Reformation. The total time of Roman Catholic “prevailing
war” against protesting dissidents only lasted about 500 of the 1260 years --- from 1100 to 1600. Even
then the papacy often aligned itself with Protestants against fellow Catholics (as in the Thirty Years War).
Sixth, if “saints of the Most High”
refers to Hebrews and their common reference to Yahweh and to 3 ½ years, the prophecy makes sense.
Conclusion: SDAs focus on the “think to change
times and laws” of Daniel 7:25 and ignore the preceding and following phrases. They fail to define “saints”
and they especially fail to explain why the vast majority of the 1260 years revealed weak popes being propped up by stronger
secular powers which usually did as they pleased.
F. RULERS’ HAD VETO AUTHORITY OVER THE PAPAL ELECTIONS
It is impossible to convince others that you
are the most powerful authority on earth when your own election must be approved or disapproved by rulers. This rule was enforced
from Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (312), to Eastern Emperor Justinian (538), to Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne (800),
to German Emperor Otto (912) and even to German Henry IV after he had matured (1081). As nations emerged, veto power of the
pope’s election was extended to every ruling Christian king. Since they often vetoed another’s selection, weak
compromise popes were chosen. For several hundred years the ruling families of the Roman Senate chose the pope – often
teenage children of the rulers solely for financial gain – Theophylact (904+), Alberic II (936+), Crescenti (973+),
Tusculan (1012+), Orsini (1191, 1277, 1724); Medici (1513-1610.
G. LAY INVESTITURE KEPT SECULAR RULERS IN CHARGE OF THE PAPACY
Lay investiture is the right and ability of secular rulers to
appoint church leaders such as bishops. It is also impossible to convince others that you are the most powerful authority
on earth as long as (1) rulers appoint your church leaders such as bishops, (2) nations are completely independent from you
(such as France and Span) and (3) you are not living in Rome and are hiding in exile because the people riot against you.
Read the list and check off how very often this occurred.
Even after declaring the investiture issue settled in 1121, little changed because the declaration had been made during
a power vacuum because the German Emperor was a child. Read the list. Almost every time the pope offended a ruler, that ruler
re-imposed his authority to appoint church leaders. After the matter had been “settled” 1121,
the French reasserted its independence and lay investiture in 1141, 1513, 1655, 1667, 1676 and 1691. The Germans regained
lay investiture (on and off) in 1185, 1187, 1191, 1225 and 1352. The English regained it temporarily in 1189 and 1335.
And the Spanish reasserted their independence
and lay investiture authority in 1566, 1700, 1769 and 1776.
H. ANTIPOPES HINDERED THE POWER OF THE PAPACY
From 538 to 1798 there were approximately 43 other “popes”
claiming the same authority over the whole church. Though designated as “antipopes,” many had far better credentials
than those accepted by the Catholic Church as authentic. The Church often revises its list. Often from 2-4 popes claimed the
chair of Peter at the same time. Angered emperors, kings and rulers of the Rome often “deposed” and replaced offending
popes with one favorable to them. Read the list and discover the disharmony caused by competing popes.
This description of the SDA “little horn” of Daniel 7:21-25 is definitely omitted because it proves their interpretation
to be false.
687, 767, 768, 795, 844, 855, 903, 914, 955, 964, 974, 984, 985, 997, 1012, 1032, 1058, 1061, 1073, 1080, 1087, 1089, 1099,
1100, 1101, 1105, 1118, 1124, 1130, 1138, 1159, 1164, 1168, 1179, 1328, 1378, 1394, 1409, 1410. 1423, 1425, 1439
I. FOUR STRONG POPES WHO
Leo I is called “the
Great” because he convinced Attila the Hun not to sack Rome in 451. In reality Attila decided not to sack Rome because
it had already been sacked in 410 and was full of disease and famine.
Gregory I is called “the Great” because of all the laws and changes he made. In reality, he never left Rome,
was besieged by Arian Ostrogoths both at the beginning and end of his reign and was eventually forced out by angry Roman citizens.
Gregory VII is considered extremely strong
because he forced Emperor Henry IV to repent at his feet in 1077 and give up lay investiture. In reality Henry IV was fighting
a civil war for the crown and did not need excommunication or an interdict from the pope. However, after the war had been
won, in 1081 Henry IV marched into Rome and replaced Gregory VII with Clement III. Lay investiture was also soon regained.
Finally the Roman people forced Gregory VII to leave and he died in exile.
Urban II is considered a strong pope because of the successful First Crusade (1096-1099). In reality (1) he yielded
to pressure and allowed lay investiture to entice kings to send crusaders, (2) German Emperor Henry IV temporarily replaced
him with “antipope” Clement III in 1087, (3) Henry IV forced him out of Rome again from 1090-1094 and (4) the
rulers of Germany, England, France, Spain and Sicily were able to ignore at will the papacy’s reformist regulations,
including lay investiture .
J. THE MYTH OF MAKING WAR WITH AND PREVAILING AGAINST THE SAINTS FOR 1260 YEARS FROM 538
Again, the prophecy says
that the little horn “made war with the saints and prevailed against them” (Dan 7:21). “He shall wear out
the saints of the most High” (Dan 7:25) “and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the
dividing of time” (Dan 7:25).
SDAs interpret these two texts (Daniel 7:21, 25) to mean the papacy would “make war with and prevail against”
true Christians for 1260 years – from 538 to 1798.
“Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High and the time came that
the saints possessed the kingdom” (Dan 7:22). “Until” indicates that the 1260 period would end when judgment
is given to the saints and when the saints inhabit the kingdom of God. This appears to be the end of the 1260 period in Revelation
also (Rev 11:1-2; 12:6). This severely muddles the SDA explanation because they interpret “judgment” here to mean
1844. However, they do teach that the Investigative Judgment ends immediately before the Second Coming. Therefore, if the
1260 period reaches either to 1844 or the Second Coming, it is not 1260 years.
K. THE PAPACY SWORE ALLEGIANCE TO THE RULER WHO PROTECTED IT
This is an extremely important fact; it cannot be explained in
the reverse – that the secular ruler was controlled by the papacy. While there are notable exceptions, the time span
when the pope controlled his protecting ruler is very small – less than 100 of the 1260 years. From
the moment Christianity became a legal part of the Roman Empire, the emperor of Rome controlled it, built its churches, called
its ecumenical councils and presided at most of them.
In 401 Ravenna on the N. E. coast of Italy replaced Rome as the capital of the Western Empire, leaving the pope as Rome’s
leading citizen. It was sacked in 410 by Visigoths and threatened in 451 by Attila the Hun. When the last Roman emperor of
the West was overthrown from Ravenna in 476, the very weak papacy was at the total mercy of Odoacer, King of Italy, and then
Ostrogoths from 493 until 538. In 538 Ravenna became the capital city of Arian Ostrogoths until 540 when Eastern Rome re-captured
it. From 538 until 568 Rome was besieged numerous times by the Ostrogoths (who had not been uprooted in 538).
POPES WERE IMPRISONED, BEATEN, EXILED OR KILLED
The pope was personally imprisoned, beaten and/or killed at least 13 times from 538-1798 contrary to the description
of the powerful little horn of Daniel 7:21-25. This fact alone should disprove the SDA interpretation of the little horn.
538, 795, 872, 884, 896, 897, 898, 903, 904,
914, 939, 983, 1124
POPES’ CITY AND PAPAL STATES WERE OFEN OCCUPIED AND PLUNDERED
Rome and/or its papal states were occupied and plundered during the reigns of 42 popes at least once in every century
between 538 and 1798. Read the list or research it for yourself. This could not possibly be true of a powerful authority which
“made war and prevailed against the saints” for 1260 years.
