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 ruler.
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
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 Western Rome.
B. THREE HORNS EXISTED BEFORE THE LITTLE HORN
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
C. THE 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, Normans, Danes.
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”
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
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.
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
STRONG POPES WHO BRIEFLY EXISTED
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 .
MYTH OF MAKING WAR WITH AND PREVAILING AGAINST THE SAINTS FOR 1260 YEARS FROM 538 TO 1798
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”
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
538, 795, 872, 884, 896, 897, 898, 903, 904, 914,
939, 983, 1124
N. THE 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
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
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 OWN 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
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
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 was exiled.
649-654: 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
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.
676-678: Donus 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 prisoners.
705-707: John VII was the layman son of an
Eastern imperial officer.
708: Sisinnius served 20 days and died of crippling gout.
708-715: 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 Islam.
LOMBARDS AND THE EASTERN
715-731: Gregory II rebelled against the emperor
over iconoclasm resulting in both the Lombards and Eastern imperial armies joining to besiege Rome. He died in disfavor.
731-741: Gregory III experienced a Lombard siege of Rome.
741-752: 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.
752-757: Stephen II experienced Rome being heavily taxed by the Lombards before the French King Pepin III
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.
824-827: 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.
827 Aug-Sept: Valentine had been approved by the French Emperor Lothair.
824-844: 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.
847-855: 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
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.
867-872: 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.
884-885: 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
885-891: 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.
891-896: 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.
897: Theodore II held a synod to invalidate
the Cadaver Synod regarding Formosus.
898-900: 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. ,
900: 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
900-903: 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
For 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.
904-911: 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.”
911-913: Anastatius III (Theophylact) was completely controlled by the Theophylact family. He was removed
from the Eastern Patriarch’s prayer list.
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.
929-931: 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.
939-942: Stephen VIII was elected by Alberic
II. After conspiring against Alberic II, he was imprisoned and killed.
942-946: Marinas II (Alberic II) accomplished
946-955: Agapitus II (Alberic II) was made to swear to the dying Alberic II that the next pope would be Alberic’s
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.
965-972: 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
973-974: 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.
984-985; 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.
999-1003: 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.
1003-1009: 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
1012-1024: 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.
1024-1032: 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
1045 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).
1046 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.]
1047 Nov – 1048 Jul: [Benedict IX 3rd papal term]
1048 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.
1049-1054: 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.]
1055-1057: 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.
1057: POWER VACUUM WITH
5-YEAR OLD GERMAN EMPEROR HENRY IV
While 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.
1057-1058: Stephen IX died while trying to
gather support to resist the Normans.
THE 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.
1058-1061: 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.
In 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!
Gregory 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).
Emperor 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
[Antipope 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.]
1087 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.
1089-1099: 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.
“Because 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.
Paschal 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.
1118-1119: 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.
LAY 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.
1143-1144: 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.
1153-1154: Anastasius IV made peace with the
independent Roman Senate.
1154-1159: 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.
In 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
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.
In 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.
1216-1227: 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.
1241: 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.
1254-1261: 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 THE PAPACY
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.
1276: Hadrian V served 5 weeks.
1276-1277: John XXI served 9 months. He died
suspiciously when the ceiling of his study fell on him.
1277-1280: Nicholas III was condemned to Hell
in Dante’s Inferno.
1281-1285: 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.
1285-1287: 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.
1288-1292: 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.
[From 1292 to1294 there were 27 months without a pope due to disputes between the Orsini and Colonna Italian
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
Note: 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.”
1301-1304: 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
1305-1314: 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.”
1316-1334: 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 (1336-1453)
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.
1352-1362: 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.
GREAT 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,
1404-1406: 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).
1417-1431: 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
1431-1447: 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.
1447-1455: 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.
1471-1484: 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.
1522-1523: 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.
PEASANTS 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
1534-1549: 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.
1550-1555: 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.
1555: 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).
1555-1559: 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.
1559-1565: Pius IV refused to take a position
on married priests. Protestantism spread and the Papal States had riots and attempts on his life.
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).
1572-1585: 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 in Rome.
1585-1590: 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.
1590 Sep: Urban VII died of malaria.
1590-1591: 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 in Rome.
1591 Oct-Dec: Innocent IX (France-Spain war) continued war against Protestant King Henry IV of France. Rome
was in lawless anarchy.
1592-1603: 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.
1605 26 days: Leo XI was supported by France
and opposed by Spain.
THIRTY 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).
1605-1621: 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
1621-1623: Gregory XV (Thirty Years War) declared secret ballots for the pope and saw some success in the
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.
1644-1655: 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.
1655-1667: 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.
1670-1676: 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.
1676-1699: 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.
1689-1691: Alexander VIII angered the citizens by drafting an army from Venice. His friendship with French
Louis XIV angered the German emperor.
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
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.
1724-1730: 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.
1730-1740: 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.
1740-1758: 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.
1758-1769: 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
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.
1776-1799: 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!
Even 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.
1823-1829: 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.
1831-1846: 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.