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The Popecast

Author: Matthew Sewell

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Short bios on the popes of the Roman Catholic Church, and periodic interviews with experts and commentators on the papacy & Church history. Become a patron and find extra bonus content at
29 Episodes
Our pope today introduced a day of celebration that’s endured for over THREE QUARTERS OF A MILLENNIUM. In addition to, you know, wrestling power away from a rogue dynasty and otherwise trying to keep the Church afloat in troubled waters. All in just 3 years. No big deal.*BECOME A PATRON OF THE POPECAST (free stickers to the next 5 patrons...) at*LINKS FROM THE EPISODE: * Transiturus de Hoc Mundo ( – Papal Bull introducing the Feast of Corpus Christi* Flocknote's Popes in a Year – Pope Urban IV (* The Catholic Encyclopedia – Pope Urban IV (* Wikipedia – Pope Urban IV – Pope Urban IV (* The Catholic Encyclopedia – Feast of Corpus Christi (
Here's a pope who came from nothing, spent his life fighting for the Truth, and ended up practically saving the world. Better to be frail in body and strong in will, than the other way around.SUPPORT THE POPECAST: MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE* ESSAY: The Banners of Lepanto ( by Fr. George Rutler* ESSAY: Our Lady of the Rosary and the Battle of Lepanto ( by Fr. Steve Grunow* POEM: Lepanto ( by G.K. Chesterton* * Consueverunt Romani ( by Pope St. Pius V (Call to Prayer)BIOGRAPHIES OF POPE ST. PIUS V* Pope St. Pius V ( in the The Catholic Encyclopedia* Pope St. Pius V ( in Flocknote's Popes in a Year* Pope St. Pius V ( at Catholic News Agency* Pope Pius V ( on Wikipedia
It’s a Popecast first, folks. The first time we’re covering two popes in a single episode AND the first of three times in Church history that two brothers each held the Chair of Peter – and interestingly enough, also the first of three times that the brothers reigned back-to-back. Mama must’ve been so proud.SUPPORT THE POPECAST:* Pope Sisinnius ( (Flocknote's Popes in a Year)* Pope Sisinnius ( (Catholic Encyclopedia)* Pope Sisinnius ( (Wikipedia)Pope Constantine ( (Flocknote's Popes in a Year)Pope Constantine ( (Catholic Encyclopedia)Pope Constantine ( (Wikipedia)
In 1492, something else happened besides Columbus sailing the ocean blue, namely, that the most notorious pope EVER ascended to the Chair of Peter. This week it's the guy who typically tops the list of every rundown of the so-called “Bad Popes”, and who was described by contemporary historian as “more evil and more lucky than perhaps any pope before him”.SUPPORT THE POPECAST:* Letter of Pope Pius II rebuking Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia (;+none+of+the+allurements+of+love+were+lacking,+and+you+conducted+yourself+in+a+wholly+worldly+manner.+Shame+forbids+mention+of+all+that+took+place,+for+not+only+the+things+themselves+but+their+very&source=bl&ots=IpuLNhDl8P&sig=ACfU3U1o-1BKW0avibesmXGfOewURZnfcQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjw4oOg3I3iAhXhPn0KHQlvD-YQ6AEwAHoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false)* Inter Caetara ( (papal bull granting Spain exclusive rights to colonize and explore the New World)* Pope Alexander VI ( (Popes in a Year - Flocknote)* Pope Alexander VI ( (Wikipedia)* Pope Alexander VI ( (Catholic Encyclopedia)
This episode serves as a brief recap and analysis on Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's recent letter on the Church's sexual abuse crisis – paired with the audio version of the letter released exclusively by The Popecast – for those who have neither the time nor the interest to wade through the minefield of Catholic Twitter to sort it all out.LINKS MENTIONED ON THE EPISODE* Full Text of Pope Emeritus Benedict's letter: LINK ( FOR THOUGHT* JD Flynn on Twitter:* Ed Condon on Twitter:* Fr. Harrison Ayre on Twitter (2008 speech by Pope Benedict XVI):* Kyle Helmick on Twitter (Catholics who make money off the faith): (Critics of the letter)* Fr. James Martin / Twitter thread –* Massimo Faggioli / Commonweal Magazine – Benedict's Untimely Meditation (* Jamie Manson / National Catholic Reporter – Pope Benedict Explains Things to Me (* Jason Horowitz / New York Times – Dueling Popes? Maybe. Dueling Views in a Divided Church? Definitely. ( (In favor of the letter, even with light criticism)* Gerhard Ludwig Muller / First Things – Benedict and His Critics (* Marc Barnes / Bad Catholic – Benedict XVI's Critics Are Not Being Smart (* Ed Condon / Catholic News Agency – Analysis: How Benedict's essay supports Francis' call for 'zero tolerance' (* Marc Barnes / Bad Catholic – Fr. James Martin You Leave My Dad Right Out of This (* Dr. Chad Pecknold / Catholic Herald – Why Benedict's Intervention is So Important (* Dr. Chad Pecknold / Catholic Herald – Why did Benedict mention the Eucharist in his abuse essay? (* Fr. Raymond de Souza / Catholic Herald – Why Benedict by-passed the Vatican (
On April 10, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI released a letter addressing the scandal of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church – of which the full audible reading can be found here. The retired pope gave historical background to how the scandal came to be, how it's affected the formation of priests in seminaries, and what the Church ought to do about it. FULL TEXT: THE POPECAST ( ON PATREON
Dr. Chad Pecknold, associate professor of theology at the Catholic University of America, joins the Popecast this week to talk about the present scandal in the Church, human nature, St. Augustine's two Cities, and the papacy's role in securing the Church as a divine institution. Dr. Pecknold will be speaking at Healing the Breach of Trust on March 26, a day of talks at Catholic University of America and part of a series of planned conferences on the Church's current crisis. Dr. Pecknold's talk and others will be live-streamed here. BECOME A PATRON - LINKSChad C. Pecknold, Ph.D. – BIOHealing the Breach of Trust (Session 3) - INFO | LIVESTREAM (3/26) Special Guest: Dr. Chad Pecknold.
This week’s pope has a bit of an ironic name. During his six years in the Chair of Peter, nothing too exciting happened, and certainly nothing that seemed to live up to, uh, how we currently define "hilarious." Become a patron and get early access to Popecast episodes, ask a question to be answered on the show, and get special bonus content – LINKS Pope St. Hilarius (Flocknote's Popes in a Year)"Four Saints with Laughably Ridiculous Names" (Denver Catholic)Pope St. Hilarus (Catholic Encyclopedia)Pope Hilarius (Wikipedia)
Catholic apologist, speaker, and author Trent Horn joins Matt on The Popecast this week. Topics covered (among others) include:Biblical basis for the papacyPapal infallibilityWhen is it okay to criticize the pope, and how far is too far? BECOME A PATRON: LINKS (mentioned in this episode)[BOOK] Bad Shepherds by Rod Bennett (Sophia Institute Press)Ut Unum Sint (On commitment to Ecumenism) – Encyclical by Pope St. John Paul II, 1995Donum Veritatis (On the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian) – Document by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, 1990[BOOK] The Papacy: What the Pope Does and Why It Matters by Stephen Ray & Dennis Walters (Ignatius Press Special Guest: Trent Horn.
Normally the Church celebrates feast days for persons – men and women from every age who the Church has held up as models of holy living – but today is a day that celebrates a chair.Well, at least what the chair represents.BECOME A PATRON: LINKSPope Benedict XVI – General Audience, February 22, 2006Franciscan Media – Feast of the Chair of St. Peter
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