538, 561, 575, 579, 590, 604, 640, 715, 731, 741, 757, 844, 858, 872, 885, 955, 963,964, 965, 973, 974, 985,
1073, 1087, 1089, 1099, 1143, 1185, 1227, 1254, 1281,1333, 1370, 1378, 1471, 1523, 1559, 1585, 1676, 1700, 1730, 1740
O. MANY POPES COULD NOT
LIVE IN ROME FOR FEAR AND CAPTIVITY
The pope was so impotent that he either did not live in Rome or was forced out of Rome during the reigns of a minimum
of 35 popes covering 11 of 13 centuries from 538 to 1798.
538, 561, 649, 795, 985, 996, 1009, 1032, 1087, 1089, 1099, 1118, 1145, 1154, 1159, 1181, 1187, 1227, 1243,
1254, 1261, 1266, 1272, 1301, 1314, 1316, 1335, 1342, 1352, 1362, 1370, 1406, 1431, 1523, 1724
P. ROME ITSELF WAS OFTEN TOO
LAWLESS AND DANGEROUS FOR THE POPE
Rome itself was often not a safe place for popes. The citizens often rioted and forced him to leave. This happened during
the reigns of at least 37 popes. Again, this is far from being true of a power which the SDA interpretation of prophecy describes
as making “war with and prevailing” against the saints for 1260 years.
538, 556, 590, 604, 654, 708, 715, 817, 872, 884, 885, 963, 965, 974, 984, 999, 1073, 1087, 1144, 1145, 1181,
1185, 1216, 1301, 1362, 1371, 1378, 1404, 1455, 1552, 1555, 1585, 1590, 1623, 1644,, 1689, 1724
Q. THE PAPACY DELIBERATELY CAUSED
WAR BETWEEN ITS ON FOLLOWERS
Nowhere does the prophecy of the little horn state that he would cause his own followers (Roman Catholic
nations) to war against each other. Yet this happened at least 8 times between 528 and 1798.
1285, 1471, 1492, 1503, 1550, 1555, 1585, 1644
190 POPES BETWEEN 538
AND 1798 WERE NOT THE LITTLE HORN OF DANIEL 7:21-25; 538 DID NOT BEGIN THE PREVAILING WAR AGAINST THE SAINTS
The following list covers all 190 popes from 538
to 1798. Take time to read it; if nothing else, it will amaze you that anything was accomplished while the popes were busy
evading one ruler after another. Research and check it out for yourself. These are the things not ordinarily told about the
popes. Their failures, fears and weaknesses will keep you convincing yourself and saying “This cannot be the little
horn of Daniel 7:21-22 which “made war with the saints and prevailed against them until the Ancient of days came, and
judgment was given to the saints of the most High and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.”
537-555: Pope Vigilius was unpopular. Rome was besieged
by Ostrogoths. He was arrested twice, beaten, excommunicated (by the East), fled and hid.
556-561: Pellagius I was chosen by Emperor Justinian without
an election but was rejected by the citizens of Rome.
561-574: John III fled Rome before an Arian Lombards siege.
575-579: Benedict I died during the Lombard siege with famine in Rome.
579-590: Pelagius II was elected during another Lombard siege of Rome. He failed to regain most churches in northern
Italy and died from a plague during flooding in Rome.
GREGORY THE GREAT: The Rest of the Story
590-604: Gregory I was not so “Great.” He never left the city of Rome during his reign. It began
during a Lombard siege (which he bribed to stop) and ended in another Lombard siege with famine. The people finally turned
against him. He was “great” because he had plenty of free time to write many changes and rules for the church.
[604-741: The Eastern Empire in Constantinople
had veto control of the papacy and the Lombards ruled southern Italy.]
604-606: Sabinian was hated because he sold food for profit during a Lombard siege.
608-615: Boniface IV’s reign was filled with
famines, plagues and natural disasters.
619-625: Boniface V was a good pope.
625-638: Honorius I was later condemned by an ecumenical council for heresy.
640: Severinus’ own Eastern Empire imperial guards plundered his treasury.
640-642: John IV sent money to ransom hostages from Avar and Slav tribes.
642-649: Theodore I traded excommunications with the patriarch of Constantinople. His representative in Constantinople
Martin I infuriated the Eastern Emperor by being consecrated without his approval and hid from him. He was later captured,
deposed, beaten and died in exile by fellow Christians.
654-657: Eugenius I angered the Roman people over doctrine.
657-672: Vitalian was a weak compromise pope accepted by East and West because he was neutral on a doctrinal
dispute. The Eastern emperor made Ravenna in Italy independent of papal influence.
672-676: Adeodatus II angered Constantinople by opposing its doctrine of monothelitism.
restored power over Catholic churches in Eastern-controlled Ravenna, Italy with investiture (authority to appoint bishops).
678-681: Agatho was the
1st of 7 popes from the Eastern Empire territory. He pope died during an epidemic.
682-683: Leo II was powerless as the Emperor lowered taxes paid to his papacy from papal territories.
684-685: Benedict II did nothing as the strongly
independent Visigoth Catholic Church in Spain protested papal attempts to change its doctrine.
685-686: John V accomplished nothing noteworthy.
686-687: Conon stood by
as his own Roman militia prevented free elections and deported a Sicilian nominee.
687-701: Sergius I was one of two opposing popes elected by Roman clergy. His reign was a very tumultuous
701-705: John VI spent large sums ransoming
John VII was the layman son of an Eastern imperial officer.
Sisinnius served 20 days and died of crippling gout.
Constanine failed in his attempt to reunite Western and Eastern churches. Roman citizens rebelled and there were bloody battles
in the street. Muslims conquered northern Africa and the Spanish peninsula. The papacy was too weak to stop the advance of
LOMBARDS AND THE EASTERN
II rebelled against the emperor over iconoclasm resulting in both the Lombards and Eastern imperial armies joining to besiege
Rome. He died in disfavor.
Gregory III experienced a Lombard siege of Rome.
Zacharius was the 9th pope from Eastern Empire and the last pope to notify the Eastern Emperor of his election.
Thus, 200 years after 538 the papacy was still getting approval of its election from the Eastern Empire in Constantinople.
Lombards captured the Eastern capital of Ravenna, Italy and Rome in 751.
Stephen II experienced Rome being heavily taxed by the Lombards before the French King Pepin III defeated them.
757-767: Paul I disputed with the Lombard king over the Papal States while the French did nothing.
768-772: Stephen III contended with two other pope-claimants and there was street fighting with Lombard troops.
His reign ended in total subservience to the Lombards king. Note: 230 years after 538 there is still no papal prevailing war
against the saints.
772-795: Hadrian: After French King Charlemagne
soundly defeated the Lombards in 774, the pope became completely subservient to Charlemagne who controlled the Church and
called his own synods.
795-816: Leo III was attacked by a pro-Eastern
mob, deposed, escaped and fled to France for 5 years. He returned and crowned Charlemagne as Holy Roman Western Emperor and
bowed before him in 800.
817: Stephen IV
817-824: Paschal governed so harshly that the Roman people would not allow his body to be buried in St. Peter’s.
The Roman people very often rebelled when the pope abused them.
Eugenius II was censored for error and superstition after French King Louis I forced a council to condemn the Second Council
of Nicea. Over the centuries rulers called and controlled many more councils than popes.
Aug-Sept: Valentine had been approved by the French Emperor Lothair.
Gregory IV was elected by lay nobility and approved by Emperor Lothair. He was consecrated pope only after swearing allegiance
to the French Emperor.
844: Antipope John VIII was proclaimed pope
by popular acclamation while Pope Sergius II was elected by the wealthy nobility of Rome.
844-847: Sergiuis II did not wait for the king to approve his election and King Lothair punished him by plundering
the Papal States. In 845 the Danes destroyed the Catholic town of Hamburg in Germany. In 846 Muslim Saracens plundered Rome
and even St. Peter’s Cathedral.
Leo IV angered both France and Constantinople by interfering in their church appointments (lay investiture).
855-858: Benedict III was opposed by Antipope Anastasius who had been installed by the French Emperor until
the crowds disapproved.
858-867: Nicholas I refused to allow the French
king to divorce; this resulted in French troops invading Rome. After Nicholas tried to take over churches in the East and
failed, he was excommunicated by the Eastern Patriarch.
Hadrian II was married before ordination. When the Duke of Spoleto plundered Rome, the pope’s wife and daughter were
raped and murdered.
872-882: John VIII bribed Saracens after he
failed leading a battle against them. The French Emperor Carloman invaded Italy. Next the dukes of Spoleto and Tuscia occupied
Rome and imprisoned the pope. He compromised on doctrine, was poisoned and clubbed to death by friends.
Hadrian III had a crooked official blinded and had a noblewoman whipped naked through the streets of Rome. He was murdered
while traveling to coronate a new German Emperor.
Stephen V ignored election approval by the French. Result: the Emperor/Duke of Spoleto claimed supremacy over the Papal States.
The pope saw riots in Rome and Saracen raids.
Formosus crowned East Frank King Arnulf as emperor for removing the Duke of Spoleto.
896: Boniface VI had been defrocked twice by a previous pope for immorality.
896-897: Stephen VI was infamous for the Cadaver Synod during which Pope Formosus was dug up, tried, and
cast into the Tiber River. Stephen himself was later deposed, imprisoned and strangled to death.
897 Nov-Dec: Romanus reinstated the credibility of Pope Fomosus and discredited Pope Stephn VI. He was probably
killed because of those acts.
Theodore II held a synod to invalidate the Cadaver Synod regarding Formosus.
John IX removed deposed anti-Formosan pope Cerveteri by appealing to the Emperor Lambert (king of Italy). The existence of
three emperors caused total chaos. ,
Feudalism was at its height. There was a great power vacuum with the lands divided into many small protectorates. Land was
given in return for military service. Churches and monasteries were largely the fief of local nobles or barely defended their
rights with armies of their own. Abbeys and bishops no less than local parish churches came under secular control and lay
investiture was common where laity chose church leaders.
Benedict IV sided with the wrong successor and is believed to have been murdered by agents of Berengar, King of Italy.
903 2 mo.: Leo V was overthrown and imprisoned by antipope Christopher. He was murdered by Pope Sergius III.
ROMAN SENATE FAMILIES
CONTROL THE PAPACY
several centuries the papacy often stayed within family members and the pope was often the son of the local ruler of Rome.
Ruling families often fought in the streets for control of Rome. The rulers of Rome also fought with the Emperors of Germany
over control of the papacy.
Sergius III (Theophylact) fathered an illegitimate son who became Pope John XI. He killed Pope Leo V and Antipope Christopher.
His reign is called “The pornacracy of the papacy.”
Anastatius III (Theophylact) was completely controlled by the Theophylact family. He was removed from the Eastern Patriarch’s
913-914: Lando (Theophylact)
reigned six months.
914-929: John X (Theophylact) was deposed,
imprisoned and suffocated after trying to be independent and distance himself from the noble families of Rome.
929: Leo VI (Theophylact) was probably an
illegal pope since he died before his predecessor, John X.
Stephen VII (Theophylact) was elected to succeed Leo VI while John X was still alive in prison awaiting John XI to grow up.
931-936: John XI was Pope Sergius III’s early-teen
illegitimate son. John’s half-brother, Alberic II, imprisoned his own mother and half-brother, the pope.
936-939: Leo VII (Alberic) became pope by the power
of Albert II, the new absolute ruler of Rome. He expelled Jews who refused to be baptized. Note: 400 years after 538 and there
is still no “prevailing war against the saints.
Stephen VIII was elected by Alberic II. After conspiring against Alberic II, he was imprisoned and killed.
942-946: Marinas II (Alberic II) accomplished little.
Agapitus II (Alberic II) was made to swear to the dying Alberic II that the next pope would be Alberic’s son, Octavian.
GERMAN EMPEROR AND ROMAN SENATE ALTERNATELY CONTROLLED THE PAPAACY
955-964: John XII was Alberic II’s son who was elected at age 18. After Berengar II, King of Italy,
plundered the Papal States, German Otto I occupied Rome twice and influenced papal elections. John XII was grossly immoral.
A Roman synod deposed him.
963-965: (German) Leo VIII was a layman chosen
by German Emperor Otto to replace John XII. When Romans elected Antipope Benedict V, Otto besieged Rome and re-instated Leo
964 2 mo.: Benedict V (Roman) was removed
and exiled after Emperor Otto I besieged Rome.
John XIII (German) was chosen by Otto I and exiled by the Romans three months after his election. Otto I besieged Rome
and restored John XIII by force.
Benedict VI (Crescenti): After Otto I died, the Crescenti family of Rome imprisoned and suffocated Benedict VI and installed
Antipope Boniface VII. Otto II besieged Rome and Antipope Boniface VII fled with much of the papal treasury (only to return
6 years later).
974-983: Benedict VII (German) was elected
as a compromise. Boniface VII started a revolt in 980 which ended with another German siege of Rome by Otto II.
983-984; John XIV (German) became pope without an election. [Yet he is legitimate.] Otto II died and Boniface
VII returned a third time, imprisoned and murdered Pope John XIV.
Antipope Boniface VII served for the third time. His body was dragged through the streets before being trampled upon by citizens
and stabbed with spears. [Until 1904 Boniface VII had been classified as a legitimate pope.]
985-996: John XV (Crescenti) angered French bishops who almost always claimed independence. The
Crescenti family controlled the Papal States. He fled Rome and died before Otto III arrived to enforce his will on the papacy.
996-999: Gregory V (German) was chosen by
his German relative Otto III at age 24. The Crescenti family drove him out and they installed Antipope John XVI. Germans restored
their choice of the papacy.
Sylvester II (German) was forced out of Rome along with the emperor in 1001 because the people resented foreign interference.
1003: John XVII (Crescenti) was married before being
ordained and had three sons.
John XVIII (Crescenti) was probably a Crescenti choice since they ruled Rome until 1012. He may have abdicated.
1009-1012: Sergius IV (Crescenti) disappeared when the Crescenti family was overthrown by the Tuscan family
in 1012. He and the head of the Crescenti family were probably murdered.
Benedict VIII (Tusculan) was the first of three consecutive layman popes chosen by the Tusculan family. In 1016 Normans conquered
the Lombards in southern Italy. The pope was an inconclusive military leader.
John XIX (Tusculan) was the son of ruler Alberic III and Pope Benedict IX’s younger brother.
1032-Sept 1044; Mar-May 1045; Nov 1047-Jul 1048: Benedict IX (Tuscan) was the only person to be pope during
three separate periods. He contended with four other popes. He was deposed twice, abdicated once and exiled six (6) times.
Note: 500 years after 538 and there is still no “prevailing war “ against the saints.
1045 Jan-Feb: Sylvester III (Crescenti) probably should be listed as an anti-pope.
1045 Mar–May: Benedict IX 2nd papal term]
May-Dec 1046: Gregory VI should also be listed as an Antipope. He was installed after his god-son, Benedict IX, had abdicated
and was accused by German Emperor Henry III of simony (using the office to gain wealth).
Dec–1047 Oct: Clement II (German) was the first of four German popes chosen by Emperor Henry III. Clement II replaced
three other papal claimants. [1942 evidence reveals lead poisoning.]
Nov – 1048 Jul: [Benedict IX 3rd papal term]
Jul-Aug: Damasus II (German) Pope Benedict IX reasserted himself and prevented Pope Damasus II from reaching Rome. Damasus
II died from malaria or poison.
Leo IX (German) attacked the Normans (Eastern allies) and was captured. This led to the 1053 schism between Roman Catholicism
and Greek Orthodox.
[1053: Relations broke between the Western
papacy and Eastern Empire churches.]
Victor II (German): The emperor and pope held another synod to condemn simony, clerical marriage and violations
of clerical chastity. The Roman families were not interested in this kind of reform.
POWER VACUUM WITH 5-YEAR OLD GERMAN EMPEROR HENRY IV
the Normans were threatening from southern Italy, Pope Victor II was visiting German Emperor Henry III when the emperor died.
Henry IV was 5-years-old son in 1057.
Stephen IX died while trying to gather support to resist the Normans.
PAPACY IS AT ITS HEIGHT OF SECULAR POWER: 1058-1525
THE COLLEGE OF CARDINALS BEGAN IN A POWER VACUUM.
The College of Cardinals was created during a power vacuum in 1058 while the German Emperor Henry IV was
7 years old. This was intended to be a major improvement for the Church that removed secular rulers from the election process.
It originally failed for three reasons: (1) the rulers did not agree and continued chose and depose popes and ignore the cardinals,
(2) popes learned how to control elections by selecting cardinals and (3) rulers leaned how to use force in the selection
of cardinals. The result was no change at all in the final outcome.
LAY INVESTITURE WAS REMOVED DURING A POWER VACUUM.
Nicholas II was the first pope elected by cardinals and bishops. Antipope Benedict X (German) was forced to flee when Nicholas
II occupied Rome with the duke of Lorraine’s troops. A synod tried to remove some imperial authority with the first
formal declaration against lay investiture. It also ruled against clerical marriage and clerics having concubines! With Germany
weak, Nicholas made an alliance with his former enemies, the Normans. A synod of German bishops declared Nicholas II’s
acts to be null and void and broke off communion with him while withholding military action until Henry IV matured.
1061-1073: Alexander II was a strong pope during a power vacuum. He used Norman troops to rule Rome. Germans
installed Antipope Honorius II and defeated the Normans in 1062. The duke of Lorraine intervened. In 1071 German Emperor Henry
IV (now 20 years old) LOST an argument over the right of lay investiture.
1073-1085: Gregory VII (Hildebrand) is considered the greatest example of papal power in all of history --
yet he reigned only 12 years and his reign ended by him being deposed by the same German Emperor, Henry IV, whom he became
famous for dominating. Typical of “great” popes, he and his two immediate predecessors took advantage of a political
power vacuum in Germany.
Gregory VII was elected by popular acclaim
– not by cardinals. He began by successfully violating his papal vow to get the emperor’s approval of his own
election -– a vow enforced since Constantine (325) and almost every other major secular ruler until modern times.
Gregory VII was the third pope in a row to successfully repel lay investiture authority of the German Emperor.
This kind of challenge to Germany and France almost always resulted in a military march on Rome with plundering of papal territories
and tribute to pay the expenses. Independent France did not renounce lay investiture.
a position of weakness while fighting the Saxons for control of Germany, in June 1074 Emperor Henry IV swore allegiance to
the papacy. However, having won a battle, in June 1076 he tried unsuccessfully to reassert his rule in northern Italy. In
January 1077 the Holy Roman Emperor, Henry IV, met Gregory in the Alps in the winter and repented in sackcloth. Pope Gregory
VII made him wait outside barefooted. The excommunication and interdict were removed and Henry yielded to the pope. This is
the high point of papal power!
VII’s papal supremacy lasted only 7 years. By 1080 Henry IV had completely defeated his opponents and was in a position of strength. Gregory’s
position was now weak because he had sided with Henry’s opponent, Rudolf of Swabia. In June 1080 a synod called by Henry
IV again deposed Pope Gregory and a council of imperial bishops chose Antipope Clement III. Gregory again excommunicated Henry
IV and placed his subjects under interdict. This action caused Gregory VII to lose the support of 13 cardinals. In 1081 Henry
IV marched on Rome and, after a long siege, captured Rome in March 1084. In 1085 Gregory VII was deposed again and the Roman
clergy enthroned antipope Clement III officially (until 1100).
Henry IV and antipope Clement III both left Rome temporarily while the duke of Apulia marched on Rome with Norman troops and
restored Gregory VII again. However when the Norman troops destroyed and plundered Rome, the Roman people turned against Gregory
VII and he died the next year in exile.
Clement III (1080-1100) was a pope-claimant chosen by German Emperor Henry IV in 1080 to replace Gregory VII and was enthroned
in March 1084. He reigned until forced out by Normans in May 1087 and hid in the Pantheon. He returned with imperial power
to challenge several more popes until his death in September 1100.]
May-Sept: Victor III fled Rome four days after being elected because of riots. He resigned and left Rome. To avoid Antipope
Clement III’s supporters he left again and returned with Tuscan forces. He left a third time fleeing from Henry IV who
forcibly restored Clement III.
Urban II is praised as another great pope who inspired the First (very successful) Crusade. Yet he allowed lay investiture.
Urban’s papacy began while German Emperor Henry IV had forcibly restored anti-pope Clement III in 1087 and Clement would
remain as a contender against Urban until after Urban’s death. In 1090 Henry IV forced Urban II to leave Rome until
1094. Two popes ruled: Clement III supported by Henry IV and Urban II supported by Henry IV’s son, Conrad. Amid all
of this, strangely Urban II’s fame was gained only through his ability to organize the First Crusade (1096-1099) which
channeled the hostility of feudal knights towards the Muslims.
of the pope’s distractions with the schism at home the rulers of Germany, England, France, Spain and Sicily were able
to ignore at will the papacy’s reformist regulations” such as simony, clerical marriages and lay investiture (LP).
1099-1118: Paschal II reversed many of the reforms of Pope Gregory VII under pressure by German Emperor Henry
V. Normans bribed antipope Clement III to step down in 1100.
II then had to contend with three remaining antipopes: Theodoric, Alberic and Sylvester II. German Emperor Henry IV had disputed
with Paschal over lay investiture. After Henry V overthrew his father, Henry IV, in 1105, the investiture dispute became much
worse. The pope cited four recent synods which had forbidden lay investiture (1106, 1107, 1108 and 1110).
Emperor Henry V and the people of Rome took turns protesting. The emperor marched on Rome several times while
Pope Paschal II kept excommunicating him between 1112 and 1116. Henry V installed antipope Gregory VIII
twice while Paschal II was in hiding. A few days after returning in 1118 Paschal II died. France and England ceased lay investiture
but it was only for a short time until they got angry over papal interference again.
Galasius II and the German Emperor’s Antipope Gregory VIII took turns fleeing to France and excommunicating each other.
1119-1124: Callistus II: In 1122 German Emperor
Henry V and Callistus signed the Concordat of Worms which replaced lay investiture with imperial oversight and imperial veto
power over nominated bishops. The pope swore allegiance to the emperor.
INVESTTURE: A Roman Catholic history book boasts “The long struggle between Church and state over lay investiture was finally
over” (LP). Yet this papal investiture only lasted 19 years until 1141 and still gave the emperor oversight and veto
power which meant he could still prevent bishops from being elected. The arguments over and usage of lay investiture by strong
secular rulers resurfaced many times over every following century. France and Spain especially declared themselves independent
of papal interference.
1124-1130: Honorius II
(Frangipani): The Pierleoni family had installed Celestie II and the Frangipani family installed Honorius II as pope on the
same day. While Celestine was being installed the Frangipani family severely stabbed him and he resigned. Honorius II was
consecrated following substantial bribes. In 1128 the Albigenses(Cathari) increased in northern Italy and northern Spain.
1130-1143: Innocent II competed with two antpopes.
He was supported by Germany and France while Anacletus II and Victor IV were supported by Normans. Innocent led an army against
the Normans and lost Sicily. In 1141 he argued with France over lay investiture. In 1143 Roman citizens declared its Senate
was independent of the papacy.
Celestine II reversed positions taken by his predecessor concerning France and the Normans. In response the Normans threatened
the Papal States.
1144-1145: Lucius II was elected during political
strife in Rome. The Pierleoni family controlled the Senate and the laity demanded that the papacy confine itself to spiritual
functions. Neither Norman Roger II nor German Conrad III would rescue the pope. He was killed leading a military attack on
the Senate in Rome.
1145-1153: Eugenius III
was accepted and later rejected by the Senate and fled to France. The Second Crusade of 1147-1148 was a failure. He returned
to Rome again in 1149 and 1152 under the protection of Frederick I of Germany. At his death disharmony remained concerning
the Roman Senate and the Normans.
Anastasius IV made peace with the independent Roman Senate.
Hadrian IV (English) angered German Emperor Frederic by referring to him as his vassal and by not approving one of his nominations
(lay investiture). When Frederick claimed northern Italy and Corsica, Hadrian fled from Rome and hid until his death IN 1159.
1159-1181: Alexander III: After a hotly disputed election, there was a 20-year schism between himself and
3 German anti-popes supported by Emperor Frederick and a fourth antipope supported by the Roman Senate. He hid in France from
1162-1165. A crusade against the Albigenses from 1158-1181 was a total failure (no prevailing war).
III stayed in Rome over 10 years from 1168-1178. Alexander returned to preside over the Third Lateran Council
in 1179 before fleeing from the Senate. After wandering the Papal States (1180-1181) his body was desecrated
before burial. He punished the Waldensians and is considered a strong pope.
1181-1185: Lucius III (German) Because of hostility his coronation was held outside of Rome. He was only
allowed to stay in Rome from November 1181 to March 1182 . All factions disliked each other – except for punishing the
Waldensians by church excommunication and state punishment. He died in exile by the German Emperor.
1185-1187: Urban III did not live in Rome due to German exile. Germany invaded, occupied the Papal States
and isolated the pope. Urban supported two rebellions against the emperor and both failed by 1186 when he capitulated and
allowed lay investiture.
1187 Oct-Dec: Gregory VIII did not live in
Rome due to German exile. He obeyed the emperor and was treated well. His reign was very contentious.
1187-1191: Clement III (1187-1191): In exchange for Roman senators restoring papal revenues, the papacy had
to pay taxes to the city’s secular leaders and allow them to run its secular business.
From 1154 to 1189 the papacy won and lost fights with Henry II
of England. When the dust settled though, Henry II still controlled the church in England through lay investiture.
1191-1198: Celestine III: The Germen Emperor Henry VI invaded southern Italy, re-instituted lay investiture
and murdered a papal bishop. The pope could not prevent Henry from holding English King Richard for ransom.
ONE STRONG POPE OF 190 FOR 18 YEARS
1198-1216: Innocent III “was one of the most important and powerful popes in the entire history of
the church” (LP). As usual when a “strong” pope asserted himself, a power vacuum existed. After Emperor
Henry V died in late 1197, both contenders, Otto IV and Philip of Swabia, asked for the pope’s endorsement. Innocent
III boasted of papal power to choose emperors. It is during this period that the Fourth Crusade (1202-1204) turned into the
fiasco after temporarily conquering Constantinople.
error the pope favored Philip who was murdered in 1207. After receiving tremendous concessions from Otto IV, Innocent crowned
him as emperor in 1209. Otto IV immediately ignored all of his promises and invaded southern Italy. Pope
Innocent deposed Otto IV and, in 1212 named Frederic II of Sicily as emperor. In 1214 French King Philip II defeated Otto’s
forces. Thus innocent’s choice of the emperor survived. Innocent also forced a very weak King John of England (1198-1216)
to submit concerning lay investiture and revoked the Magna Charta. From 1209 to 1229 a full-scale successful crusade was mounted
against the Albigenses and Waldenses which resulted in many deaths and the beginning of the Inquisition.
Innocent III’s many successes are almost nullified by his many failures. During the crusade of 1202-1204
Germany, England and France all alternated between making and breaking promises to the pope who made many concessions in order
to encourage his fiasco of a crusade in the east. Rather than fighting Muslims, armies from Catholic countries plundered and
killed fellow Christians in Constantinople (which lasted only 20 years). Innocent III started strong and ended weak with French
King Philip II. Local bishops disliked being treated as mere subordinates to the pope. In 1212 the papacy suffered another
horrible catastrophe when the Children’s’ Crusade ended in the slaughter an enslavement of thousands of Catholic
children. Also the great accomplishment of placing Emperor Frederic II into office turned into a fiasco when Frederic became
the enemy of papal power after Innocent III’s death.
the spiritual realm, innocent’s Fourth Lateran Council of 1215 made the Eucharist into God, condemned heresies, asked
for secular suppression of heresies, banned new religious orders and required Jews to wear distinctive clothing. Innocent
III died suddenly of a fever in 1216. The next pope ignored the Council.
Note: 1209-1229 is almost 700 years since the 1260 years began in 538 and it is the first time the papacy
endorsed a successful war against fellow Christians. Yet this cannot be the fulfillment of “made war with the saints
and prevailed against them”: (1) if the Albigenses (Cathari) are the “saints” of Daniel 7, we would have
to conclude that their many cultic doctrines were correct. (2) The Albigenses were exterminated quickly,
but the prophecy states that the saints “shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time”
–for 1260 years according to SDAs.
Honorius III saw the Fifth Crusade (1217-1221) end in failure. German Emperor Frederick II spent his time
trying to restore territory taken from him by Pope Innocent III and selected his own church leaders (lay investiture). Honorius
continued using French and German kings to massacre Albigenses heretics in southern France. Opposing Innocent’s Lateran
Council of 1215, Honorius authorized three new orders: Dominicans, Franciscans and Carmelites.
1227-1241: Gregory IX personally led a losing army to oppose the emperor. In 1234 the
pope temporarily fled uprisings in Rome. In 1239 Frederic invaded the Papal States, surrounded Rome and prevented Gregory
from assembling a council against him. Gregory died in the August heat during the siege.
Celestine IV served 16 days while a Roman senator from the Orsini family was the absolute ruler of Rome.
1243-1254: Innocent IV fled to France from 1244-1250. From 1251-1254 he was opposed by Conrad IV, Frederic’s
son. He died in Naples during uprisings.
Alexander IV lost control of the Papal States to Manfred of Sicily. Rome was too dangerous and the pope did not live there.
1261-1264: Urban IV failed to persuade the French
king to occupy southern Italy and Sicily and make them pay tribute. Manfred of Sicily renewed military action and Urban IV
fled and died in exile.
1266-1798: FRANCE CONTROLLED
1266-1268: Clement IV (French) never lived
in Rome because of its anti-papal conditions. France replaced Germany for control of Italy.
1268-1272 was a period without a pope because of civil strife. It ended when the civil authorities locked
the cardinals in a room, removed the roof and threatened them with starvation until a pope was selected.
1272-1276: Gregory X did not live in Rome. He was a layman when elected. The (French) king of Sicily was
a threat and ruled most of Italy.
1276: Innocent V served 5 months.
Hadrian V served 5 weeks.
1276-1277: John XXI served 9 months. He died
suspiciously when the ceiling of his study fell on him.
Nicholas III was condemned to Hell in Dante’s Inferno.
Martin IV (French) turned over the Papal States to the French King of Sicily. After German/Spanish Emperor Peter (the Great)
took over Sicily from France, Martin alienated many Catholics.
Honorius IV (French) instigated a war between France and the German/Spanish ruler of Sicily. Defeat included the death of
both the French king, Philip III, and the King of Sicily, Peter III.
Nicholas IV did not live in Rome due to hatred of his favoritism. Unrest in the Papal States forced him to appoint offices
and distribute income more fairly.
1292 to1294 there were 27 months without a pope due to disputes between the Orsini and Colonna Italian noble families.]
1294 5 months: Celestine V had been a hermit before being elected pope by the king of Sicily and Naples.
He was uneducated, inept, befuddled and did not even speak Latin. He either resigned or was murdered.
1295-1303: Boniface VIII (Colunna) was accused of idolatry because he had so many statues of himself built.
He failed to remove the Spanish from Sicily and failed to mediate a dispute between Venice and Naples. He also failed to defend
Scotland’s independence from England and failed to stop a war between France and England. Moreover, he failed to stop
France and England from taxing clergy to finance their war. When Boniface threatened excommunication to stop the taxation,
Philip replied by forbidding money from leaving France to the papacy. King Philip later won every argument with Boniface and
the Colonna family rejected his high-handed methods. When captured by the Colonna family, Boniface was rescued by the Orsini
family. His greatest mistake was the excommunication of French leaders and landowners who had confiscated church property.
The French now controlled the papacy much more than
the Germans had for the better part of 400 years before them. In 1305 the French forcibly moved the papacy into France for
over 70 years.
PAPAL RESIDENCE MOVED
TO FRANCE: 1304-1377
The papacy was so powerless that it could not resist being physically moved to France for over 70 years. This definitely cannot
be part of 1260 years of “making war with and prevailing against the saints.”
Benedict XI (in France) was completely controlled by the French king and was taken to France to live. He even assigned church
tithe income to the French king for two years and revoked all of Boniface VIII’s penalties against the French king.
He is listed by Catholics as allegedly murdered.
Clement V (in France) was forced to torture the Knights Templar to gather their fortunes.
1314-1316 (in France) had no pope because of disputes. Armed Frenchmen broke into the voting conclave and
shouted “Death to the Italians. We want a [French] pope.”
John XXII (in France) was accused of heresy for saying that the saints did not see God until after the final judgment. After
being excommunicated for calling the pope a heretic, Louis IV of France deposed John XXIII, declared himself emperor and installed
the 30th Antipope, Nicholas V, who survived two years before abdicating in 1330.
100 YEARS’ WAR: ENGLAND AND FRANCE OVER RULE OF FRANCE
1335-1342: Benedict XII (in France) was not
allowed to move back to Rome and he was powerless to prevent the Hundred Years’ War between two Catholic nations (1336-1453).
Much papal land in Italy was lost to Germany and his enemies included the Franciscans.
1342-1352: Clement IV (in France): After supporting Cola di Rienzo as ruler of Rome, he excommunicated him
for asserting independence of the Roman people from both the pope and the German emperor. While the pope was captive in France,
the archbishop of Milan became more powerful than the pope in Italy. In 1351 English King Edward III restored lay investiture.
From 1348-1349 the Black Death devastated Avignon, France.
Innocent VI (in France) (France and England at war) was unable to regain the Papal States. German kings asserted their independence
from the pope including lay investiture. Avignon itself was attacked by mercenary troops during lulls in the war with England.
1362-1370: Urban V (France–England war) stayed
in Rome from 1367-1370 but returned to France when Roman nobility, rebels and forces under the archbishop of Milan were massing
to attack him.
1371-1378: Gregory XI (in France) (last French
pope) (during France-England war) could not gather funds in 1373 to fight the Viscount of Milan. With England and France at
war, the pope failed to mount another crusade against Muslims. German Emperor Charles IV made his 15 year-old son king of
Romans without his permission. After briefly returning to Rome he returned to France in March 1378 because of resentment against
him in the Papal States and Florence.
WESTERN SCHISM OF 1378-1417; Antipope in Avignon, France and Pope in Rome.
1378-1389: Urban VI (from Rome) (during France-England war) angered the cardinals who elected antipope Clement
VII (1378-1394 (thus beginning the 40 year Great Western Schism of 1378-1417 (LP). He was elected after riots and demands
to have a Roman pope. This resulted in two popes who excommunicated each other and sent mercenary troops to fight one another.
After leading a failed attack on Naples, executing five cardinals and creating anarchy in the Papal States Urban VI died of
1389-1404: Boniface IX (from Rome during 1378-1417
schism and during France-England war) abolished Rome’s government, declared himself absolute ruler, fled Rome and died
suddenly after a failed meeting with the 32nd antipope, Benedict XIII.
Innocent VII (from Rome during 1378-1417 schism and France-England war): Civil unrest in Rome prevented reconciliation talks.
After the pope’s nephew murdered leading citizens and rioters stoned the Vatican, the pope fled for 7 months
before the people allowed him to return. Antipope Benedict IX was still present.
1406-1415: Gregory XII (during 1378-1417 schism and France-England war) saw three popes reign at the same
time. The kings of Naples, Hungary and Bohemia called the Council of Pisa in 1409 and deposed Pope Gregory XII and antipope
Benedict XIII. After two more councils two additional popes had been replaced by Martin V (Antipope Clement
VIII(1423-1429) and Antipope Benedict XIV (1425).
Martin V (Coloma) (France-England war) was named by a King to replace one pope and two anti-popes as the Great Western Schism
ended. Resisting pleas from Germany and Avignon to dwell there, he took residence in Rome in 1420. He failed to mount a crusade
against the followers of Hus.
COLONNA FAMILY CONTROLLED THE PAPACY
Eugenius IV (France-England war ended 1443): In 1435 the Council of Basel ended annual papal taxes and limited the power of
the papacy. The Council elected antipope Felix V in 1439. Eugenius had to flee the Colonnas (who had taken over the Papal
States in 1434) and hide in Florence from 1434 to1443. Much happened during the reign of Eugenius IV including disputes with
the Greek Orthodox Church. In 1444 a crusade against Turks ended in defeat.
Nicholas V was a good pope. The Eastern Roman Empire and Constantinople fell to the Muslim Turns in 1453.
SPAIN BECOMES IMPORTANT
1455-1458: Callistus III organized a crusade against the Turks which failed due to indifference. His monetary
policies angered France, Germany and Spain. He was stubborn and did not tolerate opposition. He angered many by placing a
Spanish army leader over the Papal States. At his death the Italians rioted against his supporters who then fled.
1458-1464: Pius II had fathered several illegitimate children before becoming pope. He
failed twice to have a new crusade. He angered the French by supporting a Spanish king of Naples. The French repeated their
independent rights of its Church, including lay investiture. Pius also had bad relations with the Kings of Germany and Bohemia.
1464-1471: Paul II was “absorbed in luxury, sport and entertainment” and was a “vain intellectually
shallow ostentatious playboy” (LP). He angered humanists and scholars by abolishing their support.
He excommunicated the King of Bohemia fearing that he might be a supporter of Hus.
Sixtus IV incited the Protestant Reformation by turning the Vatican into a Renaissance showpiece. He was involved in a murder-conspiracy
and caused a war with Florence (1478-1480) because he had begun the Spanish Inquisition. He incited another war between Florence
and Ferrara causing him to lose several Papal States. He began the sale of indulgences and annulled the decrees of the reformist
Council of Constance.
1484-1492: Innocent VIII was very worldly.
He lost two wars with Ferdinand I of Naples over increased taxes and made his own thirteen year-old illegitimate son a cardinal.
1492-1503: Alexander VI (de Borgia) is considered
to be the worst pope of history. He openly lived a promiscuous life, fathering several children before and after his election
to the papacy. When away, he left his mistress in charge of the Vatican. He caused several fights between France and Spain.
He died by poisoning.
1503 Oct: Pius III served 17 days.
1503-1513: Julius II sold indulgences to build St. Peter’s Basilica which angered Martin Luther. As
a cardinal he fathered three daughters. French King Louis XII in 1511 called a council to depose him but Spain and England
temporarily pushed France out of Italy. He allowed English Henry VIII to marry his brother’s widow, Catherine of Aragon.
1513-1521: Leo X (Medici) witnessed the outbreak
of the Protestant Reformation in 1517 because of abusive indulgences and simony. He re-confirmed an agreement that the French
king had lay investiture right to select all church offices. His spending caused political and financial setbacks both among
Catholics and followers of Luther. When he died Europe was in political turmoil.
Hadrian VI was supported by the German emperor. The Roman people did not like him. After angering both Germany and France,
France prepared to invade Italy.
REVOLT IN GERMANY, 1524-1525
1523-1534: Clement VII (Medici) inadvertently spread the Protestant Reformation across Europe and to England when he
refused to allow Henry VIII to divorce Catherine of Aragon. He reversed loyalties between Germany and France. German Emperor
Charles V invaded and sacked Rome in 1527. After being a prisoner of France for six months he returned after allowing France
to occupy major parts of the Papal States and paying France a huge indemnity. His actions helped the Protestant Reformation
and caused England to become Protestant.
Paul III was the first pope from Rome since 1431 and was opposed by the Colonna and Medici families. He had four illegitimate
children by a noble Roman mistress. After censoring Michelangelo for nude figures, Michelangelo pictured him among the damned
with donkey’s ears and a serpent around his body. He excommunicated Henry VIII of England. When the pope tried to move
the Council of Trent to Bologna, the Emperor Charles V (of Germany and Spain) prevented it. Fights over which family members
would rule the Papal States filled his last years.
Julius III was infatuated with a fifteen-year-old boy he elevated to a cardinal and Secretary of State before the boy was
imprisoned for criminal activity. The pope provoked a war between the Spanish Emperor and France. He failed
to slow down the Protestant Reformation in Germany and England.
Marcellus served 2 months He was forced to retire because he was so critical of nepotism (favoring relatives) and simony (using
his office to gain wealth).
Paul IV was so harsh and unfair that Romans hated him, rioted, attacked the Inquisition prisons, released prisoners and tore
down statutes of the pope. He lost a war with Catholic Spain.
Pius IV refused to take a position on married priests. Protestantism spread and the Papal States had riots and attempts on
1566-1572: Pius V excommunicated Catholic
Queen Elizabeth I of England which caused English Catholics to be persecuted. Enforcement of banned books forced printers
to leave Italy. He angered Maximilian II of Germany by trying to appoint a civil ruler and he argued with Phillip II of Spain
trying to curtail royal control over the Church (investiture).
Gregory XIII encouraged Phillip II of Spain to invade England and encouraged plots to assassinate Queen Elizabeth. By rejecting
Sweden’s request that priests be allowed to marry, Sweden became Protestant. The Papal States rebelled and bandits were
Sixtus V ended an insurrection in the Papal States with harsh measures and beheadings. In 1588 the Spanish Armada which Gregory
XIII had encouraged was defeated and French Protestantism grew. Roman mobs hated him.
Sep: Urban VII died of malaria.
Gregory XIV (France-England vs Spain war) endured the plague, food shortages and lawlessness in Rome. His
pro-Spanish favoritism angered the French. And his stance against Henry IV, Protestant King of France,
caused French Catholics to side with their Protestant king. He was also not liked because of his incompetence and nepotism
1591 Oct-Dec: Innocent IX (France-Spain war)
continued war against Protestant King Henry IV of France. Rome was in lawless anarchy.
Clement VIII: By accepting (now-Catholic) Henry IV as king of France, he was forced to grant religious freedom and civil equality
to the Huguenots in France. James I made England Protestant again.
26 days: Leo XI was supported by France and opposed by Spain.
YEARS’ WAR (1618-1648) in Germany: On one side were German Protestants, (Catholic) France, England, Sweden and Denmark.
On the other side were Hapsburg Catholics of Germany, Spain, Bohemia, most of Italy and southern Netherlands. Oddly,
the pope sided with France (and Protestants).
Paul V (Thirty Years War): Venice rebelled against the papacy –saying it had no temporal authority. Paul V argued with
England over the pope’s right to depose secular leaders. He also argued with the French who said that the French Church
and king were independent from the pope.
Gregory XV (Thirty Years War) declared secret ballots for the pope and saw some success in the Jesuit-led Counter-Reformation.
1623-1644: Urban VIII (Thirty Years’ War): The Catholic Counter-Reformation ended. His last days saw
a military and financial defeat when France and Venice denied his attempted expansion of the Papal States. The Roman people
were jubilant at this death.
Innocent X was controlled by his sister-in-law. Though unhappy with the results of the Thirty Years’ War, he was helpless
to affect it. He next favored Catholic Spain in its renewed war with Catholic France. After death he remained unburied for
several days because his sister-in-law refused to pay the funeral expenses. In 1655 1700 Waldensians were
killed by the Duke of Savoy.
Alexander VII was not liked by the French who were now more powerful. He was forced to apologize to French King Louis XIV
and to allow Louis (ruled 1643-1715) to make church appointments (lay investiture). .
1667-1669: Clement IX was forced to allow French Louis XIV a free hand in lay investiture. His campaign to
free Crete from the Turks failed; this caused great debt to Venice, Spain and the empire.
Clement X was a compromise after both France and Spain vetoed previous choices. King Louis XIV confiscated church property
and finances. Clement was also pressured to appoint French cardinals.
Innocent XI: In 1682 Louis XIV re-asserted the old Gallican Articles: ”no papal secular authority over kings and general
councils are superior to the pope” and reaffirmed the independence of the French Church. The pope excommunicated Louis
XIV; France retaliated by occupying two papal cities.
Alexander VIII angered the citizens by drafting an army from Venice. His friendship with French Louis XIV angered the German
1691-1700: Innocent XII ratified many bishops
nominated by Louis XIV in return for the king easing up on the Gallican Articles (but the French Church’s autonomy remained
-- in other words, he allowed lay investiture. Peace with France meant problems for the Germans through papal interference.
1700-1721: Clement XI (1700-1721) (layman) angered
the Chinese which resulted in persecution and closed churches in China. Under pressure from French Louis XIV (d1714), he condemned
the Catholic Jansenists again. After siding with the Germans over the new emperor, Charles VI, relations with Spain were broken.
Germans still invaded Italy, captured Naples and threatened Rome. The Spanish also excluded him from decisions in Sardinia,
Sicily, Parma and Piacenza. The Spanish fleet he had encouraged to fight the Turks instead captured Sardinia from Germany.
1721-1724: Innocent XIII disliked both Jesuits and
their religious enemies. He gave concessions to the French and German rulers and failed to stop Spanish Charles VI from claiming
supreme authority over the Church in Sicily.
Benedict XIII was a compromise because the French, Spanish and Germans failed to elect their own choices. Italian Cardinal
Coscia controlled the pope and became wealthy selling offices and taking bribes. Benedict was hated by the Roman people because
he did not discipline Coscia. In 1730 the Romans rioted and forced him out.
Clement XII: Catholic kings continued to ignore the papacy. The Austrian Emperor Charles VI occupied many of the Papal States
and recruited soldiers from Rome.
Benedict XIV gave political concessions to Sardinia, Naples, Spain and Austria. He allowed Spain and Portugal to make all
church appointments (lay investiture). Siding with the wrong contender caused the loss of all papal money
producing offices in Austria and caused the occupation of the Papal States by Austria.
Clement XIII was a compromise choice after a French veto. France, Spain, Naples and Parma were in full rebellion against the
Jesuits. From 1759-1767 Portugal, France and Spain deported Jesuits. When the pope took no action against the Jesuits, France
occupied two papal lands inside France. He also failed to stop German rulers from assuming more religious powers.
1769-1775: Clement XIV was elected by the influence of Bourbon rulers in France, Spain, Naples and Parma.
Under much pressure he completely dissolved the Jesuits in 1773. France and Portugal’s secular leaders suppressed more
Church-associated functions. On the other hand he lost support among cardinals and Roman nobility in the Papal States because
they had supported the Jesuits. He could not stop the partition of Poland. His last year was spent in depression,
fear of assassination and an acute skin disease.
Pius VI was rejected by Naples as its feudal lord even though he allowed Naples the right of lay investiture. Emperor Joseph
II of Austria (1765-1790) proclaimed total religious liberty, forbade bishops from appealing to Rome and curtailed Catholic
institutions. In 1786 German cardinals said they could run German churches without his interference. Joseph II announced plans
to make local churches independent of Rome and the Synod of Pistoia in 1786 adopted the (French) Gallican Articles of 1682.
He failed in requests to have (non-Catholic) Frederick II of Prussia and Catherine II of Russia suppress Jesuits. In 1790
the pope did not object when Catholic clergy became paid employees of the state in France. In 1791 he denounced the oath of
loyalty French Catholic leaders made to the state and he denounced the Declaration of the Rights of Man. Diplomatic relations
between France and the papacy were broken. France annexed Avignon and Venaissen where its citizens had revolted against papal
leadership. The French Church became split between those loyal to the revolution and those loyal to the monarchy (no loyalty
to Rome involved). After the pope denounced new France, Napoleon occupied Milan. When the pope continued to resist, Napoleon
occupied many of the Papal States. In 1797 the papacy lost more of the Papal States and was forced to pay huge spoils of war
including valuable manuscripts and art. On February 15, 1798 France deposed the pope, occupied all of the Papal States and
Rome itself. Pius VI died a prisoner in August 1799.
TIME WITHOUT A POPE IN OFFICE: 2 YEARS, 17 DAYS: WAS THIS A DEADLY WOUND?
The prophecy stated that the little horn “made
war with the saints, and prevailed against them” (Dan 7:21) “until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was
given to the saints of the most High and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom ” (Dan 7:22). While conservative
theologians see the end of the 1260 “days” referring to the second coming of Christ, SDAs end the 1260 period
of “prevailing war” in 1798. The “until” of Daniel 7:22 suggests that SDAs might extend the “prevailing
war” either to the Investigative “Judgment” of 1844 or else all the way to the end of the “judgment”
at the second coming. Thus their 1260 years is actually much longer. This is a serious problem for them.
Daniel 7:25 continues “and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing
of time.” The “prevailing war” against the saints was to last (according to SDAs) 1260 years, from 538 until
1798. The papacy has never fit this description and still does not fit this description!
while making great statements, calling Church Councils and sending Crusaders to fight, most popes (repeat, most popes) were
controlled by rulers who had veto power. Most popes spent most of their time juggling it authority between Catholic rulers.
Favoritism to one meant animosity towards another. Disagreeing with rulers usually invited a march on Rome. The popes often
hid and fled from rulers who often besieged Rome and allowed ruler to have lay investiture and appoint bishops.
1800-1823: Pius VII was crowned in Venice on March 4, 1800 while the kingdom of Naples occupied Rome for
Austria. Since the French had stolen the papal regalia, the pope was crowned with a paper mache’
tiara. Since the papacy was under Austrian protection, Napoleon defeated Austria; Austria and Naples left Rome. In 1801 an
agreement was signed with Napoleon which re-established Catholicism in France but lessened its authority. For the first time
in many centuries the papacy was given investiture power over bishops in France; this lasted 8 years until 1809. A similar
agreement was made with the new Italian Republic but not with Germany. The pope took part in Napoleon’s coronation in
1804 but refused to support the blockade of England. In February 1808 Napoleon occupied Rome and occupied the Papal States
in May 1809. The pope was arrested, imprisoned and forced to allow Napoleon to appoint bishops (lay investiture). When Napoleon
abdicated in 1814 the pope renounced everything he had been forced to do under threat.
Leo XII reinforced the List of Forbidden Books and the Holy Office (formerly the Inquisition) and reestablished the feudal
aristocracy in the Papal States (LP). Austria had vetoed the first election (vetoes by heads of states would last until 1904).
In 1825 he condemned religious toleration of the revolution and Freemasonry. In 1826 Jews were confined to ghettos in the
Papal States and their property was confiscated. He revoked previous (liberal) reforms and established a police state with
secret societies, press censorship, capital punishment. As a result many skilled laborers moved out of the Papal States, its
economy suffered and it had the reputation of being the most backward in Europe. Oddly, though, he adopted a more conciliatory
position with European nations than with the Papal States. He had an overriding fear and hostility towards the modern world.
1829-1830: Pius VIII returned to the more liberal policies of Pius VII (1800-1823). He blamed the breakdown
of religion and the social order on indifferentism on Protestant Bible Societies’ attacks on Catholic dogma, and secret
societies. He allowed more Catholic-Protestant marriages. Against the advice of his nuncio and Curia he accepted the overthrow
of French King Charles X in favor of Louis-Philippe.
Gregory XVI was one of the most reactionary popes. He opposed Italian nationalism, freedom of the press, freedom of conscience
and the separation of Church and State. He banned street lights in the Papal States and banned railways. He was greeted with
a rebellion in Rome wanting more freedom and an Italian Republic. After the Austrians had crushed the revolts Russia, England,
France and Prussia demanded reforms from the papacy. New disorders erupted and Austrian troops crushed the riots again. France
then occupied the Papal States for seven years. Rather than use excommunication against Catholic leaders who opposed him (as
in the past) he merely condemned or censored them. He then was ignored as Spain and Portugal passed anti-Church secular legislation.
H opposed Switzerland for removing papal authority over Swiss Catholics and Poland for breaking with the czar of Russia. He
had to yield to the French request than Jesuits be withdrawn. When he died the papal treasury was empty because of war expenses.
1846-1878: Pius IX called the First Vatican Council which defined papal infallibility, papal primacy and
the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception in 1869-1870. His Syllabus of Errors concerned modern thinking. At first the Romans
thought he was going to be in agreement with new reforms and nationalism; as he changed the Romans disliked him because they
wanted an Italian Republic. In 1848 he angered the people by refusing to support the war to expel Austria from Italy. He fled
Rome when revolutionaries besieged it. In February 1849 Mazzini declared the Italian Republic. After a papal appeal for help
France restored papal rule in July 1849 and the pope returned in April 1850. By 1860 all of the Papal States had been lost
in battle except Rome. France protected the papacy in Rome until 1870 when it had to withdraw to fight Prussia. By 1871 the
papacy was left with only the Vatican and a few buildings.